Every year, Bloomsday is filled with traditions that've been built up for more than 40 years of race history, from the coveted finisher shirts to the booths, parties and music around the 12K race across Spokane that the crowds have come to know and love.
But there are always a few new things, from new twists on continuing traditions to features that haven't been around before and tools or course changes meant to help things go smoothly. For 2018, here's what's new:
This year you can add location-specific race filters to your Snaps while walking or running the race. From the start and finish lines to Doomsday Hill and the "one mile to go" mark, you'll be able to change your Snaps with geofilters and keep an eye on the day's events at Bloomsday's official account.
Vulture Bloomsday Scene Medal
For a few years now, finishers have had the option of buying souvenir finisher medals (either generic or engraved with their name and race time) featuring popular scenes from the course. Each medal features a new scene, and for 2018, it's a rendering of Bill Robinson's vulture: You'll recognize him as the big bird who's perched at the top of Doomsday Hill every year since 1987.
"It's our coolest looking medal," says Don Kardong, Bloomsday founder and race director.
Restrictions on Monroe Bridge
No one will be able to access the finish line on Monroe Street Bridge other than race finishers and officials this year. In the past, people who were watching the race could cross the bridge from the north or the south, but for security reasons this year, organizers are asking that spectators gather near the course's final turn at Broadway onto Monroe to watch the end of the race.
Newsletter and Birthday Greetings
Since January, for people who've participated before or signed up to receive updates, Bloomsday has been sending out newsletters twice a month and wishing people a happy birthday with reminders to sign up ahead of the race, the first Sunday in May. The efforts have led to an earlier surge of sign ups this year, Bloomsday staff reports.
2018 Charity Partner: Spokane Guilds' School and Neuromuscular Center
While Bloomsday supports various charities each year, there's always an official charity that runners get the option to donate to when they sign up, and this year that charity is Spokane Guilds' School and Neuromuscular Center. The 57-year-old nonprofit helps kids, from birth to 3 years old, who have developmental disabilities and delays. The nonprofit provides high-quality early intervention teaching techniques, helps families struggling to pay for costs of care for their children and provides a variety of therapies, classes and other services for kids and families.
Check the results
Watch the Inlander on May 10 for overall Bloomsday 2018 winners and results. Bloomsday and the Inlander will not be publishing a separate post-race results booklet, but all runners' times are available online. To check your own time, log into bloomsdayrun.org anytime after the race on May 6.