Thoughts and opinions on this story? Click here to comment >>

Get stories like this in a free daily email

May 2, 2010
Liz Kishimoto photo

Bloomies wait for the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

The men’s wheelchair race takes off at the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

The women’s wheelchair racers take off at the start of Bloomsday 2010 in Spokane, Wash., Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

The women’s wheelchair racers fly down Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash., Sunday, May 2, 2010 at the start of Bloomsday 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

The elite women take off down Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash. at the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

The elite men take off down Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash., at the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

Bloomies wait at the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010 in Spokane, Wash.

Liz Kishimoto photo

Bloomies take off down Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash., at the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

Bloomies take off down Riverside Avenue in Spokane, Wash. at the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

People flow down Riverside Avenue at the start of Bloomsday 2010 in Spokane, Wash., on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Liz Kishimoto photo

Bloomies stream across the Monroe Street Bridge in Spokane, Wash., after finishing Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

John Mitchell, Mike Mitchell and Luke Kagarice stretch out before the race during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

John Riak relaxes after finishing Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Wheelchair racers prepare for the starting gun during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Clothes litter the streets of Spokane during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Ruth Stamp keeps hydrated as she passes out water with her friends Jeanna Brown and Ellerie Brown, all 8, during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Lineth Chepkurui during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Lineth Chepkurui during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Women’s elite runners pass a wheelchair racer during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Bloomsday racers take to the course during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

The 2010 Bloomsday T-shirt.

Rajah Bose photo

Peter Kirui, who won the men’s elite division at Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Shannon McComb, from left, Medina Cerimovic and Eionnah Wozny cheer for finishers at the T-shirt stand during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

People who have run the race every year are directed to their starting point during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

A Bloomsday racer picks up clothes in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Clothes litter the streets of downtown Spokane during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Peter Kirui wins the men’s elite division at Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Women’s elite racers climb a hill during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Lineth Chepkurui wins the women’s elite division at Bloomsday with a record time in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Peter Kirui wins the men’s elite division at Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

The second-place finisher in the women’s elite race rests after finishing Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Rajah Bose photo

Lineth Chepkurui during Bloomsday in Spokane, Wash., Sunday May 2, 2010.

Dan Pelle photo

Bloomsday 2010 men’s elite runners warm up in front of the Masonic Temple before the start of Sunday’s race.

Dan Pelle photo

Bloomsday 2010 women’s elite wheelchair racer Shirley Reilly streaks down Riverside Avenue during warmups before the race.

Dan Pelle photo

The elite women run in a pack as they head down Riverside Avenue for Bloomsday 2010.

Dan Pelle photo

The elite women run in a pack as they head down Riverside Avenue during Bloomsday 2010. Race winner Lineth Chepkurui (1) sets the pace.

Dan Pelle photo

Bloomsday runners starting in the yellow group try to shave their time by having a fast start down Riverside Avenue.

Dan Pelle photo

Bloomsday 2010 runners streak past a tulip patch on the corner of Riverside and Cannon in Browne’s Addition.

Dan Pelle photo

Some Bloomsday 2010 runners had it made in the shade(s) as they headed down Riverside through Browne’s Addition.

Dan Pelle photo

While some Bloomies are just starting out on their Bloomsday 2010 run, foreground, others already have their finishers shirt and are headed out for another lap (runner at rear in red w/green shirt).

Dan Pelle photo

Bloomsday 2010 road warriors head out on their quest to conquer the 7.45 mile race.

Dan Pelle photo

The Gonzaga University ROTC march down Riverside Avenue to their own beat at Bloomsday 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

The Gonzaga University Army ROTC marches in time as they approach Doomsday Hill Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

On Fort George Wright Dr., Bloomsday runners run past wild flowers as they approach the dreaded Doomsday Hill on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

The band Top Soil plays for Bloomsday road runners along Fort George Wright Dr. on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

A Bloomsday runner grabs a water from volunteer Brittney Belote at the Spokane Falls Community College water station.

Dan Pelle photo

Some Bloomsday 2010 runners really know how to tie one on as they head down Riverside Avenue.

Colin Mulvany photo

Bloomsday runners Beau Somers, left, and Danny Gleaton show their patriotism as they run the course with American flags.

Dan Pelle photo

Sylvia Quinn and Gunhild Swanson head down Riverside Avenue and around the Bloomsday 2010 course for a second time to honor Gunhild’s late husband, Jack Swanson. Swanson wears a picture of Jack on her back.

Dan Pelle photo

Steve Baker plays African drums as the Cathedral Choir entertains Bloomsday 2010 runners as they pass The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes at Riverside and Madison.

Dan Pelle photo

Rev. Steve Dublinski waves and blesses the Bloomsday 2010 runners as they race past The Cathedral of Our Lady of Lourdes on Sunday morning at the corner of Riverside and Madison.

Dan Pelle photo

Leroy, a 5-year-old Bassett Hound, watches Bloomsday 2010 participants stream down Riverside Avenue. His owner, Mary Roth, had taken the dog out for a morning sniff and ended up on the race course. Says Mary: “There should be a Bassett Bloomsday.”

Dan Pelle photo

Stephannie Gerard, 16, left, and Rhiannon Kubes, 17, get a big hug from their University High School German teacher, Rosie Day, when they stopped to see Day at the corner of Cannon and Riverside Avenue during Bloomsday 2010. When the girls re-entered the race, Day wished them “Auf Wiedersehen,” which means goodbye in German.

Dan Pelle photo

Megan, a 10-year-old Rhodesian Ridgeback, has a soft chair and a front row seat to watch Bloomsday 2010 participants stream past her home near the corner of Riverside and Cannon in Browne’s Addition. The dog belongs to Livia Dennison.

Colin Mulvany photo

J.C. Wisdom has been handing out candy to Bloomsday runners on Doomsday Hill for over twenty years.

Colin Mulvany photo

The comic character Garfield makes an appearance on Doomsday Hill on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

A Bloomsday runner receives encouragement from the Disney character Mickey Mouse on Doomsday Hill on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

Bloomsday runners make their way through bubbles blown by spectators along Mission Avenue on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

Bloomsday runner David Abbott takes a face full of cool water that folks along Mission Avenue happily supplied from a garden hose on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

Wearing tiaras, Amanda Dewey, 16, and Mathilde Arnaud, 17, do a princess wave along Mission on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

Bloomsday runners get blasted with water guns along Mission on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Dan Pelle photo

Bloomsday 2010 elite men race down Riverside Avenue at the start of the race on Sunday morning.

Colin Mulvany photo

As Bloomsday runners turn the corner at the top of Doomsday Hill, Maddie Bacon, 11, greeted them from a pogo stick. Bacon was trying to attract buyers to her lemonade stand that she has run every Bloomsday since she was 4 years old.

Colin Mulvany photo

Bloomsday runners head down Fort George Wright Dr. and up Doomsday Hill on Sunday May 2, 2010.

Colin Mulvany photo

At the top of Doomsday Hill, Bloomsday runners pass the water station staffed by an army of volunteers on Sunday May 2, 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Peter Kirui runs down the home stretch on North Monroe on Sunday, May 2, 2010, on his way to winning Bloomsday 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Peter Kirui leads the pack down Broadway on Sunday, May 2, 2010, on his way to winning Bloomsday 2010. After a pack of 10 elites held together in the lead for most of the race, Kirui struck out at the top of Doomsday hill to win it.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Peter Kirui (102) leads his Kenyan teammates on Sunday, May 2, 2010, on his way to winning Bloomsday 2010. After a pack of 10 elites held together in the lead for most of the race, Kirui struck out at the top of Doomsday hill to win it.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Peter Kirui (102) leads the pack, including, from left, Robert Letting (105), Simon Cheprot (110), Philemon Terer (118), Julius Kogo (111) and James Kipketer (113) along Government Way on Sunday, May 2, 2010, on his way to winning Bloomsday 2010. After a pack of 10 elites held together in the lead for most of the race, Kirui struck out at the top of Doomsday hill to win it.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Peter Kirui (102) leads the pack at the top of Pettit Drive, also known as Doomsday Hill, Sunday, May 2, 2010, on his way to winning Bloomsday 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

The men’s elite division starts Sunday, May 2, 2010, at Bloomsday 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Chad Driesbach and Katie Derthick of Seattle make a silly leap at the finish line of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010, on Monroe St. “We like to make good finish-line photos,” Derthick said.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Chelsea McClammer, a wheelchair racer from Benton City, Wash., stretches her arms on Riverside Avenue on Sunday, May 2, 2010, before Bloomsday 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Emily Welter, 13, of Rathdrum, is carried across the Bloomsday finish line by her mother, Karla Welter, Sunday, May 2, 2010, at Bloomsday 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Like most Bloomies, Nicole Hydzik, center, rejoices as she crosses the finish line Sunday, May 2, 2010, at Bloomsday 2010. On her back is daughter Isabel, age 20 months. “It’s her second Bloomsday,” said Hydzik of Isabel.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Bloomsday 2010 women’s winner Lineth Chepkurui talks with the media after the race Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

At the start of Bloomsday 2010, Josh George, right, waits as Adam Bleakney adjusts the brakes on his racing chair Sunday, May 2, 2010. Bleakney is a member of the University of Illinois wheelchair team, and George is an alum.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Nannette Collison hands out water and encouragement at the water station on Spokane Falls Boulevard at the end of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Jonathan Morgan of Tonasket pulls on his T-shirt after finishing Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

A pack of nine Kenyans and one Moroccan led most of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010, before Kenyan Peter Kirui, third from right, pulled away for the win.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Amanda McGrory, winner of the Bloomsday 2010 women’s wheelchair division.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Runners in the women’s elite division show some of the variety in running fashion at the beginning of the Bloomsday 2010 race on Sunday, May 2, 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Elite racer Stephen Muange, left, grits out a three-second lead over John Korir, right, at the finish line Sunday, May 2, 2010, at Bloomsday 2010. Muange took third place, receiving $3000 in prize money over Korir’s $2500. Korir is a former Bloomsday winner.

Jesse Tinsley photo

The Bloomsday men’s elite leaders pound up Doomsday Hill above the Spokane River on Sunday, May 2, 2010. The eventual winner, Peter Kirui, is third from right.

Jesse Tinsley photo

Despite the start of a fad of barefoot running, only a few runners wore these specially-designed “socks” instead of running shoes on Sunday, May 2, 2010 at Bloomsday 2010.

Jesse Tinsley photo

A crowd of runners more than 50,000 strong wait for the start of Bloomsday 2010 on Sunday, May 2, 2010, in downtown Spokane.