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Lilac Bloomsday Association’s mission statement: To promote national and international sports competition and fitness education for the civic betterment, social improvement, and physical well-being of the general public.

Kardong new Bloomsday Race Director; thirteen-year veteran Karen Heaps to retire

Aug 26, 2004

Spokane, WA—Bloomsday founder Don Kardong has been hired to take over race director duties of the Lilac Bloomsday Run following the retirement of veteran Race Coordinator Karen Heaps. Kardong has been active as a Board Member and Elite Athlete Coordinator since founding the race in 1977, but this will be his first time as the event’s director.


“Obviously I have a strong interest in Bloomsday’s ongoing success,” said Kardong, “and I look forward to working with our Board of Directors, committee members and nearly 5,000 other volunteers in organizing the best possible event for the community.”


Kardong was chosen by the Bloomsday Board of Directors to take over the Bloomsday reins following the retirement of Karen Heaps after this year’s event. Heaps, who has served as Bloomsday Race Coordinator since 1992, helped direct the event through thirteen highly successful years, including 1996, when the event had its largest attendance of 61,298 entrants. She will be on the job through the end of August.


“Karen helped Bloomsday enjoy tremendous success over the years,” said Bloomsday President Al Odenthal, “And we look forward to a similar string of successful Bloomsdays under Don’s leadership.”


In taking over as Bloomsday Race Director, Kardong will be leaving his job as Executive Director of the Children’s Museum of Spokane, a position he has held since July 2002.


Next year’s Lilac Bloomsday Run, the 29th running of the popular 12-kilometer events, is scheduled for May 1, 2005.


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