Monday, October 18, 2010

Boston Marathon fills in ONE DAY!

Unbelievable. News from the Boston Athletic Association this afternoon:

“Registration for the 115th Boston Marathon began at 9:00 a.m. (EST) today, and closed at 5:03 p.m. (EST) The Boston Marathon -- the world's oldest and most prestigious annual marathon -- will take place on Monday, April 18, 2011, Patriots' Day in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In 115 years, this is the fastest period of time in which the field size limit has been reached.

The number of entrants for next year’s race remains as it has been in recent years. In 2010, the race had 26,790 entrants and 22,721 finishers. For the 2010 Boston Marathon, registration filled in just over two months.

Given that the site wasn't even working for the first two hours, that means it filled up in ~7 hours. I guess it's time to introduce the BAA to Ultrasignup's lottery system! Just crazy. I guess this answers the question if last years fast fill-up created some pent up demand. But think of all that lost revenue from late entries! ;-)

Do you think this means they will raise the qualifying standards to get in for 2012? Seems like a feasible solution.

I hope all who wanted to get to Boston '11 set their alarms today...if so, I will see you there.



  1. Scott,

    >Given that the site wasn't even working for
    >the first two hours

    The site worked from the very beginning, just not as well as it should have. It was simply overwhelmed. Say 10,000 people tried to register in the first hour but only 2,000 were successful, therefore you'd hear from 8,000 people that it didn't work, prompting you to report it didn't work when IT DID. 450 entries in the first 10 minutes.

    I tracked it and posted on FB, such as "Friend in at 10:05 with #2214. Another just in at 10:50 with #4399. 4400 / 110 mins puts it back up to 40/min. 2,400 per hour."

    Page was live at 9:01 and BAA says they closed at 17:03. Eight hours, lots of glitches but fairly steady, and IMO biggest hour was probably 11:00-12:00. As load dropped due to first 5,000 entries getting in, number of failures also dropped, making it appear to be working better even though technically nothing changed. There's human psychology and there's technical facts. Same results, different outlooks.

  2. Glad I got in, but many who were at work and didn't have time or computer access did not. Feel really bad for those folks.

  3. If they raise the standards by lowering the times any chance I may have to qualify will be gone, gone, gone. Perhaps that will be liberating in and of itself!

  4. Stephen -

    Thanks for the analysis! I should have been watching your "feed" to give people updates. ;-)


  5. Fun commentary from Facebook:

    Scott Dunlap Can you believe it? The Boston Marathon sold out in one day today. That's up from 62 days last year. I don't want to sound elitest here, but I think it's time to step up the qualification times. ;-)
    17 hours ago · Comment ·LikeUnlike

    Melissa Fryback That's just wild. One day? Wow. I hate to say it, but I agree.
    17 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Mark E Ott I agree as well
    17 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Jennifer Rapaport Agree!
    16 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Derek Schultz I dont think that is a bad thing at all- thought about it last year. First of all, the original qualifications for my age used to be 2:50. Now it is 20 minutes slower. I think they should lower the times, or start the race earlier, like at 8 am, and have two different starts to the race, allowing many more people to sign up. Although that would be one long day for the volunteers.
    16 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Eric Schranz Get rid of the fundraiser entry (sorry, gotta do it), and make the gals' qualifiers more competitive. That'll solve a lot of the trouble, IMHO.
    16 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Michael Quispe Eric, I'm with you all the way. There are tons of other fundraising events.
    16 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Norbert Leinfellner I'd rather step up the WS qualifying times.
    15 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Jesse Barragan Yeah i would have to agree with both Eric and Scott. One day, that's nuts.
    15 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Jesse Barragan And Norbert.
    15 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Jason Reed Tougher times needed. Time to match the New York plan.
    15 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Rod Bien I agree. Kinda like WS. Plus, I think it should be sub 20 for a silver buckle. That is more like a 3 hour marathon....
    15 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Rob Evans Back to the good old days, 2:50 forthe young men... Sounds very reasonable.
    5 hours ago · LikeUnlike.

    Grae Van Hooser Sub 20! God, don't say that! I can't even break 24 anywhere. How about sub 22. That would be a bit kinder for us older folks.

  6. Got to be an increase in difficulty for getting in. That would make it even more prestigious. After all, London and NYC have faster qualifying times.

    Or maybe a faster guaranteed qualification time and a lottery for the excess with the current times.

  7. That's crazy, and I wonder how it turned out for people thinking about registering from abroad and other time zones. To a much bigger scale though, that reminds me the "cyber sprint" of the former Way Too Cool registration process... ;-)

    Glad to have checked this legendary race off my Bucket list several times and that I was not planning on returning in 2011. But sad that this rush must exclude many many runners who were dreaming of joining the party and will not be able to, despite qualifying.

    Thankfully, there is still a ton of great races out there which are not filling up that quickly.

    With that, congrats in getting in!


  8. Qualifying standards will go up. For those of us in distant time zones. It's almost impossible to get into the BAA website save setting your alarm for 2:30 am out here.

    My bet is much tough standards or a switch to something similar to New York: guaranteed entry if you meet a certain very strict time standard and then if you meet an easier time standard you go into a lottery for any remaining slots.

    As it is what happed for the 2011 race has already made me decide to change my race strategy for the up coming C.I.M in early December. Not even going to attempt to run a BQ time. And I'm much happier now too.

    Aloha. and some good thought up above.


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