April 23, 2014—Collect them, trade them, or carry them in your wallet to show your friends. Bloomsday has produced eight new “character trading cards” this year to go along with the eight that were distributed last year.
“Every year Bloomsday is a parade of 50,000 unique characters,” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong. “We feel that the trading cards underscore that fact, although we don’t expect our actual participants to look quite as extraordinary as the ones on the cards.”
There are eight cards in the 2014 set, each featuring an imaginary Bloomsday "character." This year’s set includes Humun Gus ("Larger than life!”), Green Jean ("Recycling Queen"), Holly Roller (“A need for speed!”), Willy Gaits (“Runs with windows!”), Hydrate Kate (“Water aid specialist”), Jay Walker (“Sets his own pace”), Starlet Johansen (“Runs the Red Carpet”), and Oxy Gen (“It’s all about the breathing!”).
In addition to the characters on the front, the backs of the cards feature fun Bloomsday facts and stats. The back of Green Jean’s card states that over a ton of discarded water cups from Bloomsday water stations are composted each year, and Humun Gus tell us that in 1988 it was estimated that the calories expended by Bloomsday participants were equal to 11,390 pounds of fat!
The cards were designed by Steve Merryman of Sigma, the company that produces most of Bloomsday’s ads and printed materials. Trading cards were distributed to participants of the Fit for Bloomsday youth running and walking program as rewards last year, and according to coaches they were a huge it. Most of the 2014 cards have been distributed to the coaches as well, and the rest will be mailed out before the program is completed on Friday of Bloomsday week. The crazy characters have also been busy promoting the race by appearing in print ads in magazines in the region.
The good news is you don't have to be a Fit for Bloomsday participant to relive your childhood days of swapping and collecting trading cards. All eight 2014 cards will be available at Bloomsday sponsor booths at the Trade Show May 2-3.
Characters still wishing to sign up for Bloomsday will find late online registration available for $35.00 (plus processing fee) through next Sunday, April 27th. After that, late registration is available for $35.00 during regular Check-In hours at the Convention Center on Bloomsday weekend.