online race registration….

It was like… The. Big. Thing.  this year.  ONLINE REGISTRATION for the Peachtree Road Race.  It was all over the news.  We got emails.  We got reminders.  We got excited.  No more paper!  No more racing to the grocery store on Saturday to get TWO of the Sunday Early Edition newspapers for TWO of the registration forms.  No more rushing to the post office at 6:00am on Monday morning to make sure your TWO separate envelopes are postmarked as TWO of the first 45,000 entries.  No more waiting in suspense for weeks to see if your check(S) go through and then again until June to see if TWO race packets make their way to the mailbox with your address stickered on the outside.  No more duplication.  We could register on the SAME computer.  Tim and I would know at the same time if we were running in the 40th Annual Peachtree Road Race.  THAT was gift enough in and of itself.  We are not patient people when it comes to things that must be planned.  The race is a planning activity.

We set the alarm and got up at 6:45am this morning.  Registration opened at 7:00am and we were going to be at the ready.  We rushed downstairs, booted up the computer and a laptop, navigated our way to the registration website and started repeatedly hitting refresh until it let us register.  We were getting into that race.  It didn’t matter if the registration required jumping through a flaming hoop into a vat of honey and then racing through a maze of fluffy white feathers with a Polaroid camera at the finish.  We don’t play around.

The registration opened about five minutes before 7:00am and I get into the registration screen… Tim doesn’t.  His page keeps saying “We’re experiencing heavy registration.  Please try again.  Race spots still available!”  I think they put that part at the end to keep hope alive in those of us staring back at the screen in our pajamas, hair sticking up everywhere, exasperation plastered on our faces.

I finish my registration and click “submit”

I get an error message and it tells me to try again. ?!?!@#!@

The same thing happens to Tim… then to me… to Tim… and me…. to Tim….7:30am  rolls around and we still can’t get registered.  7:45 comes and goes…8:15…error…error…error….

Close to 8:45am (let me remind everyone: registration opened at 7:00am) those behind the website put up an acknowledgement that they are trying to fix the issue.

About….. 9:00am I stopped trying and decided to do something I can actually complete: brew coffee.  In the middle of my pouring the grounded beans into the filter, Tim yells from the computer room that he finally got through and was registered.  I launch myself over two cats and a dog, dodge Maddie’s three million toys and round the corner to the computer room, grasping the door frame with one hand to stop my body from going forward any farther, eyes wide with anticipation.  I HAVE to get in if TIM got in.  It cannot be any other way.  I start trying to register on a laptop and Tim starts again on the computer.

Tim: Error.  Me: Error.

I am frantic.  I cannot get in – too much registration traffic!  Refresh……no…refresh……no…refresh…..I’m in!… Error message!!!…. Try again… error!!!?!?  WHAT is the PROBLEM?!!?

Ten more tries and about twenty shots of adrenaline and I am finally registered.  Tim and I both heave a sigh of relief.  The race before the race is finally over (turns out we weren’t the only one with a problem: http://blogs.ajc.com/chatter/2009/03/15/race-registration-failed-theres-still-a-spot-for-you/?cxntlid=homepage_tab_newstab).

We printed our confirmations.  We took screen shots and saved them.  I didn’t want to navigate away from the page in fear of everything erroring out, my saved screen print deleting itself and my printed confirmation disintegrating into thin air.  I think it may stay up on the laptop until race day….

Tim got up, started walking out of the room, saying  “I’m going to put more clothes on.  I’m freezing.  I didn’t think we’d be down here this long!”

Me either.  So much for going back to sleep.

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