Registration for next year's Marine Corps Marathon will be conducted via lottery, race organizers say. (Cpl. Jacob D. Osborne / Marine Corps)
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With the Corps Marathon now just days away, race organizers are planning dramatic changes for next year’s registration process with hopes of avoiding the technical difficulties that prohibited many runners from obtaining bibs for this year’s event.
This year’s race program, online now, indicates that registration for the 2014 marathon in Washington, D.C., will be conducted through a lottery system. Runners will have several days to register, eliminating the first-come first-served approach that requires everyone to sign up at the same time. After the registration window closes, race slots will be filled at random from those entries.
“The MCM Lottery eliminates the rush for online entries that, for some, has become a bigger challenge than actually running the MCM,” the program says.
Next year’s race is scheduled for Oct. 26, 2014. Registration for active-duty service members opens Feb. 19 and runs through March 15 or until all designated active-duty spots are full, said Tami Faram, a spokeswoman for the race organizers.
General registration will run from Feb. 23 to March 15. It’s not immediately clear when prospective runners will be notified of the results. Additional details will be discussed during a press conference during this year’s race weekend, Oct. 25-27.
During registration, the field is divided into groups and each is allotted a finite number of bibs. This year’s race has roughly 16,000 slots for the public and another 4,000 are set aside for active-duty service members. Bibs for the remainder of the 30,000-person field are designated for groups such as charity runners, sponsors and MCM Runners Club members.
The lottery should alleviate frustrations many runners experienced with this year’s entry process. When general registration opened March 27, Active.com, the race’s registration platform, seized up as a crush of would-be entrants hit the website. Ultimately, all 16,000 general registration spots were claimed in two hours and 27 minutes.
With the lottery, “I think it’s still going to be very easy for people to get their coveted entries,” Faram said, “and I think that it’s also going to make the registration process much easier. Although we had record registration [for this year’s race], it was a difficult process for our runners that we really didn’t want to have them go through. We want everyone to be really excited for MCM and for registering for the event.”