Adventures in Race Registration

As I wrote on Thursday, registration was set to open on March 1st for the GearJammer mountain bike race, the third race in the Squamish Triple Challenge. And knowing that it is limited to 500 riders, I made plans to be present at my computer, finger tapping away at the F5 key, to register the second entry went online. The Test of Metal filled up all 800 slots in an hour or so; I expected a similar rush to register for this race.

I was supposed to go to a trail party today at Henry's Ridge but had to drop from it on account of registering for the race. A lame excuse, perhaps, but I really want to do the whole series and sometimes something has to give...

I checked at 12:01 Friday night to see if registration was live. It wasn't. Knowing the race is in western British Columbia (halfway between Vancouver and Whistler) and that the organizers wouldn't likely open registration at some ungodly time in the morning without prior warning, I went to bed confident that I wouldn't sleep through registration. After all, I was in the same time zone.

And I was right. i woke up at 8:30, checked the website and found a note saying that registration would go live at noon. So we had breakfast, I did our taxes, and we gathered up our snowshoes and gear and readied ourselves to hit the mountains right after registering. Clad in my winter hiking garb, I settled into my desk chair at 11:59 and began refreshing the site. It went live at 12:03, the main registration screen said there were 500 spots open. I filled in my info, clicked submit, and got the confirmation.

I went back to the main site to see how many spots were left: 499.

I waited a couple minutes and refreshed the site once again: 498.

Kristin and I went snowshoeing, stopped at the taproom for the sweet nectar that is the Snoqualmie Falls Brewery's oatmeal stout, then came home and refreshed again: 494.

We showered, we napped, we went into the city to see a play and came hom nearly 12 hours after registration opened. Available entries: 494.

Two races in roughly the same area, just 6 weeks apart, and one sold out 800 spots in an hour and the other only sold 6 spots in 12 hours.

What does everyone else know that I don't?


Anonymous said...

The Test of Metal is always more popular than the Gearjammer. I think its because the Gearjammer is a more technical course. The Gearjammer eventually fills up or nearly so, but it takes a while.


Doug Walsh said...

Thanks Peter. I thought it might have had to do with the point-to-point nature of the GearJammer, but it's good to hear it always fills eventually.

Glad to hear it's not a race everyone avoids though.

Thanks for reading.