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A Blooming Good Time
May 7, 2007


It was the first weekend in May, and there was a chill in the air. We had just arrived at a hotel in Spokane, Wash., and were unpacking our bags. While most people in the Inland Northwest were still wearing long pants and light sweaters, we were laying out shorts and tank tops for the Bloomsday Race the next morning. It would be an early start to a long, long day where the highest temperature reached no more than a chilly 66°F (19°C).

After we unpacked, we took a walk to the Spokane Convention Center to collect our race numbers and look around the booths of various running gear and sports-related displays before going to dinner. It was Cinco de Mayo, so we knew we’d be eating well – and that it would be a long wait at the nearest Azteca. But wait we did, and it was well worth it.

Later that evening we were off to see Morrissey in concert at the Big Easy. It was standing-room only by the time we arrived. After a rather eclectic support act consisting of a woman who enjoyed shouting to her thrashing metal music, Morrissey appeared on stage with his band and proceeded to entertain us in great style for the rest of the evening. Paul, having seen Morrissey perform 20 years previously in his heyday with The Smiths, was pleased to see he had lost little of his stage presence.

Waking before the sun the next morning, we got ready for the race then had a quick breakfast. Then, it was a mile walk to get to the race line-up. With 44,000+ race participants it was quite the crowd! The race line-up is based on previous race times, with faster runners at the front, and “walkers” at the back. Because neither of us had race times, we were at the back of the pack with the walkers. That, of course, meant waiting for a while before we were able to cross the start line – and shivering from the chill in the air.

Once we got going, there was a lot of weaving in and out of groups of walkers – each of us at our own pace. With 12k ahead of us, it wasn’t long before the chill in the air was a blessing! By the time the race was over, less than 40,000 people crossed the finish line. We knew that we had to finish because that was the only way to get the “free” t-shirt. At the end, we both finished with better times than we’d hoped for – and with luck, those finishing times will put us closer to the front of the line-up next year! (See the stats for Paul and Frances.)

Now that we know what to expect, we are looking forward to next year’s race on May 4. We may not be so afraid of “Doomsday Hill” this time around …

Check out the Ryan Road Race Record for more races we've run.

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