Bloomsday founder Kardong to retire in 2019

Bloomsday founder Kardong to retire in 2019
Bloomsday founder Don Kardong to be awarded King Cole Award by Leadership Spokane

The 2019 Lilac Bloomsday Run will be the last for Don Kardong. The Bloomsday founder and Race Director announced Friday he will retire after the May 5 race.

“It’s been a privilege to be associated with Bloomsday all these years, and to have worked with so many great people who donate their time to make it happen,” said Kardong. “I may be leaving the race director position, but I plan to continue to be involved after I retire.”

Jon Neill, a longtime Bloomsday Association board member and the Elite Athlete Coordinator for the race, will take over as Race Director.

“I couldn’t be happier with Jon Neill taking over as Race Director,” said Kardong. “Jon’s contributions began when he was an intern at our officer building during his college days. And since then, he’s helped in almost every facet of the event. He’ll do a super job at Race Director.”

Kardong, who ran the marathon in the 1976 Olympics, has been an instrumental force in the development of Bloomsday from its inception in 1977. He has served at Race Director since 2004.

2019 will mark the 43rd running of Bloomsday, a 12 kilometer run with ten of thousands of participants each year.

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