Registration Jockeys

Being director of a major international marathon is like being the U.S. President or owning a Zoo … It’s a job that sounds really cool but most people would never really want it.

The marathon has been making an effort to separate themselves from the registration melt down on Tuesday. Pointing out via several types of media  that it wasn’t the administrators of the marathon that were unprepared for what every runner knew would be a record breaking registration sell-out (duh, that’s why the whole debacle happened, everyone was hustling to beat the sell-out) , but rather, that they too are disappointed in the performance of the company with whom they contracted the registration process.

registration blame

Probably the right move but it’s not sticking. Listening to WBEZ (NPR) on Wednesday morning they referenced the marathon’s website as crashing, with no mention at all of

From a business perspective, I suppose ACTIVE messed up. But without knowing the details of their contract with the Chicago Marathon, I really can’t present too strong of an opinion.

Really, the booming popularity of running a marathon for a mind-boggling variety of motivations, and the reaction to that from the community of runners at large, is to blame. It’s been really interesting over the past week talking to runners of all abilities and levels of obsession. But nearly everyone agrees, a sport-wide change in how we select and sign up for races is likely coming.

I wonder where the sport of amateur road-racing will be in 5 years?

I’ve been waffling about running the 2013 Chicago Marathon since finishing the last one in October. As it happens, I’m all in, and as of now I’m planning to train my tuckus off this summer and go for a PR effort on October 13th.

Last week I was offered a spot at the Nike and BOA Chicago Marathon registration kick-off event at the House of Blues in Chicago. Which included the opportunity to register early. I am extremely grateful to Fleet Feet Chicago for giving my one of their coveted “tickets” to the event! (More directly to Dan, our fearless and unflappable Boston Bound leader, for thinking of me as he considered the list of suspects)

So, of course, on Monday night, I went, I ran, I schmoozed (I use the term extremely liberally here…mostly I just followed two very patient Boston Bound runners around and made lots of what were probably inappropriate jokes), and, I registered.

BOA-CM 2013

Dathan Ritzenhein was there to receive what I assume was a ceremonial only, first bib distributed for the 2013 event.

Dathan, Zac, Ed, and AB

He was a great sport about signing autographs and taking pictures. I’ve been following his training and racing for the past couple of years and he seems poised to have a phenomenal year!

So…enough about the professional…back to me: my “race schedule” is really filling up already for the year, which is frustrating, because I want to train hard and race with quality this year. But I want to do all the races! And there are so many!

As a final thought, I wear-tested a pair of the Nike Flyknit Lunar+1’s at the kick-off event on Monday evening. I have been “off” Nike’s outside of casual use since high school, but really loved these shoes!

They cost $160.

So I don’t think they are in my immediate future. Which is very unfortunate because they truly felt better than any of my current shoes.

What do you think about the streaking-fast speed of races selling out lately?


3 responses to “Registration Jockeys

  1. Thanks for the shout out! I love the photo of you all with Dathan in the BB jackets.

  2. Pingback: Progress isn’t always measured in obvious ways. | Fluency's Folly


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