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Running Into Relaxation

Whether because of the recent turn towards sunnier weather, or the ever-approaching Bloomsday 12K to look forward to, Spokane is sporting a healthy number of runners these days. It seems everyone is out, donning iPods, strollers, or golden retrievers (and sometimes all three). And I'll admit, I am no exception... except that I don't own an iPod, a child, or a dog of any kind. But hey, I'm young yet, and having taken up running just barely a month ago, I am very much looking forward to my first Bloomsday race.

It was this brand of enthusiasm that drew me out of bed on Saturday morning, to lace up my sneakers, and run the two miles to Manito Park from my apartment. It seemed a rewarding enough destination, though I knew the roses wouldn't be blooming, and the English gardens wouldn't yet be in season... but spring is spring. And heck, it's a joy just to see GREEN GRASS, after the winter we've had! Honestly, I wasn't expecting much, just to enjoy the sunshine and morning chill, but there was a garden that made the run truly special for this half-asleep, iPod-less novice: The Nishinomiya Japanese Garden.

Tucked between peace and quiet, this relaxation haven centers around a shallow water feature complete with waterfall, walking bridge, and a visiting mallard or two. Japanese lanterns and strategically placed benches along the curving path make the park ideal for both an aimless stroll-through and an intentional destination. On Saturday, for me it was the perfect finish line, to be able to rest and meditate for a spell in a place of harmonious beauty. Spokane is lucky to have such a place. Hopefully I can hold onto that inner peace on May 3rd, when I'll be sharing road and rubbing elbows with 50,000 other runners. Namaste.

NOTE: The Nishinomiya Japanese Garden was built 30 years ago as a symbol of friendship in honor of our sister city Nishinomiya, Japan. Learn more about Spokane's parks at



Good to hear it has been such a fun social event for you! I've been enjoying stories of all the bands along the route and the tales of other eye-catching entertainment... it sounds like quite the to-do! I am very excited to take part for the first time, and to proudly wear the Bloomsday t-shirt to work on Monday. Whether walking or running it, it sounds like a blast! ;)

On April 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM anonymous wrote:

Always loved Bloomsday and I have never been a runner. It's always been a social thing for me. In high school, I'd walk it with friends (and a squirt gun if it was gonna be warm). Now I walk it with my girlfriends - perfect chance for a little chick time while exercising with 50,000 of my closest friends. ;-)

And the Japanese Gardens are the perfect place for some much needed R&R - a place to center yourself in the beauty of nature.

On April 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM anonymous wrote:

Lovely picture! I need to visit Manito Park again, it's been awhile.

On April 27, 2009 at 12:00 AM anonymous wrote:

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