By late June this blog may become All Boilermaker All The Time. In the meantime I will do posts about the Boilermaker as they occur to me. Today I would like to talk about the registration process and give a shout-out to RunSignUp.com, who made it all very pleasant.
I will say right up front that I greatly prefer doing things in person. I realize this is impossible for some people and wildly impractical for a field of 14,000 runners which is expected to fill up quickly. I know I am in the minority and hopelessly 20th century, but let us not dwell on my shortcomings.
The first time I registered for the Boilermaker I drove to the Runner’s Hall of Fame in Utica, NY, filled out a form and wrote them a check. This was in my pre-blog days or I might have written a blog post about it. For one reason, it involved some fancy Utica driving, although I daresay it would not have posed an issue for Uticans. I don’t remember the second time I registered (give me a break, I’m old), but the third time I wrote a blog post about it. I felt I had been put through the wringer.
When I declared my intention of running it again, after a two year hiatus, I faced the registration process with trepidation (remember, I scare easy). For one reason, the field filled up in a matter of hours last year. Would I get closed out? I know, this is another reason to be happy about online registration. Imagine 14,000 people converging on the Runner’s Hall of Fame at once. The parking! The waiting in line! The crush at the door, cutting in line, and fist-fight for the last slot! Far better to fight the crowds in cyberspace.
My plan was to go to my parents’ house. Their desktop is more reliable than mine. I could register, print out my confirmation and breathe easy. Why, oh why, did I feel so nervous?
“I’ll be able to register or I won’t,” I said. “Either way will be OK, so why am I so nervous?”
I may have mentioned my numerous reservations about running the Boilermaker at all. I had finally made the decision that I would run it. Unless I got closed out when trying to register. In other words, I would leave it up to fate. Should this not have engendered in my a Zen-like calmness? Not so much.
I logged onto the Boilermaker website on my home computer that morning. I signed up for a username and password. One step complete.
The worst part was waiting for the crack of noon when open registration officially began (it was a tiered system and I didn’t qualify for any of the other tiers). I logged on at three minutes to twelve. I know it was three of, because there was a time clock on the website counting down. The suspense was killing me!
I clicked on “Sign Up” as soon as the clock flashed “0:00.” Nothing happened. The cyber version of crush at the door, I suppose. Had any of those bastards cut the line? At least I hadn’t encountered any elbows or got my toes stepped on. I clicked again. Nothing. Would I be closed out? How long should I sit there clicking “Sign Up”? At last I was rewarded with the sign up screen.
And it was SO EASY! Not too much to read, not to much to fill out. Before I knew it, I was typing in my bank card number and printing out my confirmation. This was GREAT! I was going to run the Boilermaker! I was elated. All my doubts vanished. I WANTED to run the 15K! I was HAPPY I had not gotten closed out! Yay!
I saw that it was RunSignUp.com I had registered through. I found out they had a Facebook page, which I immediately Liked. I further learned they have a WordPress blog. Who doesn’t love a WordPress blog! I hit Follow on that. And I made up my mind to write a blog post about how pleasant the process was. So here it is.