I have never really done the Black Friday shopping thing…you know the 5am standing outside the store to get the bargain…don’t get me wrong I am ALL about a bargain – I just have a low threshold for the craziness involved in securing it!
Tuesday February 19th – which is obviously not Black Friday – at noon Central time had been marked on our calendars…with alarms set on our phones for at least the past month. It was the opening of registration for the 2013 Chicago marathon. This marathon has been in the plan….with declared PR objectives, it has been planned and discussed and has been a certainty. All we needed to do was enter.
In 2011 the race filled it’s 45,000 spots in 31 days….in 2012 it only took 6 days….
So, I strategically planned my “lunch break” around 1 pm EST and planned to have my finger on the trigger. I logged onto the website at 12:55 and was surprised to see that registration was already open….so I started filling out our entry. Bonus…this was going to be easier than I thought. I filled out all the forms for two entries and was about to pay when BAM. “This site is currently unavailable. Please check back later. We are sorry for an inconvenience caused.” Active.com, the registration provider, had crashed. Apparently they weren’t expecting 45,000 people to try to register at once….
So, I did what any sane, normal runner would do….I sat for an hour clicking on the button…making it through various levels of the forms an encountering server errors at random intervals and never actually making it to the payment screen.
Our groovy friends…Cara Jo and Mary Beth both tweeted that they both made it through the gauntlet and successfully registered. A coincidence that they are both programmers….I think not…clearly they had stronger internet skills than me! So I continued to click…and agree over and over with the waiver and declare that I was indeed over 16, and fill out my DOB….but nothing. Finally….my hour of clicking was up and I had to go back to work. I could have cried.
I understood what it felt like to get to the shelf right after the last bargain was gone. This marathon was supposed to be a done deal, and here we were not even sure if we could register! The logical part of my brain said…there are other marathons, a smaller race might be better anyway…definitely cheaper….but the “bought into the craziness part of me” just wanted to keep clicking!
Finally after the end of school, Kacey was able to make it through the screens of death after several failed attempts and after sending me several screenshots told me we were REGISTERED! I should have been doing a happy dance…but I still am not sure that after the craziness I quite believe it! Is that how it feels when you get home at 7am with your bargains?
Shortly after we successfully registered they suspended registration while they work through “system issues”, remove and refund the many duplicate registrations and fix their servers before re-opening registration for the apparently remaining 15,000 places. This apparently won’t be for at least another two days. I do have to give kudos to the Chicago Marathon for their communication, and addressing the concerns of many anxious runners trying to register…….and I also have to acknowledge that active.com did message me directly on twitter regarding my inquiry about refunds for duplicate registrations. Last time I checked the online system…right before they took it down to address duplicate entries…Kacey was registered about 8 times and I was registered about 6….hopefully this isn’t turning into an ultra!
So we are in. The plan is still on. The world is still turning. 😉
In other news…check out this new little video from the Endurance Fest that we told you about here.
Don’t forget to sign up for our Groovy Girls Go outing….spots are filling up fast. This is going to be a beginner friendly event, everyone is welcome!
Stay Groovy, stay sane and stay out of the craziness! Oh…and join us for a Groovy Girls Go outing to Detroit Endurance Lab!