Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A debacle

Mom gave me a few dollars for Christmas. I bought three photographs from the Columbia City marathon, and kept the rest, earmarking it for the Chicago marathon. The entry fee was $175 and while really expensive, it's like the Goofy - something I'll do once. Also like the Goofy, everyone I know who has run Chicago has raved about it.

Registration opened today at 12:00 central time. I was online shortly after 1pm eastern time, and there was no place to register. Ok. I know it normally takes 4-5 days to sell out all 45,000 spots so I went to the post office and tried again when I got home.

What an absolute debacle!!! So many times I filled out the first page, then it crashed and the site was "unavailable." I got to the pay page, and it kept happening again. 40 minutes later I could finally click "pay now" and got the unavailable page again.

Was I registered? No idea! There was no confirmation page, no confirmation email, nothing! So I checked my credit card and I paid TWICE! I immediately emailed the marathon folks to report the error and ask that the duplicate be refunded asap.

I'm far from the only one with multiple registries. Some people reported on facebook being registered 6 or 8 times. The marathon finally had to suspend registration until active.com gets their sh!t together. I've never been a fan of active and this only confirmed it.

From the marathon web site:

Our registration provider Active.com is still working to resolve the system-wide technical issues that have caused the temporary suspension of registration for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon. We will provide another registration update this evening at 6 p.m. Central Standard Time. 
Please note that the 2013 Chicago Marathon has not yet sold out. We will reopen registration once the issue has been resolved. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience. 
For those who were able to successfully complete the registration process you can confirm you registration by clicking here.
Here's the update:
We are incredibly sorry that runners interested in signing up for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon experienced such difficulties today. We have been working nonstop with our registration provider to find the root of the problem and a solution. Many runners were able to sign up before the registration process was suspended. There are currently 15,000 entries remaining. Before we re-open registration, we need to make sure all technical issues are permanently resolved. We will provide ample notice regarding when the registration process will re-open.

For those who were able to successfully complete the registration process, you can confirm your registration by going to www.chicagomarathon.com/confirmation. For those that were charged more than once, our registration provider Active.com is in the process of refunding any duplicate charges and will notify these participants.

We do not plan on reopening registration within the next two days. We will provide another update on registration by 5 p.m. Central Standard Time on Thursday.
Since my credit card was charged, I guess I'm registered, now just wait for my refund. Good thing I have a high credit limit because I assume they're going to take their sweet time with the refunds.

As soon as I emailed the race organizers, I had the biggest sense of deja vu, that this exact situation had happened before. (Guess they changed the Matrix...) In that version, I was on the phone with them explaining "No, don't refund BOTH entries. I want ONE entry! Just cancel the redundant one." Last time I checked I was the only Michelle Bemis in Southgate :)

Chicago is one of only five world major marathons and I think it's the only one with open entry (ie any one can enter, no qualifying standards or lotteries). I put myself in the "G" corral for those expecting to finish between 4:00 and 4:45. It's more than double the size of the Free Press and I'm so excited!!!!

Something funny that I'm really really looking forward to is the possibility of meeting my "boyfriend" Hal Higdon. He was a presenter at the expo last year, so I'm counting on him being there again!!!! (He lives really close.) Imagine meeting after so much time together! Awwwh!!!! *heart* you Hal!

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