SPOKANE, Wash – Patrick and Sylvia Quinn of Spokane haven't missed a single Bloomsday in the 37 years since it began – and they're certainly not going to start now.
"If I broke my leg tomorrow, I'd have someone push me in a wheelchair rather than miss the race," Sylvia Quinn told KHQ, sitting alongside her husband at their home.
Back in 1977, Bloomsday looked a little different. In that first year, over 1,000 people participated, and the majority of them were men.
"That was my first race ever," Sylvia added.
But in the years that followed, the race bloomed into the major event it is now. Around 60,000 are expected to run or walk in 2013, and the women edge out the men.
"That first run was really, ‘Let's see how this thing goes, and maybe we'll do it again sometime,' Patrick Quinn, 79, said. "Well, it grew like top seed, as they say, and the rest is history."
History the Quinn's have been a part of every year; together, they've run 154 marathons, and Sylvia is still taking home the Bloomsday hardware at age 76.
"I think I'm the only one that has all the medals," she said, pointing to the 36 she's collected from Bloomsday over the years – and all but three are for 1st place in her division. "I always look forward to seeing what color it's going to be or what the ribbon is going to be like, it's always a surprise."
"Lately, she's been whooping me pretty handily," Patrick added, with a good-natured laugh.
Over the decades, the Quinn's have met a lot of good friends through Bloomsday, and every five years a photo of the remaining ‘Perennial' group is taken.
"There's a lot of white hair out there, and a lot of no hair out there," he added.
After knee surgery, Patrick's goal is to walk the course in two hours on Sunday, and Sylvia is hoping to cross the finish line in just over an hour – and come home with medal #37.