The percussion section near the West Central Community Center was decidedly ad hoc. Plastic garbage cans, planters and buckets served as drums. A metal pole became the cymbal.
Three Whitworth University students serenaded Bloomsday participants with a pounding beat.
Several classmates were in the run Sunday, said junior Dusty Caseria, 21, who played the plastic planters. Their instruments were found behind Whitworth and at the students’ houses, he said.
Caseria and Shane Polley, who played the garbage cans, were drummers in high school. Tyler Aslin, who played the buckets and the metal pole, drums in the concert band at Whitworth.
Some passing runners gave thumbs up and cheered. Others paused briefly to pound out a couple beats of their own.
Bloomsday spectators spotted runners dressed as crayons, at least one person in orange body paint, a gorilla wearing women’s panties, and “something” that looked like a cross between Chewbacca and an artificial lawn.
Ted Richart and Andrew Urhausen, of Cheney, put on coveralls and red-and-green T-shirts to become the Mario Bros. of computer game fame.
“It’s much more comfortable than it looks,” Richart said of their unusual outfits before the race.
Did the two worry about chafing from the denim? Not at all.
“We are wearing special shorts underneath,” Richart said, laughing. “We’ll be fine; this is just for fun.”
Randy Kindya, of Spokane, and his friend Steve Killpack, of Salt Lake City, were at the front of the yellow group at 7:30 a.m.
“About six or seven of us do this together,” Killpack said. “We know that no matter what happens during the year, we’ll be here on the first Sunday of May for Bloomsday.”
Kindya begins training in January and runs a couple of local races leading up to Bloomsday. “It’s my 24th Bloomsday – I’ll have my silver anniversary next year,” he said with a big smile.
Killpack was lining up for his 26th race, and they were both a little chilly but in a good mood.
Kindya said he was hoping to “stay in the yellow” by running about 1:12 or faster, but he emphasized that running Bloomsday is more about the fun and the people than the finishing time.
“We are blue-collar, journeyman runners; we aren’t part of the elite or anything,” Kindya said. “But we make Bloomsday what it is.”
“Welcome to the Annual Broomsday Party,” read the sign in front of the home on Spofford Avenue, where classic rock blared from the speakers.
For the 11th year, the Broom family hosted a party on Bloomsday.
“We got a lot of Brooms here,” said host Weldon Broom Jr. “It’s the only time we can put the speakers on the front porch and not get in trouble,” he said. Broom and other partygoers took turns spraying Bloomsday participants with a hose, while children used supersized water guns. No one objected.
Squirting people with water, loud music and 40 pounds of ribs. “Why wouldn’t you do it?” Wendy Broom asked.
Three and counting
Amanda McGrory, a 22-year-old from Champaign, Ill., won her third straight crown in the elite women’s wheelchair division.
“I think there’s a little bit more pressure every year,” McGrory said. “Once you win one, you have to come back the next year.”
So, will she be back next year?
“Definitely,” she said.