When registration goes bad

Dear Broad Street Run,

I’d hate to be your IT guy right now.  Registration today was long, hard and unenjoyable.  It took me three times to try and get through due to site slowness and runners not being able to breath in and breath out and take their time in registering.  The Broad Street run sold out in 5 days last year.  Were you not expecting to have ridiculous numbers of runners sitting by their computers waiting to sign up as registration was suppose to open ‘around 10 AM’??  I mean really, this race has been around awhile.  A friend of mine was tweeting other races because of people’s frustration with registration.  Granted, us runners probably need to learn to breath in and out a little bit in relax, but what can we say, we get excited about things.  Then, there’s the issue of people being registered multiple times. I mean, there has to be some way to set up the confirmation stage so people don’t click buttons more than once.  I feel for the people who hit confirm, yet get a ‘service unavailable’ message- that was me my first time too.  But people having to wait 40 minutes- a few hours for things to go through??  It’ll take me a shorter amount of time to run the race.  I think It’s about time to get a better registration system.  You figured people were going to hop on the registration band wagon so why not bite the bullet before issues come up?  You might want to fix some things ASAP before it becomes known as the BS Run.

Love,

The Long Distance Running Community

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!

When Running Expos Get Interesting

This morning I spent a good 5 hrs at the Broad Street Run(BSR) expo volunteering.  It involved me sitting and looking up bib numbers on a computer when people forgot to bring a print out of their number confirmation or couldn’t pull the email up on their phones because they deleted the email.  I was suppose to be there at 7:30 but since nothing really goes on the first 20 minutes or so, I ended up getting at the expo (over at the sports complex) at 7:35 and found the entrance for volunteers after walking aimlessly and

The design on my volunteer and running shirt

following in venders.  After signing in and getting a shirt (which turned out to be the same design as the running shirt I picked up yesterday with my bib and gear), I headed over to my station with 3 comrades and waited for instruction (think like 755).  Even at 755, we got no official training on how to actually look things up (this includes the people who actually showed up on time).  Thankfully we were smart enough to figure it out as there was only 3 or 4 links on the computer and only 1 which actually made any sense to click.  The nice thing is we could search people’s email, phone number or address in addition to last names (but that’s besides the point).  We got waves of people so sometimes we were busy, sometimes we weren’t.

Anyways, every once in awhile, one computer wouldn’t find someone’s number but the computer next to it would.  Apparently it has to do with when the fancy IT people update the systems on the computers.  As they go through, changes are made so not all the computers have everyone for some reason.

My story of the day in bib looker upper station is this.  A husband and his wife came to look up their numbers and the numbers of a friend of theirs and the friend’s bf.  We find the husband, wife and the bf of the bf/gf team.  We search the gf’s name, email, address and phone number (work, home and cell numbers) on 2 computers and the gf was nowhere to be found in our system.  The husband of the husband/wife team finally calls the gf of the gf/bf team.  It turns out, the bf registered himself but forgot to register her even though he said he would do both.  That stings (yes, stings, not stinks).  For the record, if it were my bf, I’d yell at him then take his number and run the race myself if I didn’t hurt him first.  However, the gf should have double checked this.  BSR sold out in 5 days and I wouldn’t trust my registration on anyone.

The only story that tops this is the little 3 yr old working next to his dad helping pass out bananas at a nutritional education table.  When I picked up my bib and shirt (and lack luster swag bag that had nothing good in it- more in the race review on that), I stopped to get a banana (free food and I was hungry).  The little kid handed me a banana and then proceeded to tell me to have a good race.  CUTEST. KID. EVER.

So sometime tomorrow morning (830 AM to be exact) the starting line of BSR 2011 will look something like this

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