Eagles win Bloomsday Corporate Cup for 22nd consecutive year

Nearly 42,000 ‘Bloomsies’ ran in the 2018 Bloomsday 12k, including EWU students and faculty


Runners participate in the 42nd annual Bloomsday race. The 7.46 mile had over 40,000 runners sign up | Kelsey Magnuson for The Easterner

By Kelsey Magnuson, Contributor

In its 42nd year, Bloomsday continues to be a tradition that draws participants from all over the world to run the 12 kilometer course.

The 41,699 “Bloomies” who signed up this year experienced clear, sunny skies and temperatures in the 70s on Sunday.

“It was fun with all the people, the cheering and the bands along the way,” first-time participant Janell Sagawa, 28, of Pullman said.

EWU alumna Sarah Reiter, 24, also ran the course for the first time this year, competing in the elite field.

“I just thought it was so cool to see how many people come out; all the people who run it and all the people who volunteer and all the bands come together as a community,” said Reiter. “I’ll definitely be running it in the future.”

After graduating in 2017, Reiter says it’s key to find a good balance, as she works full time and tries to train daily. She plans to run a qualifier marathon in December 2018 in hopes of competing in the Boston Marathon in the next couple years.

“It’s good to set goals for yourself,” Reiter said.

Among those setting goals are the EWU teams who compete for the Corporate Cup each year. Since the Corporate Cup began in 1982, EWU has won 27 cups.

Runners cross the finish line on the Monroe Street Bridge. After finishing runners walk across the bridge to Riverfront Park to get their Bloomsday finisher shirts | Kelsey Magnuson for The Easterner

IT supervisor Carl Combs of the winning team, EWU Red, started participating in the Corporate Cup in 1997, the first year of EWU’s current 22-year winning streak. The teams consist of five members, and the top three scores are taken into account when determining a winner.

“Over the last number of years I’ve been able to be a scoring member of the team and not just tagging along. You have the goal that at the end of all the hard work and dedicated training maybe there will be a payoff,” said Combs. “It gives pride and recognition to have such a winning tradition.”

EWU President Mary Cullinan got a perfect score for the second year in a row, helping secure a second place slot in the Corporate Cup women’s division this year.

For the last two years, EWU has initially tied with a team from Runner’s Soul, a running shop in downtown Spokane.

“The top three members of both teams got a perfect score, so they had to go to the fourth team member to determine a winner. This year we won by 26 points, so it was a really close victory,” said Combs. “It’s a friendly competition but we’re proud of our accomplishment.”