‘The world’s best will be back on the streets of Spokane’: Bloomsday announces its elite runners

SPOKANE, Wash. — It’s a big weekend for Spokane, kicking off with the Paul McCartney concert on Thursday and ending with Bloomsday on Sunday. More than 22,000 runners will take to the streets on May 1 while 5,000 more will participate virtually.

Volunteers are busy at the Spokane Convention Center preparing everything for the check-in area and tradeshow. Volunteers are excited to be back together once again after the race took a hiatus due to the pandemic for the last two years.

Rand Palmer, a volunteer since the 1980s, participated in virtual Bloomsday but he says nothing beats being in-person.

“It’s a lot more fun when you have people around, and you get to see your friends,” he said.

Bloomsday announced its elite runners in the race ranging locally to Kenya, Costa Rica, Colombia, and more.

According to times from 2019, an elite male will finish the course in 35 minutes, while a woman will finish in 39 minutes.

“We are thrilled that the world’s best will be back on the streets of Spokane,” Bloomsday elite athlete coordinator Andy le Freic said.

However, you don’t need to be fast to participate in the Bloomsday Race.

“There are the runners, and there are the walkers, and there are the ones that jog and then walk depending on the uphill or downhill. But it’s just a fun event we expect the bands to be out on the course and everything is set to go,” Palmer said.

The race has the largest women field since 1998 this year. There are also 11 Paralympians who will participate in the race.

Before runners hit the course, they’ll grab their number bibs at the convention center. There is a slight change this year. Instead of finding your number by gender or last name it’ll be by the number itself. Runners should get their numbers sent to them by email, text or both. The runner can then find their bib by getting in line with their number range.

Thursday is the last day to register for the race at the $35 entry fee rate. After, the fee will go up to $50.

The check-in area and trade show open at 11:30 a.m. on Friday and 9 a.m. on Saturday.

READ: ‘Lots of excitement’: Bloomsday is back and better than ever after 2-year hiatus

READ: Everything you need to know a week before Bloomsday