"Sara, you NEED to do this!"
My co-worker lays a news article on my desk. The headline: Be a Bloomsday Ambassador.
They'd be accepting only 200 applicants. Choosing only six ambassadors. And I knew the second I read about the opportunity that I was the girl for the job.
Running had saved my life. My city was my passion. Bloomsday a tradition.
And I needed something new to occupy my already chaotic life.
So I applied. And it wasn't long before I got the good news. I had been chosen to represent the 43rd running of one of Spokane's largest events.
If you aren't familiar with this epic race, let me give you a rundown.
The Lilac Bloomsday Run, also known as Bloomsday, is an annual timed road race held on the first Sunday of May since 1977 in my sweet city of Spokane, Washington. The course is 12 km or 7.456 miles. The run has had as many as over 61,000 registrants, with most years averaging around 40,000. Don Kardong, former Olympian and world-renowned author, founded the race and retired as race director this year.
Simply put - this was a big deal.
My duties were small in comparison to what it takes to make Bloomsday come together every year. I would help bring back registration growth and excitement for the annual event via blog posts and social media and volunteering my time at Bloomsday events. I got to see what it truly takes to put something of this capacity together. Two paid employees. A board of very passionate Bloomies. THOUSANDS of volunteers. All people with the same love for helping Spokane thrive as a city as I do.
And time flew. Suddenly it was race day.
As I stood in the midst of the other 37,500 runners and walkers and locals and tourists I couldn't help but get a little choked up. Of all of these people...I was one of six. I was chosen to represent the chaos and the beauty that is Bloomsday.
I crossed the finish line four minutes faster than my fastest time six years ago. And what pushed me through was my community. My pride for this incredible place we call home. My love for Bloomsday and everyone who helps make it happen year after year.
I crossed that finish line and my ambassador duties came to a close. The memories I created, however, and the friendships I developed? Well, those are going to last a lifetime.
And my love for Spokane?
It's officially unmeasurable.