The Lilac Bloomsday Association presents the 43rd running of the Lilac Bloomsday Run.
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Through Bloomsday 2018, 82 people had done every Bloomsday. We call them the Perennials, and they're listed under Results, Perennials.
Founder Don Kardong chose the name, which is a joining of Spokane's favorite flower to the word James Joyce scholars use to describe the day events in the novel Ulysses take place. Confused? Intrigued? Read on...
According to Kardong, a road race is an odyssey, not unlike the one Ulysses endured in his return to Ithaca after the Trojan War, a journey described in great detail by the Greek poet Homer. In 1917 James Joyce wrote "Ulysses" about one day in the life of a man (Leopold Bloom) in Dublin, Ireland. Bloom spends the day wandering through the streets of Dublin in a rough parallel of his Greek counterpart Ulysses, and that day (June 16) has become known to Joyce scholars and aficionados as "Bloomsday."
The 7-1/2-mile odyssey through the streets of Spokane was dubbed The Lilac Bloomsday Run, combining Spokane's moniker "The Lilac City" with the premise of Joyce's novel, which is that ordinary people are involved in unassuming and yet heroic journeys every day of their lives. A citizen who travels 7-1/2 miles on the first Sunday of May encounters trials, hazards and monsters during his or her odyssey through the Lilac City before ending up back home.
The Lilac Bloomsday Run is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Net proceeds are invested in future Bloomsday Runs. Bloomsday also supports a designated charity every year.
The Lilac Bloomsday Run is not affiliated with the Lilac Festival. Their website is www.spokanelilacfestival.org. You can also reach festival organizers at (509) 535-4554.
If your Bloomsday questions have not been answered here (or in the rest of this website) you can email your questions directly to the Bloomsday Office.
Yes! Bloomsday encourages the participation of anyone capable of completing the 12-kilometer distance, including children. Running is a safe activity, and every year thousands of kids successfully run, jog or walk the Bloomsday course. At a time when youth fitness nationally is in decline, parents in the Spokane region have a great opportunity to motivate kids by encouraging them to get in shape to complete the 7.46-mile Bloomsday Run. We leave it to parents and guardians to decide whether a child is mature enough to enjoy the challenge, and sufficiently trained and capable of going the distance.
But please note: To make sure kids have a safe and positive experience, Bloomsday discourages participants age 12 and younger from competing for a fast time or place. While we know competition can be a great motivator and lots of fun, the large number of adult runners in Bloomsday increases the risk to children who are trying to run as fast as possible. In addition, anecdotal evidence indicates that competition over long distances does not help prepubescent youngsters develop into more successful adolescent or adult runners, and more often leads to early "burn-out." Kids are also more susceptible to heat-related problems, and when the urge to compete overrides the body’s signals to slow down, trouble lies ahead.
For these reasons, Bloomsday believes that participation for those age 12 and under should focus on enjoyment rather than competition. Going the distance is the key, and preparation is encouraged. To underscore this, Bloomsday will not seed runners to the front of the pack until they’re at least 13 years of age, no matter how talented they are. In addition, Bloomsday will not publish comparative placing in divisions below age 13. In our book, every kid who runs, jogs, walks or wheels 7.46 miles is a winner. And we encourage parents to make sure that message comes through loud and clear.
There are several ways to enter Bloomsday.
You can enter online beginning in January. Please note: a $2.49 processing fee will be added to all online entries ($3.89 for all late entries).
The online registration deadline for the $22.00 fee is April 21. Late online registration is available from April 22 through 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4th. The fee is $40.00 (plus processing fee) through May 2, and $45.00 (no processing fee) on May 3 & 4. Those who register late on April 22 or 23 will pick up their packets at the normal Check-In tables on Bloomsday weekend.
If you register on April 24-29, pick up your packet at the Special Will Call booth no later than 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. If you register from April 30 through May 4, pick up your packet at the Late Registration table no later than 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.
Late registration is also available in person for $45.00 (no processing fee) at the Spokane Convention Center until 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. There is no late registration on Sunday, May 5.
Enter by Mail (must be postmarked by April 16):
Entry brochures will be available in early March, and can be found at Washington Trust branches, Safeway & Albertsons stores, and Franz Outlet Stores in the Spokane area. Beginning in March you can also download the entry form to mail in from our Register by Mail page. You can also request an entry brochure by sending a SASBE (Self Addressed Stamped Business Envelope) to:
Mail-in entries must be postmarked by Tuesday, April 16.
Printed Bloomsday entry forms will be available throughout the Spokane region and the Northwest (almost any running store will have them), as well as in Canada, beginning about March 1, 2019. Key locations are listed below. (We advise calling before making a special trip to any location to pick up an entry form--businesses do run out!)
Or, beginning March 1, you can download an entry form.
Washington Trust Bank--All branch locations in Spokane, Columbia Basin, Wenatchee, Tri-Cities and North Idaho.
Safeway & Albertsons Stores--In Spokane, Spokane Valley and Coeur d'Alene.
Franz Bakery Outlets--In Spokane at Fancher Road, Market Street, Sprague Avenue (Valley), & Monroe Street. Idaho: Coeur d'Alene and Lewiston. Other Washington locations: Moses Lake, Yakima, Kennewick, Wenatchee, & Walla Walla.
Premera Blue Cross--Spokane location.
Holy Family Hospital & Sacred Heart Medical Center--Spokane.
...in CANADA--Gord's Running Store (Calgary), Runners Soul (Lethbridge).
...in SEATTLE--Super Jock 'n' Jill; Boeing
...in EVERETT, WASHINGTON--Lady Footlocker, GTE Fitness Center
...in PULLMAN, WASHINGTON--WSU CUB, Absolute Fitness
...in COLFAX, WASHINGTON--Colfax Chamber of Commerce
...in WALLA WALLA, WASHINGTON--Walla Walla Chamber of Commerce, Cummings Athletics
...in YAKIMA, WASHINGTON--Yakima Athletic Club, Big 5 Sporting Goods, Baby Jogger
...in COLVILLE, WASHINGTON--Clark's All Sports
...in THE TRI-CITIES, WASHINGTON--Tri City Court, Pasco Parks & Rec
...in POST FALLS, IDAHO--Famous Footwear
...in MOSCOW, IDAHO--Tri-State Distributors
...in SUN VALLEY, IDAHO--Sun Valley Athletic Club
...in BOISE, IDAHO--Bandanna Running & Walking, Athlete's Foot
...in PORTLAND, OREGON--Eastside Pace Setter, GI Joe's, Nike Town, Foot Traffic, Fleet Feet Sports
...in BEAVERTON, OREGON--Pace Setter Athletic
...in MISSOULA, MONTANA--High Country Sports
...in HELENA, MONTANA--Another Mile
...in KALISPELL, MONTANA--Universal Athletics
If you enter by the on-time deadline, the fee is $22.00. For online entries, a processing fee of $2.49 is added. Late registration is available online from Monday, April 22 through 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, as well as in person at Check-In . The late online registration fee from April 22 through May 2 is $40.00 plus a processing fee of $3.89. Late entry on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 is $45.00 (processing fee included). Late entrants must pick up their packets at Check-In before 6:30 on Saturday, May 4 (except for out-of-town entrants)
If you miss the on-time deadline, late registration is available online from Monday, April 22 through 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4, as well as in person at Check-In . The late online registration fee from April 22 through May 2 is $40.00 plus a processing fee of $3.89. Late entry on Friday, May 3 and Saturday, May 4 is $45.00 (no processing fee).
Note for late online registrations: If you register late on April 22 or 23, you will pick up your packet at the normal Check-In desks. If you register on April 24-29, pick up your packet at the Special Will Call booth no later than 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4. If you register from April 30 through May 4, pick up your packet at the Late Registration table no later than 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 4.
There is no late registration on Sunday, May 5th.
Yes, if you entered online. Just choose the Registration/Register Online link on the left side of Bloomsday’s home page (www.bloomsdayrun.org), and then follow the information under the box ("Need to change information?”). You’ll need to know the email address and password you used (or that someone else used) when you signed up. This option is only available for online entrants, and only until April 21st.
Unfortunately, orders for souvenir shirts, 43rd-year medal, hats, visors and other add-ons can’t be changed.
If your entry was mailed (or if you entered online but this is later that April 21st), you’ll need to wait until race weekend to make any changes to the information you provided. First, pick up your race number, then go to the Solutions desk and ask for the information to be changed. If you’re requesting a change to a faster starting group, it helps to bring information verifying your ability (e.g. copies of results from other events).
T-shirt selections do not need to be corrected (we use the information to place the order, but you can select any size you want at T-shirt distribution after you finish).
The times associated with each color group, and the color groups themselves, aren’t determined until all the entries are in. Basically the computer divides the entire field into six groups based on the amount of space for each color at the start, as well as estimated finish times and other information we have available for each individual from past Bloomsdays, but that isn’t possible until all the information has been collected.
We'll notify online entrants of their color group a few days before Bloomsday, by which time we'll have all the entries processed. Entrants who mail in their entries won't be able to receive notification in advance, but will find out their color group when they check in on Bloomsday weekend.
They're welcome! For safety reasons, operators and occupants of strollers, Baby Joggers, and non-competitive wheelchairs MUST line up in the Red section and MUST WALK the entire course. In addition, anyone with a Red number, even if not pushing a stroller or chair, must walk the entire course. Any operator or occupant of a stroller or wheelchair, and anyone wearing a red number, whose net finish time is faster than 1:40 will not be timed and may be disqualified.
Also, both operators and occupants must be officially entered by paying the entry fee. That way everyone's time will be recorded, and everyone will receive a finisher's T-shirt. Your infant or toddler may not be able to wear that shirt now, but he or she will thank you for it later!
Due to the method used to process entries that are mailed, we can't keep groups together for entries that arrive in the mail. Mailed entries are seeded individually based on information we have for each entrant and the amount of space available for each color group at the start. Unfortunately, this sometimes means runners who mail in their entries together and list the same estimated finish time may be seeded into different color groups.
The simplest way to keep a group of runners together is for everyone to enter online at the same time (or for the same person to do all the registrations for the group), because there's a way for us to keep online registrants together (see instructions during the online entry process). In that case, your group will all be seeded to the color group of the person in your group with the slowest qualifying time.
If you pick up your number at Check-In and you find that you’re not in the same group with people you want to participate with, keep in mind that you’re allowed to move BACK to a color group that starts later than yours. You can’t move forward to a faster color group, but it’s fine to move back. So if members of your group don’t have the same color, you don’t need to do anything other than move back on race morning to the color group of the member of your group who starts latest.
If moving back isn’t an acceptable solution for some reason, please ask volunteers at the Solutions desk at Check-In for assistance.
The deadline to register your team is Friday, March 22, 2019 or when the number of paid teams reaches 325, whichever comes first. Almost every year Corporate Cup fills up within a few hours, so please enter early to make sure your team is included! The deadline for team members to confirm their registration is Monday, March 25, 2019.
You can read the Corporate Cup Entry Rules by clicking here.
Bloomsday starts in waves. The first few groups are competitive wheelchair racers, beginning at 8:30 a.m. They're followed at 8:45 by elite (prize money) women. The first large group, which includes Elite, Second Seed, and Corporate Cup starts at 9:00 a.m. Entrants with yellow, green, orange, blue and red numbers start at intervals after that (to be determined on race morning). Timing of each runner will begin when he/she crosses the starting line, and ends when he/she crosses the finish.
For more information on Bloomsday starting procedures and estimated starting times for different color groups, click here.
Downtown businesses are open and eager for visitors on Bloomsday weekend, and there's plenty of parking. Plan to do some shopping or dining, then drop by the Convention Center to pick up your race number. For downtown Spokane parking information, view the parking map. For information on parking close to the Convention Center, click here.
Parking is more limited on Bloomsday morning due to street closures, but there are a number of options. Many downtown parking lots are open, and the Spokane Arena also has parking available (just a short walk through Riverfront Park to the starting areas). In addition, thousands of Bloomies take special bus shuttles to and from the start/finish each year. If you'd like to join them, contact STA at 509-328-RIDE, or visit the STA booth at the Bloomsday Trade Show for information and tickets.
No. Bloomsday numbers are not like a ticket to a show or concert. We need to know that the person with the number is the same person whose name and information is in our database. This is a matter of safety. Also, running with another person's number ruins the race results, since the person using the number might be a different gender and age from the person who originally entered.
If someone else wears your number, there is a possibility that that person and YOU will both be disqualified from running Bloomsday for up to five years.
The course closes at 1:30 p.m., or when the sweep vehicle passes, whichever comes first. If you haven't reached the finish line by that time, you can keep going as long as you move off the roadway onto the sidewalk. Traffic will be allowed back on the streets, volunteers will begin cleaning up and packing up, but you can keep going anyway. Just move to the sidewalk and follow all traffic laws while completing your journey.
If you complete the course after the finish line has closed and you don't receive a T-shirt, please contact the Bloomsday office after Tuesday to make arrangements for your shirt.
Yellow Starting Group - Special Notice:
The Yellow starting group will only be available to runners who have run 1:12 or faster in any Bloomsday since 2015 to the present. If you have a qualifying time and list an estimated finish time of 1:12 or faster when you enter, yellow seeding should be automatically assigned to you.
If you do not have a Bloomsday time (2015-2018) that is under 1:12, you may still qualify for the Yellow start by providing proof of your recent participation (within the past two years) in any accurately measured race 5 miles or longer, with a finishing time averaging 9:40 pace or better. After entering Bloomsday through the mail or online, mail verification separately (copy of results) to:
Bloomsday Seeding Committee
1414 N. Belt St.
Spokane, WA 99201
This information must be received at the Bloomsday office no later than April 21.
You may also be able to receive Yellow seeding by bringing verification of recent qualifying performances to the Solutions desk at Bloomsday Check-In on race weekend.
You'll receive this information when you pick up your runner number on Bloomsday weekend. For a schedule of when you can pick up your number, click here.
The Lilac Bloomsday Run has been held in all kinds of weather, so dress accordingly. Average temperature at the start is approximately 50 degrees, but it has occasionally been in the high 70s. We have also started with snow on the streets.
We don't ever anticipate having to cancel or reschedule Bloomsday. However, it's conceivable that there may one day be conditions--either because of extreme weather or due to some other unforseen difficulty--that will cause the run to be cancelled. This will only be done if, in the judgment of the Lilac Bloomsday Association, holding the event would risk the health or safety of participants.
Water stations are located periodically along the course. Both sides of the street will have water. The 1st water aid station is at Greenwood Cemetery, the 2nd at Spokane Falls Community College, 3rd is at the top of Pettet (Doomsday) hill. The 4th is on Broadway & Nettleton. The 5th is located past the finish line, before the T-shirt distribution areas.
T-shirts are awarded only to finishers, not entrants. T-shirt distribution is located a short distance after the finish line. Both sides of the street have all sizes. Only one shirt per person. Each finisher must pick up his/her own T-shirt. Please have the T-shirt tag removed from your runner number and ready to turn in to volunteers. No tag, no T-shirt!
If you officially entered Bloomsday, had your bib number on, and completed the course, you should show up in both online and postcard results. If you don't show up, it may mean:
1) You started before your color group was authorized to start.
2) You weren't wearing your bib number (with tags on the back).
3) You were disqualified for running while pushing a stroller or wheelchair.
4) You were assigned a red number but you ran at least some of the course.
5) Your timing tags didn't function properly.
There are several reasons why this may happen: You may have checked "do not send" on your registration form or during online registration; the address entered may be incorrect (or incomplete - missing apt. # for instance); perhaps you moved, leaving no forwarding address; the entry form was illegible or damaged; the zip code was incorrect. Our data entry volunteers try very hard to get everything right, but sometimes this happens despite everyone's best efforts.