Group Race Registration Fail. Again. – Race Planning 101
Well, I can’t believe that happened. Again.
I suppose we all have a fail or two or three that makes us “famous” within our group of friends. Annette’s is great and has to do with the theme of this shirt:
But, I’ll leave that story for another day. I’m here to confess my fails.
In 2013, we were planning our Fall marathon trip. We picked the Richmond Marathon, which is apparently a great race. But, by the time we picked it, and got the point of planning, two things happened.
First, I had an Achilles injury that kept me from running for three weekends. By the time I discovered the miracle cure of the Strasburg sock, I was already well behind the training schedule.
Second, all the hotels near the start were sold out. Now, that may not sound like a big deal, but one of my main peccadilloes in race searching is logistics. I like them to be, well, easy. I want to roll out of bed and walk to the start. No shuttles. No lines. No waiting a million hours for the start. That’s not to say I have not done those things, sometimes you have to – like for Chicago, New York . . . Carmel, Indiana (yes, I know, you wouldn’t think it, but you do). So, if I am picking a race, a hotel near the start/finish is key to me. That was the last straw for Richmond that year for me.
Instead, Annette, Deborah, and I decided to go to Huntsville, Alabama for the Rocket City Marathon. That race FINISHES at the host hotel. It doesn’t get more logistically easy than that.
We decided. We trained. At the time, I was distracted. I was having a very rough personal time and was very overloaded with work and worried about my injury. But I was almost on schedule and was getting in my long runs – and because of work travel, cramming several 18 and 20 milers were in way early on Friday mornings with Mike. I reserved a hotel room. I had a ride.
The Saturday before the race I thought of one small thing. I had not registered. Surely this was no big deal. This was a small race. Deborah had done it twice. But, when I went to the website, those words were there. Registration Closed. Sold Out. My pleas to the race director went (not understandably) unheeded.
You would think something like that would not happen again.
You would be wrong.
This year, our group was planning for Spring. I did the Asheville Biltmore Half Marathon last year, and loved it.
I convinced everyone to do the race this year as a group trip. That took a little time, but the race was in March, and it was December. I found us a place to stay. I contacted my friend who lived there. We made sure we were on the training schedule. I TWEETED about my training. I tagged the marathon. They retweeted it. Then, in early January, when we made the decision to register, KB pointed out a problem. SOLD OUT.
Now, scramble to figure something else out. We looked at every race we could find for the same weekend and ended up choosing between Tobacco Road and the inaugural Montgomery, Alabama full and half. And . . .
Montgomery here we come! Logistics are good with nearby hotels and houses to rent, and hey, I’ve never been there. They will also let LA run the half with her Weimeraner, he will get a shirt and everything!
So, the New Year starts off with some more bumps, but also a new discovery of a new race and new possibilities! Now, I guess we need to go register . . .