Hey, Marathoners, Don't Make East Dallas Sic the Dogs on You. Oh, and Have Positive Day.

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Damn. I almost forgot. Other things intervened. Please don't let this year get behind me without my taking an opportunity to say what I think of the White Rock Marathon, a foot-race carried out in my part of town on December 4.

Let me relate to you just one of several experiences of people who live in my own neighborhood. One household, struggling with the serious illness of a family member, was trying to get medical equipment and other supplies moved from one location to another. They had to hurry, because each trip to carry stuff meant leaving the family member unattended, which was dangerous.

They said none of the maps provided by the race to show where you could cross the route by car were accurate, a complaint I heard over and over again from others. When this family did find a uniformed Dallas Police officer at an intersection, he said he was not authorized to put up a hand and pause the runners for them to cross.

When they asked where they might cross, he said he was working off-duty, didn't even know any of the street names in our part of town and had no idea.

Maybe my mistake in the past in writing about this has been speaking negatively about running. So I'm not going to do that. I think runners are just completely positive. Everything they do is positive. Everything runners think or say out loud is totally positive. They have positive faces. Their dogs are positive.

But son of a bitch! Is it asking way too much for them to take some account of the needs of the communities through which they run? Some of us are not lucky enough to be as damn positive they are.

whiterockmarathon1.jpg
Via.
Some of us are sick. Some of us need to get to work. Some of us need to get to church. I don't know, I guess some others of us on a Sunday morning are probably just trying to remember where we live. We're not perfect in East Dallas.

Are we just completely irrelevant? Against the sheer shining positivity of the runners, are we nonexistent? Are we not even Ratzo Rizzo? Are we not walking here?

You know, if certain people are as positive as they think they are, then maybe while they're being so damned positive about their own crap they could give a half-assed positive thought to the rest of the world once in a while.

Please. Please. Do not make us revert to our inner East Dallas nature. We do not want to have to sic a pack of wild alley-running East Dallas yellow dogs on you. Because we've got 'em. Believe it. Devil-eyed yellow dogs with Dumpster juice dripping off their fangs. We don't want to handle it that way.

If anything, we're jealous of you: We want to be as positive as you are, runners of the world. Just give us a damn break every little chance you get and let us get through the race, at least by the time they start selling beer and wine again on Sunday.

Things can work out positively. Or, like I say. Negatively. We all have choices.

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116 comments
Dog Walking Frisco
Dog Walking Frisco

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Guest
Guest

The Whinny people posting comments on this site seem like more of a drain on society and waste of time than the marathon traffic and detours were. Here is an option, learn your way around your city so if there is traffic or a detour you know where you are going. Maybe you could just move to another city and save us all some time.

EdS
EdS

Jim, you can bring out the best in people.  Solid 24 hours-plus of bile and contentiousness showering down from all directions. 

5timesub4/26.2
5timesub4/26.2

 Every major city manages to hold marathons New York, LA, San Francisco with major crowd support. Maybe Dallas could use a morning where the average citizen actually walks or rides a bike to get their chicken fried steak. 

http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

Marathon Freak
Marathon Freak

dang, first time this race has ever been run in Dallas I guess...funny that somebody would miss the signs, the posts on every door and electric road signs...that would probably remind them to have their car on the other side of the race course after a year or two...just sayin'

Kevin Roberts
Kevin Roberts

Wow, based on many of the comments, it is no surprise Dallas is consistently in the top 5 in obesity.

GAA
GAA

Traffic from the White Rock Marathon caused my wife and I to miss our date and Kitchen Dog Theater.  Boo hoo. 

one of many
one of many

I'm going to start running with a cowbell on my 6am runs.  Oram and Empire and Swiss Avenue.  A big loop over and over.  Thanks for the idea.

Branden Helms
Branden Helms

All the people complaining about the route and planning are likely internet genius's who have no clue how to actually run, plan or organize a marathin, but stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

guest
guest

I live in the neighborhood and run at White Rock several times a week.  The marathon really is a poorly planned mess.  The runners are great, it's the planning that needs work.  All the name calling and bitching is a complete waste of time.

Maps won't help if there isn't a way to get out off the neighborhood at all.  It's not just a couple of hours, the barriers were still up at 2:00.  We have all kinds of nice new trails, how about going around WR, down the new Santa Fe, through downtown, up the Katy, across Central on the Monticello bridge and through back to  WR?

Jones7
Jones7

Another problem is the really loud music at the spillway and the noisy hovering helicopters that shake the house and blow the trees. Are they like watching it?  If the routes were planned better by the city, I could  live with the loud music, but not the helicopters

Grumpy Demo
Grumpy Demo

Jim, Jim, Jim,

You're upset with a once a year event, because the city provides incompetent lazy ass cops who won't help  a taxpaying citizen?

Sounds like you're turning into "White Middle Class Suburban Man" i.e. every day must be the same no events, no fun, just boredom, don't disturb my normal, predictable boring routine. Look forward to you March rant about shutting down St. Patrick's Day on Greenville, Texas OU weekend, etc.

Need to move to Plano.

Jeeze, keep this up we'll have to revoke your White Guilt Libertard License at the next local meeting of the Marxist Brie Eating White Wine Sipping America Hating Libertards Union of North Texas (I'm Chair of War on Christmas and Mandatory Abortions subcommittee).

Julytonio
Julytonio

OMG, you whining old bastards!  I can't imagine how terrible it must be to be slightly inconvenienced for half a day, once a year (even though I live right by the Arboretum).

Did you all move to Lakewood before the WRM started?  Or, are you like all the residents of Lower Greenville who now hate bars and are scared of an evil, riotous bowling alley?

The Marathon is one of the very few things that this city actually does well.  But, I guess the reason Dallas is still such a shithole is because nobody wants to be bothered by people actually doing things and enjoying themselves (unless it is shopping, of course).

rumpunch
rumpunch

Thank you Jim for keeping this issue going.  The residents would be more accomidating if we just needed to change our route that morning, but in reality we are trapped.  Some years I am trapped more than others. Belmont Addition and Lakewood Heights were between the Half and Full Marathons this year, therefore basically creating an island.  Due to varing paces of the runners, North, South, East and West are all blocked for several hours.

Also, it is not just this race, it is several races of varing lengths throughout the year.  If you dont mark your calandar you may not know about it until it is happening.  I only get notified when the race will be using my street.  White Rock is well publicized, but many are not.

I am not saying stop the races, I am saying lets use common sense.  Have certain intersections publicized which are for vehicle crossing.  The runners need to maintain a pace does not outweight other peoples rights.  If the runners want to maintain their pace, they should raise some money and put a pedestian bridge over Munger on the Sante Fe trail.

Alan
Alan

I go to church inside the M streets.  We didn't mind being inconvenienced, adjusting our worship schedule and notifying members in advance.  The half-marathon leg down Matilda sealed us off with no option, so the race planners told us our members (many elderly, who can't walk a few blocks from outside the loop) would be allowed across Matilda at Morningside.  Instead, the police officer told us he was paid by the race organizers and strictly ordered never to pause or even slow down a single runner, as those runners are paying customers racing against the clock.  I like the idea of streets being used for something other than cars.  Just leave an outlet!  With all the under/overpasses in Dallas, surely that's possible to plan.

Tomas
Tomas

1 Sunday morning a year, really?   Are you curmudgeons just crazy now?

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

On southbound Carlisle St. @ Hall St., a large number of vehicles were trapped on the 1 way street for well over an hour, when they should have been diverted at Lemmon Ave. As it was, they had no way to turn around by the time they reached the barrier and no way to avoid being unexpectedly stopped in the first place.

Very bad planning.

By the way, I'm a runner and am a fan of the marathon.

Steve
Steve

I'm guessing most of you making comments are at least 100 lbs over weight. Try joining us for a run, or *gasp* a race. Maybe then you will see what it's all about. And to the genius commenter who thinks a marathon should be run around a .25 mile track, yeah what a fantastic idea. You must be the greatest thinker of your generation.

BFK
BFK

A refeshing view point. As I recall other contributors from the Observer have reprimanded us for not supporting the race enough

Sick of this S**t
Sick of this S**t

I live at the corner of Oram and Empire. The way station for the half-marathon. Every year the city puts up 6 port-a-potties in front of my apartment and attaches a water faucet to the hydrant. Then I get 30-40 a##holes in the yard with noise makers and cowbells 10 feet from my bedroom window for 8 hours. Leaving trash strewn about the yard. It's not the runners that piss me off, it's all the people standing around watching and cheering. A little consideration is all I ask, I don't show up and bang a cowbell outside of your bedroom in Plano at 7am on a sunday!

Jason
Jason

From the sound of your comment, I think you're fat! You shou get out and run a marathon! These runners seem like they'd be good company to keep...

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

I'd suggest you spellcheck before you make comments alluding to intelligence.

Anon
Anon

Having running marathons the same size of WRM and bigger it is planned very well actually.  Look up Rock N Roll Las Vegas that was the same weekend as WRM if you want a mess and pissed off people. 

Running a race with 26,000 people on trails is not feasible.  You would be running/walking over people everywhere.  What marathon this size have you run that uses trails?  And using WR as the start and finish and parking where? 

I understand communication may be an issue but the course is a very good one. 

PhilanderingMoustache
PhilanderingMoustache

I completely agree with you.  I live off of Matilda and I timed the helicopter droning at under an hour (53 minutes, precisely).  This woke up my baby and she was grouchy for the rest of the day because of it.

The maps are completely unhelpful and amateurish, and while I get routine updates on various issues from LGNA, all we received about the marathon was "expect some delays," which isn't helpful at all.  Where are the details?  The organizers don't provide any to the neighborhoods and when we express our displeasure, we are labeled as curmudgeons.

I signed up that Sunday to volunteer at a local organization at noon and guess what?  I couldn't make it because roads were still closed, even though the race website said they were supposed to be reopened at 11:30.  I'm so disappointed in this event, and I can't believe that the organizers can just do what they want without any input from the neighborhoods affected.

Anon
Anon

The helicopters are for the TV coverage by channel 8.  They are maybe around for 3 hours along the entire course as they follower the elite runners and by the lake/spillway for probably about 45 minutes.  The music will last for at least 5 hours in your area alone and none of it starts up in that area until at least 9:30 and probably later.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Missing an airplane flight because of the marathon is a little more than a slight inconvenience. Also, unless you take the newspaper, there isn't a lot of forewarning as to what is going on.  When I lived in Phoenix, the marathon ran by my house.  Every year, a week in advance, the organizers put out door hangers in the neighborhood giving the route, the useable streets and when they would open for traffic, and telling us the start and end times for the street closures.  I never missed a flight or even an appointment on race day.

jcs
jcs

Dallas is such a shithole because people like you respond to so many situations by jumping straight  to being a name calling asshole before trying to talk through solutions and trying to accommodate the needs of as many citizens (runners and non-runners alike) as possible. There is definitely a way to meet the needs of the runners and the citizens.The route planners should be experts at this, considering that they are getting paid for the marathon planning and the frequent occurrence of marathons in Dallas.

Alan
Alan

Strongly suggest you move to someplace you don't consider a shithole.  Today.

Marcus
Marcus

Alan - sorry about the miscommunication from the police officer - that is just not true.  We visited with your church several weeks before the race just as we did with all the other churches along the route to try to forewarn and alleviate as much anguish as possible prior to race day.

We study traffic maps with the police to try to impact as little of the residents along the course as possible. We offer to help as many people as possible get out of their neighborhood. We had several people who contacted us prior to race day thnk us for being proactive and providing alternative routes. Sure, some of them required leaving a little earlier or driving out of the way to get to a location just down the street a little.

For the others - it's easy to sit back and complain about the race.  If we REALLY what reaction, how about suggesting a solution (something other than "move the race to the Lake" or "move it to Saturday").

Citizen Kim
Citizen Kim

Let's see - everyone that doesn't get their kicks running in a straight line for miles and miles every day is a fat loser.

I don't know whether the mindless running does that to your brain, or it is just the mindless that are drawn to running.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

Congrats, steve! You've won the Dickhead of the Day Award!

Can I go ahead and use your logic and assume all marathoners are douchebags?

Jones7
Jones7

Bad guess. Not 100 lbs. overweight. Not any overweight.   Why not volunteer (gasp) at a hospital on Sunday morning? It does not have to be a win-lose situation. Everybody can win, if the planners put a little more thought into the route and notifications.

TimCov
TimCov

No thanks, I did enough of that crap when I was in the army. My chosen exercise is riding a bicycle through the woods and on neighborhood streets where there is little traffic.

Scruffygeist
Scruffygeist

The Komen Race for the Cure in Plano does in fact do that on a Saturday to me.

Sorry, east Dallas, you don't suffer alone, as much as it bruises your ego.

neighbor
neighbor

Wow. I live just down the street from you. People park in front of my house and leave beer bottles in my yard and make noise at all hours of the night on their way over to Greenville Ave--all year long, not just one day. I knew that before I moved to this area. The marathon has gone past your apartment for years. Your corner is not the way station for the half-marathon; it's farther down on Matilda. No one is banging cowbells outside your bedroom window at 7am. The race doesn't start until 8am, and even the fastest runner won't make it to Oram/Empire before 10:00am. The port-a-potties are picked up by 4:00pm.

Anyone who lives in East Dallas has to know that White Rock is going to draw a lot of runners, walkers, cyclists, and races. Seeing that as a bad thing, and vilifying the friends and family, those "a##holes" as you call them, who cheer on the runners outside your apartment for a few hours, is just plain sad--and says a lot about you.

Lets Keep it Real
Lets Keep it Real

Sick, let's do some math.  The race started at 8.  Oram and Empire is after mile 22 of the full marathon (the half doesn't go by you).  The earliest time that runners would be passing your house would be 10am.  I don't believe that people were standing under your window rattling cowbells three hours before the first runners went by.  Perhaps they were cheering for you to get out of bed and get some exercise?

RTGolden
RTGolden

But, he stayed at a Motel 6 last night!

jcs
jcs

Music started by 8:15 ish

RTGolden
RTGolden

"..... by jumping straight to being a name calling asshole.... "

Pot to Kettle, Pot to Kettle, come in Kettle. 

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

When I lived in Phoenix, the marathon ran by my house.  Every year, a week in advance, the organizers put out door hangers in the neighborhood giving the route, the useable streets and when they would open for traffic, and telling us the start and end times for the street closures.  

Jason
Jason

Marcus (Grunewald, I assume) - I think you were addressing me as part of the "others" in your last paragraph.  I have a couple of questions and suggestions.  How is the decision made to work with churches in advance of the race?  Are there any kind of notifications to residents of the race?  I honestly don't keep track of Dallas' marathon schedules.  In fact, this year I only remembered because I was going to dinner the night before and saw all of the road blocking stuff around Swiss.  If you don't do anything to notify residents, here's a thought which could benefit you as well - Do a mailing to all residents letting them know the routes, times and ways to get in and out of the neighborhood while doubling it as a chance to solicit for donations and/or volunteers for the event.  A lot of what you see as people just sitting back and complaining is really just frustration due to the number of races this neighborhood has per year, not just your event.  And judging by some of the other comments from runners or organizers it just feels like there is a sense of entitlement to the race/runners, and that the neighbors just need to shut up about it.  Another suggestion is that the race organizations need to become part of our neighborhood.  After all you all are using our neighborhood as the main part of your charity.  Set up a table a few weeks before the race at Whole Foods or Tom Thumb or 7-11 or at one of the many neighborhood Home Tours or Starbucks, let the neighbors know about the race and ask for donations.  I am still a little baffled that you took the time to work with the churches but not the other neighbors.  But, in the end, you really don't have to do any of this.  Just don't get upset when a blog writes in a negative fashion about the race and then when neighbors post their comments.  No one is innocent in this whole thing - Jim wrote his opinion, people effected by the race responded, runners and race organizers responded.  You can read this whole thread and get a general idea of where you think you might be doing things wrong or where you assume you are doing things right.  Thanks.

RTGolden
RTGolden

So..... because one one runner is mindless, all runners are?  

To quote Scruffy, can I use your logic and assume that all Citizens are douchebaguettes?

james
james

try to keep it down i was up kinda late last night

Chip
Chip

Good point.  I hope you took notice of this one, Marcus.

Chip
Chip

Marcus, as one of the residents along the route, I can vouch for the fact that we received ample notice, including the door hanger notifications (we got two this year) and numerous signs.  Every year I have been impressed at how efficient and professional the White Rock Marathon is handled, at least in my neighborhood.  (I live on Swiss.)  Not just the notifications, but the volunteers and the putting up and tearing down of things along the route (we have a concert stage built across the street each year the morning of the Marathon and it is gone by 3 every year after several hours of local bands doing delightfully amateur covers of Tom Petty, Nirvana, and the Rolling Stones).

I used to live down the block from Jim S.  Don't worry about him.  He loves to hear himself complain.  Frankly, I love to hear him complain too!  He's really good at it, and if I happen to agree with him (as sometimes I do, though not here), it's quite cathartic.  But y'all do a great job and I'm not surprised to see you soliciting feedback to try to do even better.

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

The notices need to go not only to the houses "along the route," but to the houses that are locked in by the street closures.

Marcus
Marcus

That's the problem with posts as opposed to direct communications. I sincerely do appreciate the responses, especially the ones with suggestions I can act upon (like yours).  I was referring to the small group of people who are going to complain no matter what. Those messages just get in the way of the people who truly want to help the situation, be it a resident or a runner. 

I will make it a point to contact the Dallas Observer prior to next year's race (Sunday, Dec 2) to see if they can help spread the warning....

Jason
Jason

Okay, that's cool.   As long as you are aware that all of your efforts are not getting to everyone or that you can at least see that there are flaws in your system of awareness.  No one is taking credit away from you anywhere in this thread.  People are just airing their grievances with the race.  Grievances that you feel are being addressed sufficiently prior to the race.  

So, here we are. You asked for opinions.  I gave opinions.  You responded to my opinions by telling us what you have done, then ended your response with the ho-hum "nobody likes us" attitude.  I don't recall anyone on here that has specifically said they don't like runners going down their streets.  They have just asked for more awareness of the race, the routing, and a way in and out of the neighborhood.Here's another suggestion for you: next year, send a nice little email to Jim, Robert, and Joe Tone asking if they can do a reminder on this blog about street closures.  I think their readership by East Dallas residents is pretty high.  Maybe next year you can avoid another one of these opinion pieces.  Or maybe not... because you have assumed that we just "don't like runners going down [our] streets."

Marcus
Marcus

Jason - I thought Jim's article was timely and certainly know he is entitled to his opinion. I am very aware of the inconvenience this causes people living along the race route.  Each year we improve the communications to the public at large.  I can tell you that we do more than what is required.  We did deliver a door hanger notifications to houses along the route, put up approximately 200 neighborhood notice signs the week of the race (White Rock Marathon this Sunday), put up lighted sign boards at major intersections and alerted city council members.  We are open to more suggestions as we would love to have the support of the citizens. We put a lot more thought into the process then given credit for, but that still doesn't sway those who just don't like runners going down their streets.

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