SPOKANE, Wash. - For the first time in its history, Spokane's Bloomsday run will be held virtually.

Bloomsday organizers said effective Wednesday, July 29, all Bloomsday registrants are now signed up for Virtual Bloomsday.

"After months of holding out hope that we would be able to hold an in-person Bloomsday on September 20, COVID-19 has clearly not abated to the point where that will be possible," race director Jon Neill wrote. "Even though you won’t be able to enjoy the company of thousands of others coursing through the streets of Spokane, you can still run, walk or wheelchair your own Bloomsday wearing your 2020 race number (tie-dye and most certainly a collector’s piece) and earn your famed finisher t-shirt as part of the first-ever Virtual Bloomsday race."

Bloomsday introduced a virtual option for the 12-kilometer run earlier this month for the 44th running of the event.

Virtual participants will receive a race number and instructions in the mail in late August/early September. Then between Sep. 18-20, virtual Bloomies will run or walk a 7.46-mile (12K) course of their choosing - with anyone around the world eligible to participate. 

“We have already been contacted by runners in England and New Zealand who are thrilled that this is their year to do Bloomsday and secure the famous Bloomsday finisher shirt,” said Neill.   “We are looking forward to seeing where people do their runs and walks, and likewise encourage participation all over the United States and the globe.”  

After completing the virtual 12K, Bloomies will post their finish time on the Bloomsday website. Then the coveted Bloomsday finisher t-shirt will be sent in the mail in late September/early October.

“While it’s a disappointing announcement to make, we are excited that we may continue the race’s proud tradition of a finisher shirt,” said Mark Starr, Lilac Bloomsday Association President.   “We at Bloomsday feel strongly that 2020 cannot pass without a finisher shirt worn by our beloved Bloomies.”  

Those not interested in the virtual event can defer their entry to 2021.

Registration is open for virtual Bloomsday through Aug. 26.

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