– It’s a stone’s throw from where I grew up, and where I still have lots of family and friends.
– The scenic route starts and ends near Arlington Memorial Cemetery, and winds around Washington DC in front of the monuments and the Smithsonian.
– I want to beat Oprah’s time (a fairly impressive 4:29:15) on the same course that she ran.
– I wasn’t sure that I wanted to run CIM again… though I would if I couldn’t get in to MCM.
Since last year’s race sold out in 2 hours 40 minutes, I was anxious about whether I could secure a spot. Registration opened this morning at 12:00 p.m. ET sharp. With the registration page ready and loaded on my browser, I watched as the clock ticked to exactly 9:00 a.m. PT. I hit refresh and was happily shown a registration form on Active.com. I filled out all of the information as quickly as possible, hit submit, and BAM. The first of many error messages popped up on my screen. I frantically kept refreshing the page, only to continue to see the “Error, try again” page.
Eventually, I saw this message, which made me feel slightly better:
But after a few attempts, this “automatically re-try” page led me back to the error page I saw earlier. I kept clicking on the registration link, and miraculously, I got to the first form again after about 5-10 minutes. I filled it out, hit submit, and crossed my fingers. It worked! Next, I entered my credit card and billing information. I must have forgotten to cross my fingers this time, because the next screen I saw was yet another error message. AAAACK. I tentatively pressed the “back” button and prayed that the credit card screen would reload, as opposed to the error message. Luckily, it did. I filled out the billing info again, hit submit, and crossed my fingers. I let out a scream of delight when I saw this screen:
The Gypsy Runner and I high-fived and jumped up and down with glee. We both wanted to make the trip back East to see friends and family, and having this marathon on the calendar was a great reason to make it happen.
Later, I found out just how lucky I was that I only dealt with Active.com for 20 minutes. The MCM Facebook Page was flooded with comments as a lot of people had issues with registration. Some people refreshed their browsers for over 2 hours before registering and others were locked out altogether. MCM dealt with it as best as they could, considering that it was really a problem with Active.com — they acknowledged the situation as soon as they were aware and apologized for what was happening. With the recent Chicago Marathon registration debacle (also on Active.com, BTW), I can’t imagine that anyone would be surprised to encounter registration problems for a big race like MCM.
Anyway, I’m SUPER excited about running MCM in 7 months. Of course, I’ve been scouring their website for information since I registered. Here are some interesting tidbits:
– Most of the course is flat, but there is a significant climb in the first 2 miles. It also ends on an uphill.
– Speaking of the course… there is an unfortunate phallic shape at one point. (Click to see for yourself).
– Forget a regular gun or bullhorn. The race starts with a howitzer cannon!
– Finisher photos will be taken in front of the Iwo Jima Memorial. SWEET.
– If you spend more than $200 at the expo, you get access to the “VIP Porta Potty.” No details about what’s so VIP about the VIP Porta Potty… any guesses?
– This video. Keep a tissue handy.