The changing room situation would never fly in the States. In previous years there were separate tents for men and women to put their bags/backpacks and change their clothing after the race. This time around the tents were marked for men and women. But there were women in the men's tent and vice versa. When I was in the tent after the race doing some stretching and switching from running shoes to sandals, there were two men nearby who had stripped down to their birthday suits. There were also women who had stripped down to nothing with men in the tent. I've been living in Europe too long because that didn't faze me at all. A pervert in the tent was the last thing on my mind while I was doing my post-race stretching routine. Even if there was a pervert in the tent, he probably would have been too tired after running 21.1 km to engage in any deviant behavior.
I also can't imagine having unguarded tents in the States. Someone would go through them during the race and take anything valuable. I know that's a horrible thought about my fellow countrymen. But it seems like if you turn your back on something in the States, it's gone before you realize it. I had my wallet with emergency money, old mobile phone, massage stick (that was definitely the most valuable item after the race), and car keys in my gym bag. Everything was there when I returned. It's wonderful to concentrate on the race without worrying about my things.
It was nice that the trails in the English Garden used for the race were blocked off to non-racers. It's enough of a challenge to find a gap to pass another runner without getting an elbow in the face. But having casual park visitors trying to cross the trails in previous years made it even more daunting. This was the first year that the trails were closed to the general public.
I had two songs in my head that alternated throughout the race: "Long Cool Woman (in a Black Dress)" by the Hollies and "Talking in Your Sleep" by the Romantics. The chorus to "Talking" started playing in my head as I was in line for the Porta Potty before the race. "Long Cool Woman" put me in a good frame of mind because I heard that one during the Neumarkt City Run 10.5K one year when I did well.
When I took the subway back to the park-and-ride where I left my car, I felt sorry for the people sitting next to me. After running 21.1 km, I know that I didn't smell like roses. But they were nice and didn't seem to care. One of the people had done the City Run before. Another one was from California and is spending the summer in Munich visiting friends.
It's nice that all rides on Munich public transportation on race day are free with your race shirt or registration papers. There wouldn't be any place to park near the start area anyway. The subway is very convenient and the park-and-ride that I use only costs 1.50 euro for the day. It's a 12-minute ride from there to the start area. The subway stop is about 100 meters from the changing tents and starting line.
In Germany there are still a lot more men who race than women. In the States the ratio is around 50-50. There were about 1500 female finishers in yesterday's half-marathon and about 4500 men. In the more serious runs, there is an even higher ratio of men to women. Running is still viewed as more of a male sport.
Today was a lazy day, though my muscles aren't as sore as I thought they would be. Earlier this afternoon I took a short walk. Tomorrow I'll ride my bike to work to loosen up my muscles. I should be back on the trails by the end of the week.