I just received an e-mail from the Race Organizer of the Los Angeles Marathon stating therein that their Online Registration will be open effective on August 31, 2009. The Race Day will be on March 21, 2010. The last day of Registration will be on March 1, 2010. The Race Route will be completely different from the past editions as the race will start at the Dodgers Stadium and end in Santa Monica Beach. Registration Fee is $125.00.
From this information, let me point the following observations:
1. Registration Period—An International Marathon Event opens its registration at least six (6) months before Race Day. This is a positive indication that the event will push through and it is already calendared in the list of Marathon Races in any of the websites maintaining a list of Marathon Races in the USA or in International Cities/Countries. The 6-month period is an appropriate duration to train for the said event. May the Local Race Organizers learn from this.
2. Deadline of Registration Period—If the Online Registration published the date for the deadline of Registration, such date will be strictly followed. There will be no “special” accommodation for late registrants! The reason why the Race Organizers always set a deadline for registration in International Marathon Event is that they want a 100% Customers Satisfaction to all the participants. This is translated to efficient production of Race Packets, Finisher’s T-Shirts, Medals, & Certificates to include coordination for security, medical, and safety protocols for the said race. On the said race, the Race Organizers had at least 3 weeks before the distribution of kits and on the race day to prepare the Race Packets of the participants to include the “giveaways” at the Finish Line. I hope our local Race Organizers will learn from this to avoid some “lapses” in the distribution of kits. It is also on this period that the race results encoders will be able to input all the data of the runners in their Master List of Participants for easy post-processing of results immediately after the last runner had passed the Finish Line. It should be noted also that the entity that receives your Online Registration is completely a different group from the Race Organizer.
3. Registration Fee—The registration fee is $ 125.00. Nowhere in the website where you can see where your registration fee will be used. The Race Organizer will not explain where your registration fee is going to be spent!!! If the Race Organizer decides not to give you a singlet or Finisher’s Shirt, they don’t need to explain. It’s either you want to pay the registration fee or not/join the race or not! It’s your choice. However, I am sure the money you paid for the registration is worth the experience during the race.
4. No Need To Invite Elite Foreign Runners—Let the name of the city or location of the Marathon Event speaks for itself. However, if you announce your Marathon Race as an International Event with 60 days before Race Day, there is a slim chance that the best international runners will be coming to participate in the said event. The best runners are already focused to join races which had been known by them 5-6 months ago. If ever foreign runners will participate in our International Marathon Events for the months of October & November, these runners would be their 2nd or 3rd rate runners. We hope these runners to arrive in the country at least two weeks before race day in order to acclimatize with the weather and humidity.
See you tomorrow at the Starting Line!!!