Friday, February 26, 2016

LOTS OF EXCITEMENT IN STORE FOR THE 40TH BLOOMSDAY!


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 23, 2016
Contact Don Kardong, Race Director—(509)838-1579



The Lilac Bloomsday Association is proud to announce that 2016 is our 40th year!  From our humble beginning on May 1st, 1977, with just over 1,000 finishers in the approximately 8-mile run, to an anticipated 50,000 participants in 2016, we have a lot to celebrate!

“Forty years running is a milestone worthy of celebration,” said Lilac Bloomsday President Steven Jones. “And while we promise that the essence of Bloomsday and the welcoming of spring that Bloomsday brings will not change, we are planning a few embellishments this year to make the 40th especially memorable.”

Special for the 40th Year:

•The FREE Bloomsday App is now available at the App store. Get instant access to schedule of events, registration, athlete tracking, live results, and much more.

•The Bloomsday Course Video produced by Outside Interactive of Hopkinton, Massachusetts is now available for purchase. Produced during the 2015 race, it allows those training for Bloomsday to enjoy the race experience during the other 364 days of the year using their iPad, Windows (requires footpod) or Android tablet.

•In honor of our 40 years, and with the support of local performers, we will be placing 40 (normally 30) bands and entertainers on the Bloomsday course, creating an even more festive, party atmosphere.

•Those who finish in a special “40” position in the online results posted on the evening after Bloomsday will be eligible for a drawing for one of forty 40-year gift packages, which include a $40.00 gift card from Bloomsday sponsor Sports Authority.

•Washington Trust will be sponsoring special selfie spots along the course, with selfie sticks for participants to use to capture the fun of Bloomsday ‘16.

•This year there is a new addition to the souvenir medal series of scenes along the course. The 2016 medal will show a rendering of Cemetery Hill (Government way), which some consider more challenging than Doomsday Hill.

•On April 17th the 92 perennials (those individuals who have finished ALL 39 Bloomsday races to date) will be invited to run the Inaugural  course, which crosses the Maple Street Bridge, travels DOWN Doomsday Hill, up Meenach Dr. to Northwest Blvd and finishes in Riverfront Park.

•As is tradition, the design and color of the finisher shirts will remain secret until the finish line. This year the coveted finisher shirts will have a new feel to them with a soft sporty cotton/poly blend.

All of this, and a few secret surprises that we aren’t ready to announce yet, will make the 40th year of Bloomsday an event not to miss.

The Race:
Bloomsday is a member of the PRRO Circuit of Major US road races. With 2016 being an Olympic year, the tradition of world-class runners and wheelchair racers battling it out for nearly $100,000 in prize money at the front of the pack has never been stronger.

In addition to the elite racers, over 325 businesses will race to be honored in the very competitive Corporate Cup, and top-ranked age-groupers will be laying it on the line for medals and bragging rights. Further back in the pack thousands of families and friends will be welcoming spring to Spokane with a festive 12-kilometer loop through the streets of Spokane.

Bloomsday is also supporting the efforts of the Spokane Regional Health District again this year by being designated an official smoke-free and vapor-free event. As an event that promotes health and fitness, Bloomsday encourages participants and spectators alike to help keep all events and venues smoke- and vapor-free on Bloomsday weekend.

Training for Bloomsday:
For the 4th consecutive year Bloomsday is partnered with Step Up and Go, a local non- profit working to improve the health of the Spokane Community. Their website, www.stepupandgo.org, offers weekly training plans for all abilities, from beginner walker to expert runner.

Providence Health offers its very popular Saturday Bloomsday Clinics at Spokane Falls Community College, beginning March 12. Whether you plan to walk, jog, or run Bloomsday, these clinics include expert information, a warm up, and a training course designed to get you in shape for theMay 1st event.

Those wanting to avoid training outside in the winter weather of the Inland Northwest can purchase the new Virtual Bloomsday Course. Download the FREE Virtual Runner App on an IPad, Windows or Android tablet. Purchase the Bloomsday course for $ 8.99. It allows runners and walkers to interactively train on the real Bloomsday course from a participant point of view, at their own pace. Practice running up Doomsday Hill, finishing on the Monroe Street Bridge and everything in between on any treadmill in the world.

Bloomsday is doing its part to develop a love for running in Spokane’s youth. The 11th annual Marmot March (always the Saturday before Bloomsday) believes you’re never too young to start running! This non-competitive 1 mile event for children 3rd grade and younger has been the springboard for many of Spokane’s talented high school runners. Registration form can be printed from our website, www.boomsday.org.

Just over 7,000 elementary school students ages 12 and under are learning about the importance of fitness, nutrition and safety in the Fit For Bloomsday…Fit for Life training program. The Fit for Bloomsday….Fit for Life program, which is sponsored by CHAS Health, is celebrating its 30th Anniversary. This 8-10 week training program is available at 70 regional elementary schools and is supported by Mobius Kids, Garland Theatre, and Riverfront Park.

Technology:
Since 2012 Bloomsday has used the B-tag, which is embedded in the race number. The tag allows us to record “time up Doomsday” as well as instant finishing results that can be posted to social media and smart phones. The B-tag is also used by the photographers along the course to match runners with photos. Those photos taken along the course by our official photographers will be available online FREE of charge and available for posting to Facebook, Instagram and other social media sites or to be printed at a location of the participant’s choice.

For the 2nd year Itron and Photoboxx have teamed up to offer all Bloomies FREE souvenir photo prints directly off their Twitter and Instagram accounts. Just include #bloomsdayrun in the description of a social media post and Photoboxx will automatically print the photos and have them available for pick up at their booth in Riverfront Park.
Trade Show
Bloomsday hosts one of the largest trade shows devoted to running, health and fitness, with 280 booth spaces and over 40,000 in attendance The trade show will be at the Spokane Convention Center on the Friday and Saturday prior to Bloomsday (April 29-30). It is free to the public and will offer hundreds of running, health and fitness displays and products, including 40th year Bloomsday souvenir apparel and merchandise for purchase.

2016 Charity:
Bloomsday’s official 2016 charity is the Salvation Army of Spokane, which serves more than 40,000 individuals each year by helping homeless and other families in crisis, providing food for the hungry, and offering educational and social service programs to the most vulnerable in our community. We encourage entrants to help the Salvation Army of Spokane continue its work helping individuals and families by adding a donation to their Bloomsday entry.

Major Sponsors:
Major Sponsors of Bloomsday ’16, who help keep the Bloomsday entry fee affordable for families ($18.00 this year, the lowest in the nation for a major running event), include Washington Trust Bank, New Balance, Premera Blue Cross, Providence Health, Franz Bakery, Sports Authority, The Inlander, Itron, OXARC, Albertsons/Safeway, BDO, The Davenport Grand and Corporate Cup Sponsor Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists. These community-minded sponsors are deserving of the thanks of all Bloomies.

Registration:
Online registration is open at www.bloomsdayrun.org, and printed brochures will be available soon at hundreds of locations around the Inland Northwest. Since January 1st over 7,000 have already registered. Online registration is encouraged and offers several benefits not available to mailed registrations: email a week before Bloomsday weekend that provides race number and starting color, the ability to keep family and friends together in the same starting group, and the ability to post instant finishing results to Facebook, Twitter, and mobile phones. The on-time entry fee is $18.00 until April 17. Mailed entries must be post marked by April 12 to avoid the late entry fee of $35.00. Three area Sports Authority stores will also be taking entry forms from March 1 until the entry deadline of April 12.

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Monday, February 8, 2016