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‘We always get involved’: Hundreds participate in Virtual Bloomsday

Joe and Marilyn McManus traveled all the way to Moses Lake to hand out water to runners after they made it up Doomsday Hill.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Bloomsday is like Christmas for families that have spent decades participating.

It’s so special that Joe and Marilyn McManus woke up Sunday morning, got in their car, and drove two hours from Ephrata, Washington so they could pass out water.

“We really enjoy doing this,” explained Joe who is a perennial of the race. “If I can’t run it, I’m going to be involved one way or the other."

Multiple generations of their family have completed Bloomsday. Joe was even there for the first one back in the 1970s.

Virtual registration has been extended until Sept. 27, and Spokane runners are getting out into the fresh air.

Joe and Marilyn made sure to station themselves right where runners would need them the most. 

“This is where we wanted to be because people are in need of water at this point. After coming up Doomsday Hill, this is the right spot for it,” said Joe.

From 7:00 AM until 11:30 AM they saw nearly 900 runners pass by their set up. About 400 of those stopped for a cup of water. 

They even had a few dogs stop by to replenish.

Right down the street, runners were able to get some live entertainment from a man who goes by the Downriver Jammer.

The tradition is different this year but participants have until next weekend to complete their 7.46 miles. Once the time is submitted, the finisher shirt will be mailed out.

“I couldn’t imagine sitting at home and not being a part of it. Whether it’s COVID Bloomsday or whatever, we always get involved.”