I have done hundreds of 5K runs, but none have been worse than the Downtown Dash.
Bathrooms? What bathrooms? Signs were up pointing to the Alex Theatre, which didn't open its gates until 7:20 a.m. The only establishment open at this time was Kinko's and the bathrooms were blocked off. Bathrooms are a must for runners and spectators.
The race. At the starting line, we heard a woman from the stage say “Go!”
We took off. However, upon making a left turn by Zinke's Shoe Store, the fastest runners in front were now walking toward Brand. Making a right onto Brand, there was another group of runners at the start line.
Approximately 100 runners, including myself, had just run 0.7 miles, at race speed, for nothing. We were told we had done the “unofficial” start. We now waited for 15 to 20 minutes with the fresh, fresh runners, while Gemini Timing placed their blue computer mat across the starting point, which had not been there at our start.
A big race like this can't afford Porta-Potties or have someone in authority to start a race with a gun, whistle, or megaphone that all can hear? As there are plenty of races each weekend that have bathrooms and competent starters, perhaps next year another race will be chosen and not the Glendale News-Press one.
Jon “Bullet” Bales