The Chicago Marathon just e-mailed participants this afternoon with an update on a new Wave Start system for October...new lettered Start Corrals which have been added after the registration process last winter. Perhaps this is something they should have done between Race Day and opening registration the next year?
Not only did I have to update my info to move up...they put me in Corral M...but I also sent an e-mail with a little feedback. In short, not happy with this change. It's definitely something I will consider when I plan for future racing seasons.
I just wanted to give you some early feedback...I will remain open-minded as to how it will work on Race Day...but I have to say I was very disappointed to see the wave start e-mail just now.I highly doubt they'll go back to the old start, but they really need to understand that you don't just change things on the fly like this. A couple glaring pieces of this puzzle...Charity Village is in Wave 1. The race is too big...why not consider limiting future registration instead? To 40,000? To 30,000? Having run Twin Cities last year, I can tell you 12,000...or even less at the Illinois Marathon...was mighty nice. If I'm going to run a race as big as Chicago, I want to enjoy my mass start. lol
This is my 3rd Chicago Marathon, 5th marathon overall, plus I volunteered last year AT the Start Corrals. So many things wrong with this idea though I appreciate the effort to improve the time it takes to cross the Start Line.
One of the beautiful things about this race, however, is that we ALL started at the same time. Yes, it has taken up to a half an hour in the past to cross the timing mats, but this wasn't the answer.
Especially in light of volunteering last year...if I hadn't previously run the race I wouldn't have been able to be very helpful in the Start Corral area. We were given little instruction and the chaos of race morning just doesn't lend itself to this kind of segmenting of runners. People didn't know where to go before!
A couple other issues--
I don't know how many people will be affected, but I doubt people knew how important their projected finish times would be at registration. I certainly didn't appreciate the extra step of having to fill out a form to correct my estimated finish. What happens if my training changes and I want to move up or down? It was much easier to just have an Open Corral and place yourself accordingly on Race Day.
I also notice the estimated times it will take to cross the start line are increased from what many of us actually experienced...extra time standing in the cold, heat, rain is not welcomed.