Having started running again (see previous posts), I thought I’d better register for the Boilermaker before it fills up. The cap is 14,000 runners, and they are more than halfway there. Yikes!
Previously, I went to the Distance Runners Hall of Fame, filled out an application and wrote a check. The hardest part was navigating the one-way streets in downtown Utica (that would have made an awesome blog post; I love that section of Utica). I knew I could register online, but I prefer in person adventures. The Hall of Fame website did not even list their hours (that I could find; we all know I’m not very bright about the internet), but they had a place where you could submit a question, so I did.
I was pleased to receive an email the next day, disappointed to learn that I had to register online, and a little embarrassed for the emailer, because she spelled “through” “threw” (just goes to show, spell check does not solve all problems). (But that was not as bad as a boss I heard of who sent an email about somebody being out with “ammonia” and, when called on the error, bristled, “I used spell check!”)
With a resigned sigh, because I am not internetly adept, I typed in boilermaker.com. It seems they have contracted with the Active Network Inc. (active.com) for registration. A paragraph bragged about how this company utilizes firewalls and encryption to make sure our information and credit card numbers are safe.
I clicked on it, clicked that I was a New York State resident, then settled down to read the lo-o-o-ong waiver I had to sign off on. I almost didn’t read it, because I knew I was going to sign it, because I wanted to run. Only, they rather sternly (or do I read too much into a typeface?) stated that by signing I guaranteed that I read and understood it. I don’t like to be too much of a liar (although when I do it, it’s called fiction). I guess I was partially truthful, because I skimmed it and understood part of it. Basically, I think I promised not to sue, even if they did something wrong. Well, that made sense. 14,000 runners, the Boilermaker people don’t want folks suing them for medical bills over turned ankles because they didn’t clear away the discarded paper cups (although I’m sure they meet the reasonable man standard on that one. Hello! 14,000 runners!). But do they need to go on and on about it? I suppose they do.
The waiver went on for even longer when they started talking about the things I wasn’t going to sue active.com for. After the earlier boasts about how secure they were! Oh, I know, CYA (Cover Your Ass; who says you don’t learn anything in college?). Then they went on at some length about California jurisdiction, where the company is based.
So. Our proud, grand, LOCAL tradition has contracted with a California company for its registration. I understand Active is a huge, reputable company; that they register many races; and with 14,000 runners the Boilermaker perhaps needs the expertise. Still, I am Mohawk Valley Girl, and I wish it were being done by somebody local (is there anybody local? Come on, Utica! Start a company!).
Be that as it may, I signed the waiver and drove on.
They wanted to know my last Boilermaker time. There was no space to put, “Oh, just send me a grey number; I run with the masses.” I guess with 14,000 runners, they don’t have time for everybody to be a wise ass. Luckily, Steven had written down my last year’s time on a poster my niece had drawn for me on the occasion.
I had to check twice that I did not want a training t-shirt. That made for some amusement when I went to “review registration.” I saw “I am not purchasing a training t-shirt,” then two lines later, “I AM NOT PURCHASING A TRAINING T-SHIRT.” Just like that, upper/lower then all caps. As in, “I SAID, I’M NOT PURCHASING…” etc. I know, it takes so little to please some people.
Active.com offered me three months of magazines for free. That was tempting, but as I read on I saw that if I did NOT call and cancel they would automatically charge the subscription price to my credit card every year till I did. If I subscribe to a magazine, I want them to ASK me IF I want to renew. I don’t like this automatic stuff; Homey don’t play dat.
Still later I was offered a trial membership to active.com. It was the same deal: free for three months, then automatically charged to my card. I said it before and I’ll say it again (because I like saying it), Homey don’t play dat.
At last I got the registration completed. Oh, how I missed driving somewhere and doing it in person! Some love to do everything on line, but I prefer people (I know, that is so 20th century). I’m sure the Boilermaker people had very good reasons for doing registration this way, probably having to do with those 14,000 runners I find so intimidating.
The important thing is I am registered for the Boilermaker (got my email confirmation today). I seem to remember last July getting three posts out of not running. Already I’ve gotten over 800 words out of registering. The sky’s the limit!