Bloomsday’s last finishers take ‘many, many breaks’

May 6, 2019

Angel Rodriguez said the most difficult part of Bloomsday was pushing a stroller loaded with three children up Doomsday Hill.

Rodriguez crossed the finish line with her family minutes before volunteers pulled up the mat containing sensors to log participants’ times. She said she motivated her children to finish the course with the promise of ice cream and Otter Pops along the way.

“We had many, many breaks,” she said.

Her two- and three-year old daughters rode in a double stroller during the race Sunday, and her seven-year-old daughter walked, but then eventually joined her sisters and rode in the stroller up Doomsday Hill.

Rodriguez, her friend Crystal Buck and Buck’s three children were among many families with small children, strollers and wagons that crossed the finish line in a slower style just as race organizers began to take down down the course.

Both women started the race mid-morning and met up partway through the course. Rodriguez lives in Zillah, Washington, and Buck, who used to live in Zillah, now lives in Spokane.

Buck observed that the three children who rode most of the 7.46-mile race in the stroller stayed mellow but the children who were walking for the first time, Buck’s son, Stryder Spencer, 4, and Rodriguez’s daughter Iriel Rodriguez, 7, grew a little cranky by the end.

Their chief question, “Are we there yet?” was a good motivator for them to finish, Angel Rodriguez said.

Don Kardong, the Bloomsday race director, said that although volunteers began tearing down the course at 1:30 p.m., racers could still walk along the sidewalk and a volunteer waiting at the Monroe Street Bridge recorded their time the rest of the afternoon. If they took most of the afternoon to complete the course, they may not have received a T-shirt on the course, and might have to pick one up from the Bloomsday offices on Tuesday.

Many of the people walking in the race took most of the day, but organizers tried to make sure everyone has a time and officially completes the race if they can, he said. As of 4 p.m. Sunday, 35,233 of the 38,541 people who registered for the race had completed it.