Friday, January 1, 2010

Leatherman's Loop Registration Problems

This morning was a frustrating one for a lot of folk trying to get into the Leatherman's Loop trail race. To the organizers' credit, check out the note on the Web site, including what the organizers are trying to do about it. No, it's not going to satisfy everyone - the race cap has to remain at 900 -- but give them credit for being up front.

"It was an inauspicious start to the brand new year with record numbers of registrants—many trying yet unable to quickly register. For that we apologize and are deeply embarrassed. ..."

"By far the biggest factor was a misconfigured ‘load balancing server’ that spreads any surge in registration traffic out to multiple different registration servers in their offices. This was not configured correctly so one small server was taking the hit from the two items above and the Loop registration. ..."

"We will be looking at changes to the registration process for the future. If you have any suggestions we’d love to hear them. Some alternatives to the open registration are: lottery, staggered registration, the Dipsea combination model (invitational, open), or some other hybrid. No method will be perfect and unfortunately some will always end up excluded. "

A lot of race organizers, both big and small, could learn a lesson from being this up front when problems ensue. (BTW, my suggestion: Lottery for the bulk of the population, special entries for a few criteria.)

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