The Popularity of Races

In case you needed more proof of big races today’s technical difficulties experienced by the Chicago Marathon serve as a good reminder. In case you have not heard, the race was widely expected to sell out within hours after registration opened today. However, demand caused the website to crash and registration is currently closed until those technical issues are resolved.

This is not the first time something like this has happened. You may recall that Boston experienced similar issues a couple of years ago leading them to implementing changes to the qualification process. We’ll see if this prompts similar changes in Chicago.

Here in Ottawa race weekend directors have not experienced opening day demand large enough to crash the website but the trend for the last few years is that the 10 km and half-marathon have been selling out earlier and earlier. Currently the marathon is also close to selling out.

If this trend continues we will see more of the bigger events selling out in record time and websites experiencing more traffic than they can handle once registration opens to the public.

Does this mean we will see more races implementing qualifying standards? Maybe more races implementing lottery systems like New York?

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