Safety concerns for SB glow runners and pub crawlers

South Bend, Ind. Racers and pub crawlers swarmed South Bend Saturday in separate events that saw their fair share of road blocks in the approval process.

The Bend it 'til it Breaks pub crawl ended at Four Winds Field just as the city's Glow in the Park 5K run was gearing up for the race.

"This is not our first time with festivals downtown and events like Notre Dame football," said Capt. Phil Trent of the South Bend Police Dept. "We've got this well in hand and there's numerous officers working and there's going to be a lot of law enforcement presence there today."

Some of South Bend's Public Works officials expressed concerns when approving the pub crawl back in March.

"There could be some big liability issues for the city here," said Ed Glecker, Manager of Traffic and Lighting, in an email to others on the board.

Police presence was evident Saturday, with officers lining many downtown streets and patrolling pub crawl locations.

"You don't want people drinking and driving and you also don't want large groups of people crossing the street not at intersections," said Jason Zolman of Corby's Irish Pub, which participated in the crawl. "But the cops have been out blocking intersections and following folks around, which is really good."

Area police were also on high alert for participants heading home after a long day of drinking.

"There's going to be multiple layers of law enforcement out there -- some in uniform and some not. Some making their presence known and others looking for intoxicated drivers or intoxicated persons that are just walking the streets," Trent said.

As for the Glow Run, NewsCenter16 viewers might remember that City officials debated revoking the event's permit after learning of the organizers poor rating by the Better Business Bureau.

The race was ultimately allowed to proceed with the commitment by Dean Reinke, the Glow Race organizer, to provide necessary refunds for canceled or rescheduled races -- an issue that has been a previous source of complaints.

"At the end of the day this is what we do," Reinke said just before the race began. "We've been doing it for 30 years we'll do it for another 30 years. I'm a South Bend native and to run on a Saturday night, closing down South Bend on Michigan St.... it's phenomenal."

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