If you’re a runner, you’re probably already aware of the Chicago Marathon registration fiasco.
If not, here’s a quick recap: Registration opened for the 2013 Chicago Marathon on February 19. The technical servers at Active.com, the site hosting the registration process, couldn’t handle the HUGE amount of traffic that would have probably filled the marathon in record time, maybe just hours. Their site crashed: some people could not get to the registration form at all; some would get partially through registration but time out; some would unknowingly get all the way through and register multiple times. After a couple hours, registration was suspended. Marathon officials finally held a lottery for the remaining 15,000 open spots (hosted on their OWN site, may I point out). Those 15,000 (of about 36,000 in the lottery) who were chosen at random had a couple days to then actually sign up. If you weren’t chosen—that was it, better luck next year, unless you wanted to sign up to run [and raise a lot of money] for a charity.
Where does this leave me, Amanda, who decided to finally run my first marathon—so excited, committed and motivated that I had told pretty much EVERYone I knew?
The night before marathon registration began, Brandi attended an official event at the Chicago House of Blues and was able to pre-register. “Sign up as soon as you can tomorrow,” she had told me. She heard buzz that it would fill in record time.
So, I was one of the thousands who logged on at 12:00 on the dot when registration opened. I had one hour before I had to leave work to catch a flight to a conference. After countless page refreshes and curse words in my mind, I gave up and just figured I’d try later. I didn’t even think about it again until a few hours had passed, just minutes before we were to begin boarding the flight I had to be on. Miraculously, I got to the registration page, put in my personal & credit card info—only to then receive an error message. I gave up and boarded the flight.
It wasn’t until later that night when I realized what a mess the registration was turning out to be. Lara called me to say she couldn’t get through and registration was suspended. I wasn’t even sure if I was registered, until I checked my credit card statement online and saw there was a charge. Phew. But I was still bummed: Brandi, Lara & I had all decided we would run it together…that was one of the biggest reasons I had even decided to run the marathon in the first place. If Lara couldn’t participate, then it just wouldn’t be the same. I could feel my excitement waning.
Lara signed up for the lottery, only to receive a rejection email that she wasn’t one of those chosen to sign up. Womp. What were we to do? Lara could sign up to run through a charity—but having done that in the past, she knew how hard it was to raise the large amount of money needed for that, which could be over $1000.
“YOU HAVE TO DO IT!” I kept telling her. She had two sisters ready & willing to help her raise the money for a charity, if that’s what it took to get her in.
So, that’s what she did. She signed up through Girls on the Run to raise money & run for their cause. It’s a cause all three of us sisters believe in and have run for before, and actually, I am glad we can support them as we run this race. 26.2 miles to help young girls build confidence and self-esteem? What better reason could there be?
Don’t worry…we’ll be posting a donation link for you to help, too.
So there you have it—despite the pesky interweb’s best try, all three of us RUN sisters have signed up for the Chicago Marathon. Hope you’re all ready to hear about it for the next 6 months!
Let us know: Were you able to get in? Do you know someone else who is signing up through a charity to run?