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Changing Colors
May 5, 2008

Bye bye to lilac; hello to yellow and orange! Yes, we've become real runners – the Bloomsday race organizers said so! You see, this was our second year running the annual event held in Spokane, Wash., every May for 32 years. As we were first-time Bloomies last year, we had to start the race in Lilac color group at the back of the pack – a pack of 44,000+ participants. But our finishing times from last year were enough to upgrade our status to yellow and orange for this year's event: yellow for Paul, the "best" group for non-elite runners to be in; and orange for Frances, the third of six non-elite groups (there must be something to that order …).

After breakfast at the hotel, we walked to the starting line. The weather was certainly nice – and thankfully we'd remembered to use sun block before heading out! This year's race started with more than 47,000 participants and ended with less than 43,000 people crossing the finish line. Unlike last year, we didn’t have as much of a wait before crossing the starting line. Paul, in his yellow group, got to start the race within five minutes of the elite runners; Frances, in her orange group, started about 20 minutes later. The weather was much better than last year’s race so the waiting time wasn’t spent shivering in the cold.

Another bonus to the new color groups was that the majority of the people starting around us were running – not walking – and there were less of them. This meant that we were not crammed in like sardines and didn’t have to zigzag around slower participants in an effort to get in front of the pack. Much more civilized. We are both pleased to say that our finishing times have improved from last year’s race, and are looking forward to continuing our training for next year.

Check out the stats for Paul and Frances, or visit the Ryan Road Race Record page to see other races we’ve run.

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