Yakima Valley friends run Bloomsday, a 20 year tradition for them - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Valley friends run Bloomsday, a 20 year tradition for them

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Selah, Wash.- Runners are preparing for the Bloomsday Race in Spokane. For four women in the Yakima Valley, it's more than just a race, it is a tradition of 20 years.

"When I get up the morning before the race I ask my self why am I doing this again," said Deannie Howell, a runner.

"When that gun goes off and everyone starts running there' definitely a surge of adrenaline," said Jennifer Lisle, another runner and Howell's daughter.

A group of four women are packed, excited and heading to Spokane. For Deannie Howell, her daughter and friends, this is their 21st year competing in the race, but it started off as a fun challenge.

"I was 18 and we were looking for a fun girls weekend so we did the race," said Lisle.

To prepare for the race they all train months in advance in hopes to beat their times. Two years ago they faced an even bigger challenge.

"I was facing breast cancer and my daughter was just with me 100 percent," said Howell.

"Seeing my mom….she is just a model for perseverance…it brought a new meaning to it," said Lisle.

Looking back at old pictures, these women say Bloomsday is a way to keep them friends and bring them even closer together, and they have no plans on stopping that tradition.

"I'd like to see us have another 20 years and t-shirts so we can make another quilt out of shirts," said Lisle.

The friends arrived in Spokane Friday afternoon and plan to be there all weekend.