Field Report 20150501RC
Topic: A City Prepares for Bloomsday
Conditions: Eye-of-the-Tiger Inspiring
Driving around town they hang on the fronts of houses, colorful and flapping, like Tibetan prayer flags. Nope: there hasn't been a Buddhist revival in Spokane. Yep: it's the Friday before Bloomsday, and as I drive just a few blocks, I see two houses proudly displaying t-shirts from the first 37 years of the road race. In a running town like Spokane, the Lilac Bloomsday Run is a big deal.
Each year, about 50,000 of us take part in this spring ritual: a 7.46-mile jaunt around Spokane, one of the largest timed races in the nation. There are folks like Allan Kiprono, an elite Kenyan runner looking to claim his third Bloomsday victory and a share of nearly $100,000 in prize money. Then there are people like me: locals who use the race as a motivator to maintain a decent fitness level over the winter. Both Allan and I will make our way from Riverside Ave around to Doomsday Hill and on to victory on the Monroe Street Bridge. Some victories look different than others: a friend of mine used to jog it every year dressed in a foam hot dog costume.
Pre-race rituals over the course of the weekend are crucial. Make your way downtown to the Spokane Convention Center to pick up your race number and swag bag (Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 8:00 p.m., and Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 6:30 p.m). I like to ride my bike down to avoid parking ridiculousness, and use it as an excuse to knock around my favorite downtown spots. The proximity to an independent bookstore like Auntie's usually has me taking home something to work my literary muscles, in addition to my runner packet.
If you want to get real weird, walk among the blooming lilacs in Manito Park sometime this weekend, for good smells and good luck.
Caffeine an hour pre-race. I do it every year, and it is an incomparable feeling to mix a shot of adrenaline with a shot of "Mile Seven" from Indaba: it's from Ethiopia (like a few past Bloomsday winners), and it's named for the coffee bar's location on Broadway near the end of the course. If you're casual about your finishing time, you can just stop in to enjoy one during your race.
From Here is a greatly expanded retail shop in River Park Square, full of handmade goods by local artists and makers, brought to you by the arts organizers at Terrain.
I stare up at it, looming a dozen or so feet above my head. The life-size zebra is still here, though quite weather-beaten. It’s a landmark that holds a permanent space in my mind…
On December 15th, Jane and the crew (including her three kids) will serve their last Saturday night dinner on the lower South Hill.
The LaRues live downtown where they work, and through relationships and intentionality, they are investing in a store that is making their neighborhood (and the world) a better place.
…this city is changing, and there’s a lot to learn. Today will be about deliberately opposing my prevailing impressions of Coeur d’Alene as an ignorant youth. It’s opposite day.
Swinging by The Blackbird before they opened, we asked owner Patrick McPherson his opinion on the best breweries in Spokane.
"We watched. We remembered that long winter on the farm, the solitude of hill after hill rolling white toward some faint horizon, beautiful and bare."
For Seth and Laura, Veraci Pizza is the story of the little cart that could… and still does.
As the kids happily drop their hard-earned quarters in the Ms. Pac-man machine, we realize we haven't complained about the heat all day... the sign of a well-played summer day.
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