It Took HOW Long?

Early this afternoon, I got an email from the Chicago Marathon.  In the subject line, it said something to the effect of “Registration Has Closed in Record Time for the BOA Chicago Marathon”.  It took all of 6 days for the Chicago Marathon to sell out 45,000 slots.  6 DAYS! Last year, it sold out in a month.  In 2003, it sold out in 35 weeks.  Crazy what less than 1o years can do, huh?  That and the effects of social media like Facebook and Twitter.  You can like the Chicago Marathon or follow them to see all the craziness that has ensued since registration opened on February 1st.

Obviously, some people are bummed that they didn’t have the chance to register.  Or that they didn’t have the $150 registration fee to get in this year.  Or that they’re unsure if current injuries will keep them out of the early October race and there’s no way to transfer in with someone who down the line can no longer run.  However, one of the nice things about runners is that we like to do things for others.  So while we put ridiculous amounts of miles on our legs training (I ran 1500+ miles last year) in any weather (or at the gym like me to watch sportscenter, basketball and football), there’s always the idea of running for charity.  I’ve blogged about my experience with Jack’s Fund for whom I ran the NYC Marathon for in November and The Steps Foundation, for whom I ran the Chicago Marathon for in 2010.  This year, I’m returning to Chicago for the American Cancer Society, however, there’s a whole list of charities offering slots into the marathon as long as you fundraise a certain amount of money.  If you want to run Chicago this year, consider doing it for something better, like to support Girls on the Run, Children’s Oncology Services, The Pat Tillman Foundation or any of the other Charities offering entries into this years race.  To those in, congrats!!

Side note, to anyone interested in running the Broad Street Run in Philadelphia, registration opens Wednesday, February 15.  It sold out in a week last year!

Chicago Marathon- Runaway Registration!

I love Chicago- it’s a little known fact, but I really do. I ran my second marathon there in 2010 and finished in 93 degree weather while running for The Steps Foundation. Registration for the 2012 Marathon opened up February 1st. In 2 days, 30000+ people have registered for the race. THIRTY THOUSAND! The Chicago Marathon has been selling out quicker and quicker every year. Last year it sold out in a month. This year, it’s looking like it’ll go quicker. So, if you have the desire to run a flat, fast course with 45,000 of your closest friends, pull the trigger soon! Go here to register.

Don’t believe me with how quickly registration is going? Take a look at this release from the higher ups.

A few people I know (including me) are running for Charity. Interested? Surf the Charity Page and see if there’s one you like. I’m doing this race for ACS and DetermiNation.

Happy Running!

NYC and the [Broken] Lottery System

Dear NYRR and ING NYC Marathon,

Today was the lottery for the NYC Marathon, a Marathon with had 90,000+ people in the non guaranteed lottery.   Additionally, a bunch of people already in through the guaranteed entry program, but that’s besides the point.  about 350 people had the chance to go to Columbus Circle to be the Opening Day Crowd and some of them won entries into the Marathon and were given their bib.  And by some, I mean 10, but that’s besides the point.  Then, it was a ridiculously long period of watching names scroll down the side of NYRR TV to see if people had been chosen.  Yes, 90,000+ people watching for 9,000 slots.  How the h**l does that make any sense???

First, not everyone on the east coast has a noon lunch, noon being the time the Opening Day started and we thought that names would begin to be released.  I didn’t log on to see Al Roker speak, as much as I love the guy, or TJ (or whatever her name was) spin a wheel or whoever the commentators were talk about things other then the lottery.  If you say people are going to be announced, then names should be announced.

Then, there was the log-in feature on NYRR.com.  For whatever reason, that was shut down until tomorrow.  Why, I have no idea.  Though there was a search application added, it was added who knows how long after names were drawn.  How about letting people log on like we were expecting and not have to find a search site that wasn’t where anyone expected it.

Now tonight, people who were accepted are now being dropped because their credit cards weren’t ‘valid’ even though they checked them numbers and the correct info was entered (though there were a few cases where people had cards stolen in the past few days and their accounts froze). What the?!?!

The purpose of this letter is to tell you to get your crap together.  You’re a major marathon and have been around far too long for this type of thing to happen.  My suggestion is to move up the opening day and the lottery to February or March.  Some races opened and sold out (read, the Chicago and Marine Corps Marathon) so there are 2 big ones people can’t get into.  Apparently, last year had a system that people thought worked.  I didn’t apply last year but if it worked, why’d you change it?  You’re getting close to $200 a head for this thing that people want to do, so make it right- you’ve been around long enough!!

Now, I will still run your race as I’m running for charity.  I’ve known since mid February-March that I would be on their team either way and they’ve been more than helpful.  Lesson for you NYRR, listen to your runners and applicants, especially those on facebook, twitter and those emailing- they got some good ideas!!

Thanks and see you in November anyways,

Christine

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