Bloomsday: 50,000 stories, maybe more

Bloomsday 2019

click to enlarge YOUNG KWAK PHOTO
Young Kwak photo

Spokane has its running heroes. It has its national high school cross-country teams and its star distance runners. It has its Gerry Lindgrens and its Pat Tysons and its Don Kardongs. But even though Kardong started Bloomsday, it isn't really about them. Bloomsday is about the masses.

Bloomsday is about the little tiny dot — the one that takes a magnifying glass to see — in the helicopter crowd photo of T.J. Meenach bridge. Because that little dot has a whole Bloomsday story to tell. It may be a story about side aches or shin splints or bathroom breaks or glory chafing or personal-record attempts or hopes or glory or the mounting certainty that it was, in fact, a mistake to run seven-plus miles dressed as Ms. Pac-Man.

And then you zoom out, and you realize there are 50,000 dots, 50,000 separate Bloomsday adventures every single year. And then you zoom out of further and you see all the people on the sidelines, the people who won't get a shirt but are just as much a part of the Bloomsday experience as anyone else.

So then, consider this issue a paper-cup-full-of-water toast to all the little dots out there, to the more than 50,000 little stories that make up Bloomsday. To the stroller dads. To the barefoot joggers. To those who run through the pain, to those who walk to avoid it. And most of all, to those heroes on the sideline, who hand out bananas and beer and donuts and Otter Pops to the crowd.

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About The Author

A lifelong Spokane native, staff writer Daniel Walters is the Inlander's City Hall reporter. But he also reports on a wide swath of other topics, including business, education, real estate development, land use, and other stories throughout North Idaho and Spokane County.He's reported on deep flaws in the Washington...