5 things you need to know for Bloomsday

Thousands of runners cross the finish line at Spokane's annual Bloomsday runAmerica's largest fun run takes place this Sunday in Spokane, and whether you jog or observe, here are helpful tips for what's expected to be a warm, sunny day.

First, about that "largest" tag. Indeed, the 7.46-mile Bloomsday Run, dating to 1977, typically sees 40,000 to 50,000 participants. The biggest event was in 1996, with 61,298 runners.

This year's crowds will deal with construction at Riverfront Park as improvements continue on the former Expo '74 site.

  1. Where can I park at Bloomsday? Downtown Spokane merchants welcome shoppers and hungry patrons, and you should find ample parking in the blocks surrounding Riverfront Park and the start-finish lines. Beware, though, of race-day street closures. Special bus shuttles make it convenient for many.

  2. What time should I arrive? Bloomsday starts in waves, with the first groups leaving at 8:30 a.m. The course closes at 1:30 p.m.

  3. What is NOT allowed on the course? A fairly long list! For safety's sake, of course:
    Backpacks
    Bicycles
    Wagons
    Dogs
    Rollerblades
    Unregistered runners
    Skateboards
    Hand cycles
    Motorized vehicles
    Motorized wheelchairs
    Headphones, iPods, etc.
    Running while pushing strollers, baby joggers, or wheelchairs.Map of Spokanes 7.46-mile Bloomsday course

  4. Can bad weather cancel the race? No way! Well, actually, officials reserve the right to cancel under extreme circumstances that risk health and safety. But Bloomsday has thrived for 40 years in all kinds of weather. It snowed before the 1984 and 1988 races, which started in 34-degree skies. And in 1977 and 1980, it was sunny and topped 80 degrees by afternoon.

  5. If I don't run, can I still get a Bloomsday T-shirt? Sorry. The event's signature keepsake, a 50/50 cotton/polyester blend T-shirt, is awarded only to Bloomsday finishers – not entrants. And not spectators. A quick online search revealed past shirts can be bought on sites like eBay and Etsy.

by  Jon Osterberg

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