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Gabriel Geay of Tanzania and Rosemary Wanjiru of Kenya won the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday 12K Run on Sunday

The pair of winners split a $10,000 “super bonus” for winning the culminating event on the 2019 PRRO Championship Circuit on top of their $7,000 purse for their Bloomsday win.

Geay won Bloomsday’s elite men’s race for the second time in three years.

The 22-year-old kicked ahead of Benard Ngeno late in the 43rd annual race, clocking in at 34 minutes, 50 seconds.

Geay, who finished 15th last year after taking the 2017 title, was neck and neck with Ngeno during the final stretch before outkicking the Kenyan on Monroe Street.

Geay is the sixth runner in Bloomsday history to win multiple men’s elite races.

Wanjiru, 24, was the women’s winner in an unofficial time of 39:05 in her first Bloomsday. She took a sizable lead on Doomsday Hill and opened it to 200 meters in the long straightaway down Broadway.

Second-place finisher Vicoty Chepngeno, 25 of Kenya, had just turned onto Monroe Street as Wanjiru crossed the finish line.

Wanjiru won the 2019 Cherry Blossom 10-mile run earlier this year, setting a record in the process.

Susannah Scaroni won the women’s elite wheelchair division in a course-record time of 29:58, breaking Tatyana McFadden’s time of 30:42. This is Scaroni’s fifth Bloomsday win.

The 28-year-old from Tekoa, Washington, was participating in her 14th Bloomsday. Scaroni participated in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games.

The elite men’s wheelchair race was won by Aaron Pike, 36, of Park Rapids, MN, in his eighth Bloomsday race. Pike is a dual sport paralympian and participated in the 2012 London and 2016 Rio Games. Pike had placed second at Bloomsday twice.

(05/06/2019) ⚡AMP
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Lilac Bloomsday 12K

Lilac Bloomsday 12K

The Lilac Bloomsday Run was born during the running boom that swept the nation in the late 1970s. Local runner Don Kardong, who moved to Spokane in 1974, competed in several national class road races before and after his participation in the 1976 Olympic Marathon, and in the fall of 1976 he suggested to a local reporter that Spokane should...

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Don Kardong Founder and Race Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run will retire after the 2019 race

Don Kardong, Founder and Race Director of the Lilac Bloomsday Run, will retire following the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday Run on May 5. Jon Neill, an attorney, Lilac Bloomsday Association Board Member, and Bloomsday’s Elite Athlete Coordinator, will take over as Race Director upon Kardong’s departure.

"It's been a privilege to be associated with Bloomsday all these years, and to have worked with so many great people who donate their time to make it happen. I may be leaving the Race Director position, but I plan to continue to be involved after I retire,” said Kardong.

Kardong has been an instrumental force in the development of Bloomsday from its birth in 1977. What was initially a small idea hatched after a chance meeting in the elevator of City Hall between Kardong and Mayor David Rodgers, has blossomed into a Spokane tradition.

Kardong served as President of the Lilac Bloomsday Association from 1982-1984 and over 20 years as Elite Athlete Coordinator before accepting the position of Race Director in the summer of 2004. Since Bloomsday’s inception, Kardong has been at the forefront, leading Bloomsday’s mission of providing a celebration of spring and physical fitness to runners and walkers of all ages and abilities.

“As we prepare for the 43rd running of Bloomsday, we have a great deal to be proud of,” said Bloomsday President Mark Starr. “Don Kardong is a household name in Spokane and highly regarded in the national running community. With Don’s retirement we are excited to welcome Jon Neill as our new Race Director.

Jon has worked closely with Don and the Spokane community for many years now. His knowledge of Bloomsday and its inner workings is second to none. I’m excited to be a part of this team and look forward to Bloomsday’s future.” Neill will take over as Race Director following the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday Run. 

(12/11/2018) ⚡AMP
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Lilac Blooomsday 12K Run on target to reach 50,000 participants

With a little over two months before the Lilac Bloomsday Run, organizers are excited about the early surge in signups for the 42nd edition of Spokane’s 12K Sunday May 6th. Over 8,000 runners have already entered since online registration opened on January 1, suggesting the final tally could reach 50,000 by race day....The elite competition promises to be fierce, as world-class runners battle for prize money, which includes a $20,000 U.S. citizen’s purse. Bloomsday is a member of the PRRO Circuit of major prize money races, and as such supports national and international competition while working in partnership with drug testing agency Clearidium to promote a drug-free sport. In addition to the elite racers at Bloomsday, top age-group runners will vie for specially designed medals. (03/02/2018) ⚡AMP
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