Chicago Marathon will have registration lottery
BY DALE BOWMAN For Sun-Times Media February 28, 2013 11:04PM
Runners take off at the start of the Bank of America Chicago Marathon in Chicago, Ill., on Sunday, October 7, 2012. | Andrew A. Nelles~Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 1, 2013 11:04AM
The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will go to a new system of a lottery and a new provider to complete the final 15,000 entries for the 2013 marathon.
And, most likely, there will be some adjustment to the open registration, a rarity among major marathons, used by the Chicago Marathon.
‘‘We will change the process, so it’s not as stressful,’’ executive race director Carey Pinkowski said.
Registration for the lottery for the remaining 15,000 slots will reopen at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday at chicagomarathon.com. The lottery will close at 9 p.m. Thursday. Time and order will have no bearing on chances of selection. Selected individuals will be notified by email March 12. There’s no cost to enter the lottery.
Those 15,000 chosen will have until 9 p.m. March 14 to complete their official race entry and pay the standard entry fee.
Originally, registration for the marathon crashed within hours of opening Feb. 19 on a system operated by active.com. Another unnamed company will handle the lottery.
‘‘First thing I was doing was apologizing,’’ Pinkowski said. ‘‘This is not the way we planned it. Unfortunately, we had a system failure.’’
Marathon staff had been expecting a record crush for the 45,000 marathoners during the open registration. It has been selling out rapidly in recent years: in six days last year, after 31 days in 2011.
Pinkowski would not say if there will be a change from the open registration until the annual evaluation of the entire marathon afterward. But he virtually conceded something has to change and that a move toward a ‘‘fair and equitable process’’ is needed. Most major marathons use qualifiers or lotteries. One of the appeals of the Chicago Marathon has been its open registration.