A sweet surprise is waiting for Bloomsday runners at Doomsday Hill


For many, running in Bloomsday is a family tradition. One Spokane teen has created a tradition of his own, that's even caught the attention of Bloomsday organizers.

Otter Pops.

Set up just before the 5th mile, as runners have to face Doomsday hill, they'll also see a Ferris student, who's got a race of his own going on. His race, is to pass out all the otter pops before they melt.

"The Otter Pop phenomenon has taken on a life of it's own," Jon Neill, one of Bloomsday's Board of Directors, said.

"I'm like free Otter Pops, and I'm yelling it, and I'm giving out as much as I can," Jerrod McMillin said.

McMillin and his family have been passing out Otter Pops, and this year, Fun Pops, to Bloomsday runners for five years, a tradition that started just with passing out extras.

"We were just sitting there, we had like 300 Otter Pops, we weren't going to eat them all," Jerrod McMillin said.

McMillin is buying more than 5,000 Fun Pops to pass out, and last year, his Otter Pops weren't just used as sugary snacks. McMillin said he saw an older man fall right before the doomsday hill.

"He had bloody knees, elbows scraped up, he had a cut on his eyebrow," McMillin said.

Jerrod rushed over to the man and gave him some otter pops to use as an ice pack. Turns out, McMillin said the man had just lost the love of his life, but wanted to run.

"He said he wasn't going to stop running to fix his wounds, because he needed to finish the race for his wife," McMillin said.

McMillin's not sure if the man finished, but he said that man, and people like him, are why he does this.

But, not everyone has time for him.

"The wheelchair racers don't ever take any, and neither do the fast racers because they're focused on winning," McMillin said.

If you're hitting the Bloomsday course on Sunday, look out for McMillin, he'll be camped out at the base of doomsday hill.

"The last three years have just been a thing at this point, I'm going to make sure it happens no matter what," McMillin said.

Story and photos from KHQ.com