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Chicago Marathon Suspends Registration After Website Pulls Up Lame

By  Darryl Holliday and Lizzie Schiffman Tufano | February 18, 2013 8:30pm | Updated on February 19, 2013 6:47pm

 Thousands of people run in the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7, 2012.
Thousands of people run in the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon on Oct. 7, 2012.
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David Banks/Getty Images

NEAR NORTH SIDE — Overwhelmed by 30,000 successful registrations Tuesday — and many more unsuccessful attempts — the Bank of America Chicago Marathon suspended further registration until further notice.

There are 15,000 spots in the race remaining, and the marathon's organizers said in a statement they will give "ample notice" before registration re-opens.

The race's organizers will provide an update 5 p.m. Thursday.

"We are incredibly sorry that runners interested in signing up for the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon experienced such difficulties today," said Carey Pinkowski, executive race director, in a statement. "We have been working nonstop with our registration provider to find the root of the problem and a solution."

The marathon completely suspended registration about 3:30 p.m. Tuesday because of "system-wide technical issues," according to a different statement released by the Chicago Marathon organizers.

Runners who have successfully registered can check their status online. Those with multiple credit card charges will receive refunds, according to the statement.

While some runners were able to register, others expressed frustration with the process.

"It took me two and a half hours to get through a couple of pages of registration, and the site kept going down," said Sean Lavery, a Northwestern student who has run the Chicago Marathon for the last three years. "The funny part is that if you're persistent enough to register for that long, you're probably persistent enough to run the marathon."

Jenny Fukumoto, a marketing manager at Ragan Communications preparing to run her first marathon, called the registration process "hellish."

"By hellish, I mean I got at least 50 error pages and had to start from the beginning of the process," Fukumoto said. "I read some reports that credit cards were charged two or three times, but luckily mine was only charged once."

"If I didn't get to register I'd absolutely be bummed. Sure, there are marathons all over the country, but to race in my Chicago is priceless."

The company apologized for the "inconvenience" on its Facebook page for the error message.

"We are working with our registration partners at Active.com to resolve the situation as quickly as possible," the post said. "Thank you for your patience and understanding."

People also took to Twitter to express their registration woes.

"Getting really good at filling out my basic information. 8 times and counting. #ChicagoMarathon #Ijustwannapayyou #whyisthissodifficult" tweeted @CassLynee. "I never got a confirmation but my bank statement has the $175 pending... what do I do!? what the eff."

"If you're trying to register for #ChicagoMarathon don't give up! Only took me 2 hours :)," tweeted an optimistic @justabug99.