Oh. My. God. The Boston Marathon registration closed in one day!
I toyed with the idea of running another fall marathon in November or December hoping a better weather might help me qualifying for Boston; I decided not to based on completely different reasons, but, had I signed up for another marathon (and met the qualifying standards of Boston), I would have had the meager consolation of Boston 2012.
It’s becoming harder and harder to sign up for races: registrations closing in weeks, if not days (or hours), is becoming more the standard, rather than the exception. It’s not only limited to marathons, but even shorter races started adding lotteries or other machinery to handle the tens of thousands of people wanting to get in.
It’s not uncommon to talk about this during a track session or afterword. For sure, we are living a new running boom, especially considering that, on the one hand, it became acceptable to enter a race knowing you’re not going to run it – the so-called penguins – and, on the other, the number of charity runners (those who enter by rising money for a charity organization) and corporate runners (those who enter because they know someone who knows someone who knows someone) are increasing.
I don’t have a point here and I’m not pointing fingers, it’s just what it is. One way towards a solution could be to decrease the number of charity and corporate runners, or increase the size of the field, or to have charity and corporate runners meet the same qualification standards of all the other runners. Though, it’s truly a size problem and not only a problem with charities and corporations: we are just a very big bunch!
On the bright side: the number of races is increasing.