From FREE Training Clinics to a ridiculously low entry fee of $17, Bloomsday is a race that undoubtedly gives back to the community in which it exists. Race Director and 1976 Olympian, Don Kardong said that he takes pride in offering an affordable race that does not cut corners in order to do so.
Bloomsday takes place the first Sunday in May and hosts in excess of 50,000 runners annually.
The free training clinics are made up of over 1,000 runners and folks who look forward to calling themselves runners. These runners are made up of the fast, slow, middle-of-the-packer, as well as the young and old.
“This race is about promoting fitness within the family” said Kardong. The Kids Fitness Program runs for 10 weeks and has an enrollment of 8,000 children.
4 Things That Separate Bloomsday 12K From The Rest Of The Field
1) Several races boast to host a corporate challenge. The Bloomsday 12K has a serious competition that draws over 250 teams who vie for the Corporate Cup. Kardong says “these teams receive first class treatment similar to the elite men and women” who cover the hilly course at blistering speeds. These teams toe the line next to the elite field and enjoy a VIP type area for their post race festivities.
2) One of the greatest parts of the Bloomsday 12K is the prize purse allotted to the wheelchair competitors. Enough said.
3) What other race has a picture catalogue of race day shirts and posters that dates back more than 30 years?
4) Kardong also addressed the issue of Bloomsday going GREEN. From compostable drinking cups to virtual goodie bags, Kardong said “it is our goal to minimize our footprint”.
In keeping with the giving tradition, Kardong and his staff recognize the importance of supporting the elite athletes that venture to Spokane to compete with the best the world has to offer. This course has been travelled upon by the likes of world record holders and Olympians. The prize purse is significant, thus attracting athletes that as Kardong says, will inspire the younger generation.
While health and wellness is certainly at the forefront of Bloomsday’s mission, the impact on the Spokane region spans into the economic sector as well. It was estimated that Bloomsday created an economic impact of over $14 million in 2010.
If you are planning on visiting Spokane, check out visitspokane.com for more information on where to stay and what to do.
About the Author: Brandon Laan is a runner, coach, and entrepreneur. He spent his undergraduate days at The University of Western Ontario where he captained the Cross Country Team before fleeing to Hawaii Pacific University for graduate school. He is a Level II Certified USATF coach and holds personal bests of 1:06 and 2:21 in the Half Marathon and Marathon respectively. He also enjoys running to eat, not eating to run…and always will.