Lilac Bloomsday Run
|Lilac Bloomsday Run|
|Date||First Sunday in May|
|Location||Spokane, Washington, U.S.|
|Distance||7.456 miles (12 km)|
|Established||1977, 44 years ago|
|Course records||33:51 (2008); Micah Kogo|
Women: 38:03 (2016)
The Lilac Bloomsday Run, also known as Bloomsday, is an annual timed road race in the northwest United States, held on the first Sunday of May since 1977 in Spokane, Washington. The course length is 12 km (7.456 mi).
The run has had over 38,000 participants every year since 1986, and peaked 25 years ago in 1996 with 61,298 registered. The number of finishers in 2015 was 43,206. Lineth Chepkurui set an unofficial 12 km world record in the 2010 women's race.[nb 1]
The course record of 33:51 was set 13 years ago in 2008 by Micah Kogo, a pace of 4:32.4 per mile and an average speed of 13.217 mph (21.3 km/h). The women's record of 38:03 was set in 2016 by Cynthia Limo, a 5:06.2 per mile pace and an average speed of 11.758 mph (18.9 km/h).
Don Kardong, who founded the race, explained the name as "a starting event for the Lilac Festival … you know, lilacs blooming. And of course, I like it because it rhymes with doomsday." The shortened name Bloomsday is usually associated instead with James Joyce's 1922 novel Ulysses and celebrations of June 16, the day in the life of Leopold Bloom that the novel chronicles.
Kardong had hoped for five hundred participants for the inaugural edition in 1977, and got nearly triple that. The second edition had over five thousand, and the third in 1979 was over ten thousand, with fifty thousand spectators lining the streets. The sixth edition in 1982 had over 22,000, and despite rain and some snow, there were over 30,000 in 1984.
The course starts in Downtown Spokane and heads northwest along the far west end of town, passes by Mukogowa Ft. Wright Institute and Spokane Falls Community College before heading up "Doomsday Hill" and back downtown past the Spokane County Courthouse and ending at the Monroe Street Bridge. Every finisher of the race receives a Bloomsday T-shirt.
- Key: Course record
- The International Association of Athletics Federations, the international governing body for the sport of athletics/track and field, does not recognize world records or world bests in either an indoor or outdoor 12 km. The Association of Road Racing Statisticians does recognize a world record in the outdoor 12 km, however, their record keeping rules state: "A record quality course is defined as having not more than 1 m/km net drop between the start and finish and not more than 30 percent of the race distance separation between that start and finish, e.g. not more than a 3 km separation for a 10 km race [or 3.6 km for a 12 km race]. Records will only be accepted for record quality courses." Per ARRS standards, the course for the Lilac Bloomsday Run fulfills these conditions. Although Chepkurui ran a 38:07 two weeks later on May 16, 2010 at the Bay to Breakers (presumably the fastest 12 km ever for a woman), the course is not considered a "record quality course" in that the start and finish are separated by approximately 10.5 linear kilometers.
- Payne, Bob (March 15, 1977). "Lilac Bloomsday Run - Kardong creation". Spokesman-Review. p. 17.
- Payne, Bob (May 1, 1977). "It's 'Bloomsday' – and Spokane's ready to run". Spokesman-Review. p. D1.
- Payne, Bob (May 2, 1977). "Horde of runners captures Spokane". Spokesman-Review. p. 1.
- "Lilac Bloomsday 12 km Race Winners (41 runnings)". ARRS. 10 May 2017. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Morgan, Kelsie (7 May 2019). "35,233 people cross Bloomsday finish line, lowest turnout in 35 years". KXLY. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- Reang, Putsata (May 6, 1996). "Harmonious convergence". Spokesman-Review. p. A1.
- "Lilac Bloomsday Run". Bloomsday. 9 May 2021. Retrieved 2015-09-21.
- Richardson, Jared (2 May 2010). "Chepkurui sets world record on Bloomsday course - News Story - KXLY Spokane". kxly.com. Archived from the original on 3 May 2010. Retrieved 3 May 2010.CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
- "100 Metres - men - senior - outdoor - 2014". iaaf.org. Retrieved 2014-08-07.
- "ARRS ROAD RECORDS". ARRS. 26 March 2000. Retrieved 16 July 2021.
- "Association of Road Racing Statisticians". ARRS. Retrieved 2014-08-07.
- Payne, Bob (May 8, 1978). "Spokane streets jammed with mass of humanity". Spokesman-Review. p. 1.
- Gerheim, Earl (May 7, 1979). "10,000 runners cram the streets of Spokane". Spokesman-Review. p. 1.
- Mills, Judy (May 3, 1982). "'Twas bloomin' beauty of a run for over 22,000". Spokesman-Review. p. 1.
- Morlin, Bill (May 7, 1984). "Bloomsday's 30,465 sets record". Spokesman-Review. p. 1.
- "Rodgers wins Spokane run". Eugene Register-Guard. Associated Press. May 8, 1978. p. 6C.
- "New course for Bloomsday Run". Spokesman-Review. February 26, 1980. p. 20.