Bloomsday 2020 moves to all-virtual format as pandemic risks remain high

click to enlarge Bloomsday won't look like this in 2020.
Bloomsday won't look like this in 2020.
When the pandemic arrived in early spring, local event organizers held on to hope that moving dates out on the calendar by a few months or more would mean the high risk to public health inherent of large gatherings would have abated by then.

As summer ticks on, that hopeful outlook has faded as quickly as the rise of record-breaking COVID-19 case counts and deaths in the U.S. (Today the nation's death toll surpassed 150,000.)

Along with Hoopfest, the Spokane County Interstate Fair and dozens of local music, art and community festivals, the 44th Bloomsday road race has become yet another 2020 coronavirus cancellation.

Today, organizers announced that instead of rescheduling the race for September 20, just under two months away, the 7.46-mile running event is becoming an entirely virtual experience.

"Even though you won’t be able to enjoy the company of thousands of others coursing through the streets of Spokane, you can still run, walk or wheelchair your own Bloomsday wearing your 2020 race number (tie-dye and most certainly a collector’s piece) and earn your famed finisher T-shirt as part of the first-ever Virtual Bloomsday race," says a press release about the decision.

Unless you defer your 2020 entry to next year (log in to your account by Aug. 8 to make changes), you'll stay signed up for Virtual Bloomsday, an option that was previously offered as an alternative to showing up for the event (when it was still on) in person.

While those who opt to run Bloomsday on their own don't need to change anything, race organizers still recommend checking to make sure a mailing address on file is current.

Those who stay signed up will then get a commemorative race number via mail in late August or early September, along with any souvenir merchandise purchased online, and instructions on how to participate in the virtual event, happening Sept. 18 through 20.

On those dates, "Virtual Bloomies" will run or walk a 12 kilometer (7.46 miles) route of their choosing — it doesn't have to be the official Bloomsday route through downtown and West Central Spokane; in fact, anyone in the world can partake in this special one-off. Upon completing your route, log your finish time online to get your 2020 finisher T-shirt in the mail at a later date.

For those who still want to register for this year's virtual version of the race, entry is open through Aug. 26 and costs $25.

For answers to frequently asked questions, head to Bloomsday's website for more details on how this year's race will be carried out.

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About The Author

Chey Scott

Chey Scott is the Inlander's Associate Editor, overseeing and contributing to the paper's arts and culture sections, including food and events. Chey (pronounced "Shay") is a lifelong resident of the Spokane area and a graduate of Washington State University. She's been on staff at the Inlander since 2012...