It's the end of an era.
Don Kardong, the Founder and Race Director of Bloomsday, says 2019's race will be his last at the helm.
"It's been a privilege to be associated with Bloomsday all these years, and to have worked with so many great people who donate their time to make it happen. I may be leaving the Race Director position, but I plan to continue to be involved after I retire,” said Kardong.
Taking Kardong's place will be Jon Neill, an attorney, Lilac Bloomsday Association Board Member, and Bloomsday's Elite Athlete Coordinator.
Neill will take over as Race Director following the 2019 Lilac Bloomsday Run.
"I couldn't be happier with Jon Neill taking over as Race Director,” said Kardong. “Jon's contributions began when he was an intern at our office during his college days, and since then he's helped in almost every facet of the event. He'll do a super job as Race Director."
“Don Kardong has been a tremendous leader for our organization,” said Neill. “His vision, generosity, and energy have helped transform Bloomsday from a race to a prized community event that is embraced by the entire region. You would be hard pressed to find an individual who has done more for Spokane and its citizens than Don Kardong. It has been an honor to work with the Lilac Bloomsday Association over the past 20 plus years as a volunteer. I am humbled by the opportunity the LBA Board has given me, and I am excited to build from Don’s incredible success.”
BREAKING:I can now report that Lilac Bloomsday Run founder and race director Don Kardong will retire following the 2019 race.Jon Neill - Bloomsday’s Elite Athlete Coordinator - will take over as Race Director following Kardong’s retirement.(Read for more) pic.twitter.com/qKqGdVGGtI— Sam Adams (@SamAdamsTV) December 7, 2018