November 12th, 2019
What Ever Happened To [...] #1028
Friday October 11th, 2013
[Hello-everyone-and-happy-bad-joke-Friday. OK, that's out of the way. Now I can get off my chest what's REALLY bothering me, besides the shirt. Today's little rankle is about raceday. But first, how do you spell it? Is it "race day," "race-day," or "raceday"? Or maybe "Raceday," "RaceDay," or "Du Jour des Runnique a la Asses Off?" I've seen it all ways, except for the last one, of course--and pardon my French, eh? Which takes us back to the opening line of this paragraph. Since that expression, too, is rarely spelled and/or punctuated correctly, I'm covering all bases by hyphenating the whole darn thing. In English, we're allowed to do that. In French? Not so much. Despite all *that* however, I don't like hyphens. I prefer spelling it: raceday.]
The Bush Administraction Presents…
WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO [raceday registration] ?
Oh My God. (That, too, might be spelled and punctuated wrong. Sorry.) Registering to run a race on the very same day it happens? Even just minutes before it starts? Are you kidding me??? I can't imagine!!!
Today? In this day and age? When popular ultramarathons, for example, are totally filled WITHIN TEN MINUTES of opening up for on-line registration?? And not just ultras but big city marathons, too! Didn't I read earlier in the year (or was it my imagination) that THE CHICAGO MARATHON SOLD OUT 45,000 entries within a week? Maybe less? And wasn't that back in February or March sometime? But the race doesn't take place 'til the day after tomorrow!
Well, you know, it wasn't always this way. And although I don't actually "go back" far enough to remember the Chicago Marathon having raceday registration, I do remember it the day before. Yup! Even as recently as the early '90s, you could show up at the "Expo" (Exposition, eh? Like, bazaar. Like, Kasbah--complete with the snake charmers and snake oil salesmen) on the Saturday before the Sunday race, and still register. I remember it well. Mostly why I remember it is because of my good friend we'll call Mack who, apparently on a whim, just woke up that Saturday and decided to run a marathon. Also, I apparently missed him at the Expo. But not the next day!
Boom. At just before Mile 10, here he comes up behind me and passes my ass. Easy peasy, as they say. The thing is, or was, I'd never known him to run more than 25 kilometers before in his life. But there he was! All of a sudden out of nowhere on a whim and a frolic… grinning as he passed me in my shock and surprise, saying, "They tell me I need a qualifier to run Boston. So, here I am!"
Bam. And there he goes! Whupping my butt by half-a-day, probably. Anyway, he qualified and I didn't. But later (we're talking about that 100th Big Deal Grand Poobah Boston in '96) "they" (the B.A.A.) decided to expand the field by holding an additional lottery (for non-qualifiers) and, hey, I won the lottery! So that's how we both ended up on The Commons hitching a bus ride to Hopkinton for the first-century-edition of Johnny Kelly-the-Elder's most famous race. (There, that's more hyphens for ya.)
I have more stories about that B.A.A. Marathon which I'd be happy to tell you, but not now. This has been a total, and a needless, digression.
But, as I say, I digress.
We're talking about whatever happened to raceday sign-up? You know, registering before The Dawn of The Internet. Before you were absolutely required to own a computer and have a credit card. Back in the Good-Old-(some call it Stone Age)-Days. (More hyphens.) Back then mostly all you needed was an "ink pen," envelope, and a stamp. Oh, and a checking account--but money orders worked just as well.
What ever happened to money orders? Do they even still exist? I'm guessing today's "kids" (i.e., anybody under 40) only know about ATMs, online banking, and pressing their iPhones on top of those weird squiggly Rorschach Test-like labyrinthian ink blots you see sometimes in magazine ads. What ARE those things anyway? I'm guessing that that's how you can transfer funds and/or do online banking when you're not at a bank, when you're not at your computer, and when you don't have any funds.
No? Oh well, ex-cuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me. But I can see a day in the future when someone will write: "What Ever Happened To [ink blot ads for iPhones] ?"
But I digress.
What ever happened to raceday registration? I'll tell you what happened: PEOPLE happened. More and more and more and more fricking people! People everywhere! Peeps plying their way out of plywood! People coming out of the woodwork… and ALL of 'EM wanting to run marathons! And isn't that a nice thought? Imagine every person on the planet running. All at once. Footraces. Marathons! Ultras even! EVERYBODY!!! Oh My God. No more obesity problems, huh? Hah! And no more bike paths and trails. They can't possibly all fit! But more than that: no more raceday--or any other kind of--registrations. Because if that were to happen, the ONLY way into a race would be through a lottery. (Are you hearing this, Publishers Clearing House? You could turn these things into Sweepstakes!)
There isn't raceday registration for the same reason you can't just show up at the door of a Rolling Stones concert without a valid ticket. And those can only be purchased years in advance--by going online with your credit card the very INSTANT TicketMaster opens ticket sales for that particular concert.
Too many damn PEEPS!!!
And nowadays--here's the latest permutation, evolution, or genetic offshoot--the lines are all formed not at the stadium, the Expo, OR at the ticket-broker's place. Nope. Today the lines are all formed where you can't even see them: in cyberspace! There must be thousands upon thousands of computer geeks hunched over their mice--yup, or is it mouses?--just ready to POUNCE the very split-instant when something pops onscreen saying, "Registration for Yadda Yadda Footrace is now available."
WHAM. And then… CRASH!
The whole freaking system dives into darkness and you… you ain't registering for a gol-dang thang.
( O_O )
"your friendly neighborly eight-hundred-year-old-hyphenated-lute-plucker-from-France now invading your cyber-space"
Yankee Folly of the Day:
I'm taking bets. In what year do you think the United States national debt will reach one quadrillion dollars? (Me? I think if you were to add up EVERYTHING--all states' debts, with counties', municipalities', and Detroit included--we've already passed the milestone.)
October 11th, 2013 7:20 pm
November 12th, 2019 2:15 am
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