Thursday, February 28, 2013

BofA Chicago Marathon - 2013 Debacle

Well it was bound to happen eventually.

The Chicago Marathon has become a lottery.  Of sorts.

With all the problems they had last Tuesday with the servers issue, people were outraged.  And I too was manic about it when trying to register.  I didn't have more than the hour at lunch and I hadn't made it in, but a friend texted me (she was already in) and said email her my info and she would sit there and get me through.  She sat there for I don't know how long and finally got me registered before they shut everything down.

I was hoping the dissonance would lessen after everyone had a chance to cool off--apparently there will always be whiners inexplicably showing a lack of maturity and reasoning. 

The organizers did the only thing they could do--have a lottery at this point. Without it, a meltdown would have ensued in the first five minutes after reopening registration and we'd be right back where this started. 

The organizers clearly stated their sorrow, acknowledged the frustration, explained what happened, presented a comprehensive Q&A list of lottery parameters and set up a window to accept and then choose entrants. 

As well, they will sit down over the next year to weigh the options for future races. Any seasoned runner, and especially marathoners know all the logistics of entering and staging a race. 

Newcomers are now learning these things as well. Frustration and shortsightedness are not part of this sport; perseverance and patience are. There is a finite number of entries available; that will not change--lottery or not.  I cannot believe the things I am reading where people are outraged because, for example, they already booked their hotel and airfare?  What?  And my personal favorite is how all that training will go to waste now.  Again I say What?  How is that?  You've been training already?  Why?  And then there are those that specifically state how they 'deserve' or are 'entitled' a spot based on either of these, or any other number of reasons.


This is no different than going to a store or concert to finding it sold are not entitled to an entry, only equal access and a chance to get on board like others. This race is popular because it earned the kudos through excellent staging, volunteers, a flat course, a great city with crowd support, and that they welcome ALL runners with ALL abilities to enter--first-timers, world-record holders, weekend warriors, and those who run for charities. 

This is one of the biggest running events in the world. Lapses happen and they fix it. They're not intentional nor taken lightly. Be a good steward of the running community and learn to accommodate the nuances as they arise--isn't that what distance running is all about?

As someone who has been marathoning for a few years now, and gone through the headaches over when Houston switched to a lottery, I obviously realized that, at least for now, marathoning became and seems to be something on a lot of peoples bucket list.

I don't know.   There are so many other marathons out there that if indeed your training is going to go to waste that a person could do either right before and right after Chicago.  

Run one of those.

Would I feel the same way had I not gotten in?




TX Runner Mom said...

So glad to see you blogging again! The Chicago thing was a mess, but I think lottery is the way to go for a race that size. It is what it is.

Karen said...

Glad you were able to get in! Can't wait to hear about your Chicago experience! (And I agree with you about the lottery system...)