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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bloomsday 2023: Jemal Yimer, Yeshi Kalayu win elite races; Tekoa’s Susannah Scaroni women’s wheelchair champ

May 7, 2023 Updated Sun., May 7, 2023 at 10:58 a.m.

Perfect weather resulted in near-record performances in each of the race divisions for Lilac Bloomsday 2023 in downtown Spokane on Sunday. 

Jemal Yimer of Ethiopia, the 2018 Bloomsday champion, finished just 7 seconds off record pace with an unofficial time of 33:58. He was 20 seconds ahead of second-place finisher Teshome Mekonen, who was born in Ethiopia but represents the U.S. 

The pace was one minute, 10 seconds faster than last year’s winning time of 35:08, set by Kenya’s Charles Wanjiku.

The women’s race was much closer. 

Yeshi Kalayu of Ethiopia edged two-time Bloomsday champion and course record holder Cynthia Limo of Kenya by two seconds at 38:49. Limo’s record in 2016 was 38:03.

Susannah Scaroni of Tekoa won the women’s wheelchair division for the fifth time at 30:02, just four seconds off her course record of 29:58 set in 2019. 

Evan Correll of Waukee, Iowa, won the men’s wheelchair race with a time of 28:35. It was his first Bloomsday appearance. 

All times unofficial.

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