SPOKANE, Wash. — As thousands of runners and walkers crossed the Bloomsday finish line on Sunday, one woman waved a blue sign above the crowd.
On the sign was a picture of her father, who died at 72 years old while running Bloomsday in 2018.
“He was a great guy and he loved Bloomsday,” Mindy Rowe said.
Rowe said her father, Brook Kamp, began running the race 39 years ago.
“It’s something that we’ve always done as a family,” she said.
But last year’s race was her final time running it with him.
Kamp died of a heart attack while he was running the course last year. He collapsed on Broadway Avenue and Adams Street near the Spokane County Courthouse.
“Just past mile seven,” she said. “They worked on him for 45 minutes but couldn’t revive him.”
This year, Rowe said she just wanted her father to cross the finish line again. She and her family wore blue T-shirts with Kamp’s picture on them.
“This is in honor of him,” Rowe said. “I brought his ashes with me, because I wanted him to be able to finish. We stopped and did a little memorial for him where he went down and left a shirt and some flowers.”
She said the run was emotional but fulfilling.
“Just great memories today,” she said. “A little bittersweet, because he’s not here physically, but I know he sees us today.”
Rowe said she and her family will continue doing Bloomsday, always wearing the shirts in her father’s memory.
“Joyful, just joyful that we finished and that he could finish this year with us, even if it was in spirit,” she said.