Among those being treated at the Bloomsday medical station were two elite women runners – one suffering fatigue and the other with a muscle injury – and 75-year-old Bart Haggin, who has run in every Bloomsday with the exception of the inaugural event in 1977.
Haggin fell about 10 feet from the finish line and was assisted across for a time of 66 minutes, a disappointment for the retired Rogers High School teacher, who coached track and cross country. Haggin, who ran for Congress in 2002, was treated for scrapes and bruises.
Rich Hobson, a medical station volunteer, said muscle strains and similar injuries tend to occur most among Bloomies who finish between 50 minutes and 1:15. Many of those participants aren’t quite as fit as they think, Hobson said, so they push themselves hard, trying for a personal best time or to beat friends.
Margo Padon from Occupy Spokane held up a banner asking participants to give consideration to the issues of social and economic inequity, the environment and more.
Occupy tried posting some supporters in the triangle of grass at Monroe and Riverside, but were told by police that they would be at risk of being trampled if they stayed.
So Padon was the only Occupy representative at the start of the race. She said others would be scattered along the course
Earlier in the week, it had looked like conditions might not be favorable for Bloomies, with a threat of rain and high temperatures in the 50s.
Yet, when the gun sounded for the elite runners, skies were clear and the temperature at 45 degrees, headed for an expected high in the mid-60s.
“It couldn’t be better, everything’s been great,” said Aurora Perez and Spokane, who was waiting a few hundred yards from the start line for her 14- and 15-year-old sons to run past.
Back in the yellow group, 17-year Bloomsday veteran Tom Cannon of Seattle said he’s grateful to the race for helping him keep track of friends who moved from Seattle to Deer Park years ago. Each year is like a reunion, Cannon said.
I wouldn’t be able keep in touch with these friends if it wasn’t for Bloomsday,” Cannon said. “It’s really nice to see them every year.”
As they headed into Brownes Addition, Bloomies were greeted by the band Black Gingham, which had its amps plugged into outlets at Peterson Dental Clinic, 1604 W. Riverside.
The band’s music “is alt rock – pretty much general rock,” said 14-year-old lead guitarist Wilson Rahn, 14, a student at Sacajawea Middle School, along with bassist Quinn Kopczynski, also 14. Patrick Cunningham, 15, who attends Lewis and Clark High School, is the band’s drummer.
Each year, the boys plug their amps into outlets at Peterson Dental Clinic, 1604 W. Riverside.
Peterson “is letting the group use their power,” said Rahn’s mother, Rene Rahn. “These boys love playing loud and outside, especially when the neighbors won’t yell at them.”
If you haven’t seen them, this year’s t-shirts are navy blue with orange and white print.