Bloomsday 2024: A Bit Damp

Perhaps this year’s Bloomsday experience was dampened a bit. Why do I write this? Well, it was literally damp—like really damp. For the seven days leading up to the race, the forecast called for cold temperatures and a constant rain. Unfortunately, for once, the weather people got it right. The rain started by the time we made it downtown and continued throughout the race.

Despite pleas from Sloan and Beau, they couldn’t get KREM 2 meteorologist Jeremy LaGoo to change his rainy forecast for Bloomsday. My kids talked to Jeremy at the Bloomsday Trade Show.

My experience was also dampened in a more figurative sense because I failed to PR this year. I hoped to run faster than my personal course record of 1:09:34. Instead, I ran 86 seconds slower than last year, crossing the finish line at 1:11:00. Although I still beat my 2022 time of 1:11:27, I wanted to be under the 70-minute mark and notch another PR.

A look at me as I near the finish line. Wish I would have ran a little faster!

But enough of the complaining, I still had fun! With my sister-in-law pregnant, it was just my brother and me this year. We hopped on the STA shuttle at Ferris High School and rode the bus downtown. To avoid standing in the rain for an extended period of time, we arrived at our starting line a little later this year. Although we always enjoy passing time by spiking beach balls and listening to the pre-race music, the enjoyment lessens under heavy rain.

My brother and I wear our ponchos at the Bloomsday starting line as we wait for the race to start.

When we crossed the starting line, that unmistakable first mile Bloomsday adrenaline kicked in. My boss calls it “race energy” and there really isn’t anything like it. As the contagious excitement engulfed us and we ran shoulder-to-shoulder with the masses, Glen and I veered to the side as we came upon Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral. By pulling over, we were able to receive a blessing from Fr. David Gaines who was on-hand to minister to Bloomies. After receiving God’s protection, we were set to cover the next seven miles.

My brother and I receive a blessing from Fr. David Gaines right outside of Our Lady of Lourdes Cathedral during Bloomsday 2024.

Glen and I soon separated as we ran our own races. By this time, the steady precipitation didn’t matter anymore. With my focus fixed on putting one foot in front of the other combined with the sense of community that was ever present, the wet weather didn’t register with me. I was cruising.

Even though my final time suggests otherwise, Bloomsday didn’t seem as taxing this year. I didn’t battle cramps like I did in 2023 and Doomsday Hill didn’t seem as daunting. When I crossed the finish line, I wasn’t gasping for air.

A photo of me just about to cross the finish line (I am far right).

After the race, my bro and I continued a now three-year tradition of hitting up Flatstick Pub (which is super close to the finish line) for a celebratory beer. Once we downed those brews, we boarded the shuttle and headed back to Ferris High School and extended the second half of our post-Bloomsday tradition of finding a random dive to eat a greasy lunch and drink another round of beers. I then went home to rest on the couch.

Cheers! Glen and I share a celebratory beer at Flatstick Pub after Bloomsday 2024.

Race energy. I go back to that term from my boss. Although I wish I ran a couple minutes faster, I wasn’t deprived of the community excitement that was so abundant on Sunday morning. In the end, getting a heavy dose of race energy and crossing the finish line is all that matters. And when you experience both of those things, nothing can rain on your parade. Don’t Blink.

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