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Ironman AZ Registration: The Race Before the Race

November 22, 2012

Registration is now the first event in Ironman races. I previously mentioned our failed attempt to register for the 2013 IM AZ due to issues on the Active.com website. We ran into some glitches through the process, but IM won’t admit it. Dan wrote this great letter to IM following the closing of registration:

Daniel Kowal, Nov 19 03:00 pm (CST):

To Whom It May Concern-

I don’t usually write letters, but at 2:00 pm I tried signing up for IMAZ and what ensued was a shear debacle. I sat on Active.com since 1:00 pm andas it got close to the 2:00 EST sign up time, I kept refreshing mybrowser. 1:56, I refreshed and it said registration open, I quickly texted my sister as we were both waiting to sign up so we could tackle an Ironman together. When I tried to click on the AG button, it said registration was
not open. At 1:58 the same thing happened. 2:01 I was able to click on AGand move forward in the process. I filled out all the information needed(even all the lengthy info about wheels and bikes and wetsuits etc) – Whichshould be done after you register. I went to click continue and at the topof the page it says that the “category” is sold out. I kept trying to hitcontinue but to no avail.

Meanwhile, my sister who lives across the country was sitting online at thecheckout not wanting to click pay because this was something we wanted todo together. I told her to hold on while I refreshed my browser in doingso, made the web page unavailable. So I went back into active.comm tobegin again. By this time it is 2:08 and all the slots were “on hold”. Ikept clicking refresh for the next 40 minutes hoping that something would
open up (I thought you only had 15 minutes to complete your order so ifthey all purchased it should have technically sold out within the next 15minutes). The website kept saying open just that the slots were on”hold”. I kept Instant Messaging my sister telling her not to pay yet andto have her tell me when it was about to time out (which it never did).3:00 came- give or take a few and the website finally read sold out, mysister’s entry obviously released although the website never told her it
was.

We live on opposite coasts and this past year we did two 70.3’s togetherand next year was supposed to be our full. We decided carefully and agreedon Arizona. We are very disheartened that we will not get to race a fulldistance in 2013, but I write because I am very disappointed in theregistration process.Ironman is a journey and usually a year long endeavor,we wanted to enjoy this journey, the training and ultimately the words,
“…YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!”

Things I think should be considered:

1. I know athletes and volunteers can sign up the day after the event. Sowhen you go to Active.com it should have a tally of the total number ofslots available for everyone (whether it be 150 or 500) so they know theirchances up front.
2. On Active.com it should have a timer so you know when your registrationis about to time out.
3. Individuals should be able to sign up one additional person. Ironman is a journey and an accomplishment and most like to do it with anotherperson. If my sister went ahead and purchased her entry she would be doingher first IM alone – which she did not want to do. Then if she decided toforfeit that slot would only receive $150 of her entry back?
4. Create a waiting list for people in that position if they want to
forfeit within a day then another can sign up. In addition there should bea waiting list for an event that is kept for people who have to pull outdue to injury. If there was a chance for me to get into an event I wantedto do I would keep training and would sign up for the event up to 2-3 weeksbefore if someone had to withdraw (I am sure I am not the only one). I am a 2x IM finisher and I was really hoping to share this experience with

my sister this year. I ask that you take these points into consideration.

Frustrated at the process-
Dan

Here is the response from IM. I will give them some kudos for actually writing back, but obviously they got their slots filled and their money, so they customer service isn’t their top priority.

Response from Ironman, Nov 21 10:20 am (CST):

Daniel,
Thank you for reaching out. We apologize for any confusion during the online registration process. Please note that we are working with Active to make several improvements moving forward. However, we did not experience any glitches with the registration launch and the correct number of slots were filled for both General Entry and IRONMAN Foundation. The 2013 IRONMAN Arizona sold out in record time. We have reached maximum capacity and do not offer a waiting list or resell withdrawn slots.

However, 2013 Memorial Hermann IRONMAN Texas and 2013 IRONMAN Louisville General Entry slots are still available.

Thanks for your understanding on this matter.

Best regards,

So and so
Manager, Athlete Services

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