For regular readers, the headline will come as a shock, because Bloomsday is a "running" event and not a cycling event. This is true. It is a very nice community event and for reason that must need further study, Spokane is not only home to the largest timed running event in the WORLD, we are also home to the largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament in the WORLD. Why? I could conjecture at length, and often do, but I don't have a good understanding of this phenomena in Spokane. It is just a fact that we are a community of people who like participating in mass events and they don't get any more "mass" than Bloomsday. Approximately 50,000 people turned out to run, jog and walk 7.5 miles.
Speaking of "mass", regular readers are also probably wondering if I, Rider 3, actually laced up the trainers and ran this event, particularly in light of the less than flattering comments made repeatedly about the size and girth of said individual.
Well, my dear readers, the answer is yes, yes I did "run" Bloomsday. I use that term in quotes because nothing I did on the first Sunday in May would consitute running, but it does merit distinction from the walking done by those with strollers or hip replacements or both. As a young man I participated in a collegiate sport that involved year-round training. As part of our program we would be sent out on regular runs (which was better than "stairs", but that is another story). My buddy Brad and I would decline to go on a run, but would readily agree to go on a "trudge". It is like a run, but done at a slower, more lumbering pace. Actually Brad could run if he wanted, but he didn't enjoy it very much, so our tromping through those Seattle neighborhoods was a good replacement for the run that everyone else did.
As I finished up a long, grueling ride with Rider 2 on Saturday (blog preview - let's talk about windy rides and the concept of strength in numbers), I summed up my participation as such, "I hate running and I hate crowds, but I love my son." Those who know me best will express disbelief that I am capable of "love" but it is true that it was only my regard for my teenage son that would cause me to endure such multiple miseries. When I agreed a month or so ago, it was with the caveat that we do some running together so that Bloomsday was a bit more than JUST a torture-fest (Can I use that word in light of our domestic torture policy discussion? Again, the answer is "yes", but it is in poor taste). Well, I am sorry to report that we only did two runs together, one of which resulted in a bloody heel that meant 10 days of no running in order to get it to heal. As Lombardi put so well, "Many have the will to win; few have the will to prepare to win." I lacked the will to prepare for Bloomsday and knew the result would be suffering through the 7.5 miles and then lots of additional suffering for the next couple of days while my legs worked through the abuse.
Sure enough. My prediction was eerily accurate. It was not easy or pleasant, but I endured, I didn't hold up my son too much. Now, however, my legs are a moment-by-moment reminder of my lack of preparation. I like to think it's good for me, but that is just my self-delusional way of getting through the next few days of pain, tightness and inability to stand-up, sit-down, walk or lay still without discomfort.
Bloomsday tally: 1 baby blue t-shirt and 2 sore legs.