Chicago Marathon Disaster

Update 2/20/13:
The team at is working like mad to get everything straightened out.

Last night I received an email apologizing for the mixup, confirming my registration and acknowledging the double billing.

By this morning I got another email authorizing the refund, which should be processed by my bank in a few days.

However some people of the companies Facebook page are still not satisfied for some reason. Runners are talking about disputing all charges with their credit card companies and asking for compensation for the headache this caused.

I have bad news for those folks. If you were double billed, you’ll get refunded for the mistake. But I wouldn’t count on getting out of the race with a credit card dispute. You did intend to register and you did so successfully, so zip your lip and enjoy the race.

For those wanting compensation, you’re not going to get it. There is no reason for it. When registration re opens do your best to get in.

Just like trying I ER tickets to a concert or broadway show, there are only a limited number available. So better luck next year.

There is no shortage of angry runners in Chicago right now. The stress of trying to register for the 2013 Chicago Marathon combined with technical issues on caused quite a mess on Tuesday.

CM13 was expected to once again sellout in record time and runners knew it. So like a pack of wild animals, we all logged on right at noon to claim one of the 45,000 spots.

The problem seems to be that (the website that processes the registrations) wasn’t quite ready for that kind if mad rush.

I personally spent close to 3 hours trying to get through registration. I can’t even count the amount of times the server timed out or I was greeted with a message saying to try again later.

A few times I got to the payment page before being bumped off the site. Twice I submitted my payment info. The first time I got an error message. The second time I registered successfully.

However like many people I was billed twice. Some runners on Facebook & Twitter reported being billed up to 5 times.

Eventually the race organizers and decided to shutdown registration until they solved the problem.

As you could imagine that only made matters worse for people hell bent on registering today.

Just a few minutes ago the Bank of America Chicago Marathon posted a message on their Facebook page saying that registration would be closed for at least 2 days while they solve the issue.

They also mentioned that anyone double billed would be refunded the additional amount. Which put users that were concerned about the “No Refund” policy at ease.

Finally the race organizers stated that 15,000 spots were still available when registration re-opens in a couple days.

I however am curious about those numbers because of all the multiple billings. I find it hard to believe that 30,000 entries sold in a matter of hours.

When I logged on to confirm my registration I was listed twice. Which means I currently have 2 of the 45,000 spots.

I anticipate more open spots being announced prior to registration re-opening. While the Chicago Marathon was expected to sellout in record time again I still believe they were thinking days not hours.

We’ll see what happens in a few days. But I’m registered, so I need to get running!

Happy Training.

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