The Chicago Marathon Just “Jumped The Shark”

"Jump The Shark" is an expression people use when something has officially gone a bad direction. It's from the TV show "Happy Days" when the Fonz water ski'd over a shark. It was a sign the show was going downhill fast.

I have run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon every year since finishing chemotherapy in 2002. I love this race for so many reasons, the biggest being it’s my hometown race. It’s also one of the biggest marathons and one that anyone can register for with no qualifying time or lottery system. Well, it used to be.

The Bank of America Chicago Marathon has changed it’s registration process and gone to a lottery system. Click here for details.

Chicago Marathon Registration Process

"Registration for the 2014 Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be conducted through a system of guaranteed entries and non-guaranteed lottery selected entries. The fee to register is USD $185 for U.S. residents or USD $210 for those residing outside of the U.S. The field will be capped at a maximum of 45,000 participants.

Interested participants will be able to 1) register with a guaranteed entry; or 2) enter the non-guaranteed entry lottery, at any time from Wednesday, March 5, at 12 p.m., to Monday, April 7, at 12 p.m. U.S. Central Time. Lottery entrants will be notified of their selection status on Monday, April 14."

Last year they had a registration nightmare and the computer system crashed the day of registration. Rather than trying to fix the system, they decided to go with a lottery. I am sure that by going to this system, a lot of new marathon runners will not be able to do this event. I know there are other marathons around but they aren’t the “Chicago Marathon”.

This event has been filled with inspirational stories of people losing weight, running for lost family members, overcoming cancer, and a host of other things. I am sure organizers of this race have their reasons for going to this lottery system. I know there will be disappointed runners that will now have to find other races to participate in. Is that the biggest tragedy in the world? No, but it’s just sad that it had to come down to this.
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