April 10, 2013

Tips for Registering for Major Race

Just simply getting into a major race can be almost as stressful and require as much preparation as running it!  And I don't mean a race qualification - I'm talking about the registration process.  As you may remember, I had some challenges getting into the Marine Corps marathon two weeks ago.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful friend who graciously (and patiently) waited to get my registration into the system.

After rejoicing in my Marine Corps registration (my very first marathon), I reflected on my registration experience.  I did a few things right and a few things wrong.  Above all else, I wasn't terribly well-prepared for registering for such a popular race.  So I sat back to think a bit and pulled together a few tips for signing up for a major race such as Chicago, Marine Corps, Disney, etc.


1. Be patient. I cannot tell you how exhausting it can be to play the refresh, wait, refresh, enter info, refresh, wait, refresh, enter info game on a race registration site. 

2.Stay plugged into social media. When I was registering for Marine Corps, I was actively checking their Facebook and Twitter feeds, desperate for information. 

3. Have a back-up register-er. In other words, identify someone as a back-up who can try to register you if they are able to get through to the site.

4. Have all of your information ready. I'm talking credit card, expected finish time, proof of time,

5. Know the registration details. Will it take place on Active or another site?  What is the cost?  Are there extras you'll want to add - a shirt, medal, pasta dinner, etc?  Knowing all this ahead of time can help you anticipate what you may be up against. 

6. Get away.  Go on a 'lunch break' while you're trying to register as this may be a lengthy ordeal. 

7. Have a few devices for the refresh-repeat game.  I used both a computer and phone when trying to get into Marine Corps.  Sometimes, the registration site would load on one easier than another. 

8. Have a plan B. In the event that you're unable to get into the race, have a back-up race in your mind.  Maybe it's a race with friends, a similar event or a 'fun' race. 

Any other ideas?
{Christine}

16 comments:

  1. I like the idea of having a back up register-er. Why didn't I think of that?! I'll have to put my mom on race registration duty :)
    I would also suggest checking into early registration options...I know for runDisney if you are DVC or have a Disney Visa you were able to register early. I hope they continue that offer!

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    1. I agree Karen. Good to have Mom or some other person helping with the process. We love the early option for Disney with annual pass or Disney Visa. Takes the stress away, but not the training!

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  2. Unfortunately, race registration for Marine Corps started at 12:00pm when I was supposed to be working... So, you know, planning for that probably would've been a good idea. "I'm sorry, I can't go to that meeting because I'm registering for a marathon" not usually a good enough excuse surprisingly...

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    1. Haha....agree, work sometimes gets in the way of more important things like race registration!

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  3. Wow, I had no idea how complex the process was; I have not experienced anything like this before. You can bet I will be using these tips when I do though!

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    1. It is amazing how fast some of the races are filled. It takes patience and a bit of luck to be able to pay your money and register!

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  4. Great tips! Glad you were able to get into MCM afterall. I like the idea of staying plugged into social media during the registration phase - always lots of valuable info shared there. Thanks for sharing! :0)

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    1. It is nice to have such good running buddies that can help out! Katie was a lifesaver!

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  5. I would also suggest that just because you didn't get into the general registration, you can still look into Charity Registrations. I got into the Marine Corps Marathon in 2012 (painful and stressful experience) through general registration, but didn't get into the Chicago Marathon in 2013 (Active crashed) and am now registered with Team Bright Pink Charity Entry! If you have your heart set on running a race and it is sold out, don't give up there may still be an option!

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    1. That is an excellent suggestion. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. The backup idea is brilliant!!!!!

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    1. Yes, this mother is proud her daughter thought of that one!

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  7. Agreed about social media! I found out about the Disney Visa and early registration through either facebook or a blog somewhere...I'm glad I did! As these races fill up faster and faster, it's nice to have that advantage AND the discount that goes with it! I hope it continues!

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    1. Jennifer, we count on the early registration for Disney for the discount AND the lack of stress! We hope it continues too!

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