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BLOOMSDAY ROAD RUNNERS' CLUB HISTORY

No other road runners' club in the country began quite the way the Bloomsday Road Runners' Club (BRRC) did. In the spring of 1978, the Lilac Bloomsday Run was battling with local AAU officials over the need for sanctioning. While AAU officials were insisting that Bloomsday be sanctioned and that all participants purchase AAU cards, Bloomsday organizers refused to cooperate. Bloomsday, they said, was a fun run in which top runners also competed, not a competitive event under the AAU's jurisdiction.

In the midst of the battle, Bloomsday founder Don Kardong was encouraged to contact Jeff Darman, president of the Road Runners Club of America. Jeff had defended the rights of RRCA member clubs on the sanctioning issue. Darman pointed out that the AAU's own rules said that an event in which all participants were members of the same club did not need to be sanctioned. He suggested we form an RRCA chapter club in Spokane and automatically make every Bloomsday runner a member of the club. That way Bloomsday would sidestep the need for sanctioning. Thus began the BRRC, 5,000 members strong in its first year!

In subsequent years, the BRRC went to court with the AAU over the sanctioning issue, and won. As the years passed, the AAU battle faded into obscurity, and the BRRC developed into a solid group of running enthusiasts devoted to the promotion of a variety of running events. BRRC and USATF work well together in our area to promote long-distance running.

In 1980, the BRRC hosted the RRCA National Convention in Spokane(the first convention held in the West), and the club has been active in the RRCA ever since. Past BRRC president, Sylvia Quinn, received the Rod Steele Award as the outstanding club volunteer for the country in 1981, and she later served on the RRCA's Board of Directors. Bloomsday founder and BRRC club member, Don Kardong co-authored the RRCA Children's Running Booklet edited an edition of the RRCA Handbook, and served as RRCA president from 1996 through 2000. The club newsletter, “Running Briefs”, won the national award for medium-sized clubs in 1995. In that same year the BRRC was selected to send a team to the Jimmy Stewart Relay in California, and in 1999 the club hosted its second RRCA National Convention. Dori Robertson was preented the Scott Hamilton Outstanding Club President award in 1997.

Today, the BRRC is one of the larger member clubs of the RRCA. It remains committed to the promotion of grass-roots running.

If you have any memories of past BRRC events and good times, please add to our history in the BRRC Blog area. Go to the BRRC Blog and leave your stories in the BRRC History forum. Thanks for making this entertaining area a success!
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