Posted by: David Stewart | October 18, 2010

You run fast enough, but your mouse is slow

OK, that’s really rude.

According to their web site, the Boston Marathon is "the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon."  It’s certainly the only major US marathon with a qualifying standard to get into the race.

And it just became even harder to get into.

This morning at 9:00AM Boston time (6:00AM local time here on the west coast of the US) registration opened on their web site.  Unfortunately, the registration form on the web site was non-functional: After 10 minutes of entering information and hitting the "submit" button, the web site would clear all of the entered information and return to the same initial form.

Personally, this is the first Boston for which I met the qualifying standard, so I was hot to get in the race. But after about an hour of attempting to enter, and information on Twitter and Facebook of others having similar problems, I posted my problems on Twitter/Facebook and prepared to head into work.

Fortunately, my friend Marc Frommer sent me a different web link to use, and this one worked fine. Success!

But not for everyone: my friend Anne from Spokane flashed me the news around 2:00PM – the marathon was full! Registration closed around 5:00PM Boston time.

So let’s see if I have this right:

  • It’s dang hard to get into this race anyway – those time qualifying standards mean you have to run a very fast 26.2 mile race. They are graded by gender and age, fortunately. But I have been running marathons since 1998, but I thought I was in striking range for three years before finally meeting the time – by about one minute, 20 seconds. Yikes, it’s hard to qualify!
  • Last year the race filled up in late November. I remember, because it was three weeks before I qualified at the California International Marathon in December. But this year, if filled in less than one day.
  • But to make it worse, the registration page at the home page was non-functional. Anyone with slightly less patience, or without a good network would be totally out of luck. (In fact, my friend Summer who qualified was not able to get in).

I guess to add to running in a qualifying marathon race, you now need to win a sprint on registration day.

Should they raise the qualifying standard making it even harder to get in? Yikes. That should be done very carefully, but it would make it even more exclusive.

Should they move to a lottery? This would make it a little fairer, but still would disappoint some who have worked hard to be fit enough to qualify.

All I can say is, just wait until next year – I bet it fills even faster.

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