Is It Safe? Are They Actually Running?
Spokane, WA—The 40th Bloomsday celebrations will kick off this Sunday, April 17th with the Perennial Run on the original 1977 Bloomsday course. Some people may wonder what these “old folks” are doing as they pass by the slow-moving runners (perhaps walkers or shufflers is a more appropriate description). Officially there are 92 living Perennials, and about two dozen have chosen to participate in this historic running of the original course.
A Bloomsday Perennial is one who has participated in all 39 Bloomsdays to date, which is an amazing feat. The Perennials have been available, healthy enough, and in Spokane on the first Sunday in May for 39 consecutive years! The oldest is 92 years young and the youngest is 51 years old.
“There are other historic runs like Bloomsday around the country with runners who have done every one,” said Bloomsday Race Director Don Kardong, who is one of the Perennials. “But it’s almost always just one or two people. Bloomsday is really unique in having over ninety.”
The Perennials will line up and start with the Race for the Cure participants at 9:00 am, travel the first half mile with Race for the Cure, then head onto the Maple Street Bridge. To add to the historic event, Shelly Monahan-Cain, who rode the lead vehicle as KJRB’s Sunshine Shelly in the first Bloomsday, will again ride the lead vehicle as the Perennials travel across the Maple Street Bridge.
From there, they’ll head west on Broadway, around Summit, down Pettet (Doomsday), up Meenach, along Northwest Boulevard, south on Ash to Broadway, then Broadway east to the north entrance to Riverfront Park, finishing at the Clock Tower. Perennials are asked to stay on the sidewalks so streets can remain open for traffic. A celebration will be hosted at the Davenport Grand at the conclusion of the run to honor these amazing people.
The Perennials will have two weeks to recover in time to run their 40th Bloomsday on May 1. Anyone else planning to run or walk this year’s Bloomsday can enter online for the low $18.00 fee until midnight this Sunday, after which the fee climbs to $35.00.
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