Bloomsday 12k Race Report – Sarah Garza

Race: Bloomsday 12K

Runner: Sarah Garza

Race Date: 05/07/2023

Location: Spokane, Washington

Results: 1:05:22

3 Bests – What aspects of the race did you like the most?

  1. The energy of the runners – most of the participants, such as myself, are frequent flyers of this particular race, and it’s always a great way to kick off summer!
  2. The race is well orchestrated, and everything flows nicely, even with thousands of participants of all skill levels.
  3. The supportive spectators/race entertainment along the course – such a fun experience for a tough race!

Not so much – Aspects of the race that didn’t do it for you

The one thing I don’t love is the way the first part of the race is very crowded while individuals are getting their paces in check.

Highlights of your race – What did you do well and enjoy about your race in particular?

I really enjoyed running the course with my coach, Jodi O’Shea! She pushed me through the race to do way better than I would have done on my own. Since I’m still in a recovery of sorts from a muscle injury in my leg, I wasn’t even sure I’d be able to go through with the race at all! I was able to complete the run in my second-best time, so I very much exceeded my goal for the race.

Lessons for others – Share your pro-tips on the race to help the next runner

The first mile or so can take some maneuvering skills because it is very congested in the beginning of the race. Although start times are staggered based on estimated finish times to prevent a lot of crowding, it doesn’t work out that way. I’ve tripped on people in my early days of this race, and wound up with scrapes and bruises.

Lessons you learned that will help you next time around

Don’t let yourself think the end is close when you see mile mark 7! You still have further to go than you want to imagine.

Most important course specific knowledge to know about the race

Be ready for some hills – this course is well-known to be tough, particularly Doomsday Hill between mile 5 and 6.

Aesthetics – Is it a pretty course?


Difficulty – Is it a tough course?

It’s moderately hard, yes. Hilly, although elevation changes are nothing extreme.

Organized and well run – Did it feel like a well-oiled machine or were they flying by the seat of their pants?

I believe this was the 47th Bloomsday – it’s well-organized and I hope it stays that way in years to come!

Competition – Is there a strong field?

Very strong – this year there were nearly 26,000 participants.

Logistics – Does it require a special handshake, registration a year in advance, hotels all booked? Give us the low down on the nuts and bolts of making the race happen.

It’s great to get everything booked in advance as you get better prices, but last minute registrations still take place! Since the race takes place in downtown Spokane there is a lot of lodging available in walking/jogging distance to the race start. The race entry costs are a lot less than so many races out there, even small local races.

Aid Stations – Standard fare or anything special to know about the aid stations in terms of what’s available or when?

There are a lot of aid stations available along the course. When you sign up they provide a map of all water/medical stations along the course.

Weather and typical race conditions

Since it’s springtime in Eastern Washington State, it’s a tossup of what weather you may come across. Some years are hot and sunny, others are mild and overcast… once in a while you get a bit of rain. This year was perfect, about 64 degrees with some clouds

Gear – Did you need anything special or is there anything you’d recommend for the next runner?

No special gear. I’ve seen people dressed as bananas and I’ve seen people without shoes on. Just depends what your race goals are I suppose.

Spectators – Is this a friendly course for your friends?

Definitely! Find a great band to park near for a fun experience.

How’s the Swag?

Minimal swag – you can purchase extra gear when you sign up for the race, and there’s a great expo when you pick up your race packet. But it’s only a cotton T-shirt at the end of the finish line.

The Overall Score – How many stars do you give this race and do you recommend that others run it?