Like many other runners I spent the afternoon of February 19th trying to register for the Chicago Marathon. Registration was set to start at noon CMT and they were claiming the race would sell out fast so there I sat mouse and credit card in hand waiting to sign up.
At the assigned time I hit refresh on the official site expecting the registration link to appear. No link, so I hit refresh again and again and again…still no link. I found the marathon Facebook page, no posting except the one starting that registration opened at noon. I did find many posts (by many I mean hundreds ) from other people like myself who could not get a link. The social media world saved me when someone posted a functioning link to the registration site. I used it and sure enough I got to the correct part of active.com. Unfortunately despite many attempts I was still not able to complete a registration. I got close a few times but I never managed to get to the end of the registration process before the server crashed.
An hour later I was still trying and still surfing, lots of Tweets, lots of Facebook posts but none of them from the Chicago Marathon. At some point the link went from taking you to the marathon registration to the marathon charity registration. Same link very different registration. Charity registration requires runners to raise hundreds of dollars for charity in order to run. I tried several times and got the same result
By 3:00 the active.com link was saying the race was sold out! Shortly there after it said there were technical difficulties and registration would re-open once they were fixed.
The marathon has a Facebook page and a twitter account but the first post from the race organizers did not appear until 2:29pm, it confirmed what we already knew…there was a problem. They were suspending registration and an announcement would be made at 6:00 pm so I did what any runner would…I went for a run. My running buddies had all spent the afternoon like I had trying to get into Chicago and most of them were successful so successful that many of them were registered three or even four times! With credit card charges to prove it!
Six o’clock I am back at the computer waiting. At 6:24 the announcement is made…we will make another announcement on Thursday! Thursday I am back again waiting only to be told come back next week!
Now it’s a lottery which I have entered. If I do get in I sure hope the race goes more smoothly than the registration!