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?
It seems like there is a growing trend of bigger races selling quicker than they ever have before.
By now I’m sure everyone is familiar with the fact that Boston Marathon sold out in a mere eight years this year and the changes that were made to the registeration process as a result.
Boston is not alone. This year’s Chicago Marathon also soldout in record time with the 45,000 spots being taken in just 31 days.
Closer to home I have been amazed at how quickly the Ottawa Race Weekend races have been filling up. The races are still approximately three months away and the half-marathon is already 98% sold while the 10 km and the marathon are both 60% sold.
On the one hand it is good to see more people taking an interest in running but on the other hand it means that we will have to commit to races earlier than before in order to guarantee a spot.
I was planning on waiting until after the Ottawa Marathon in order to decide if I want to do a fall marathon again this year. If the trend continues I may end up having to make that decision earlier than planned.
What do you think, is this trend good for running?
On a completely unrelated note, I just wanted to thank Tim over at 26.2 Quest for the Ryders Eywear contest he ran on his blog.