CHICAGO — Thousands celebrated and thousands cried after The Bank of America Chicago Marathon announced who was awarded the remaining spots in a random drawing that concluded Tuesday afternoon.
The marathon drew 36,000 entries for 15,000 places that were decided in a lottery. Registrants started receiving an email containing congratulations or sympathies midnight Tuesday, and all were sent out by 2 p.m., according to a spokeswoman.
The lottery method is a change of pace for the marathon, which usually opens registration on a first-come, first-served basis. Technical difficulties led the marathon to close registration completely Feb. 19 after 30,000 successfully signed up.
Runners, disappointed or relieved, took to social media to express their feelings.
"@douggalbavy @BryantLarson & I didnt win spots in the Chicago Marathon... crazy that we actually have to win a chance to run 26.2 miles?!" Tyler Allen Larson tweeted.
Some runners had mixed emotions even after receiving a congratulatory email.
"Oh Chicago Marathon, you are going to make this hard on me. I got in, but my 2 friends didn't. I don't know what to do," Lisa Keeve Faulkner posted on the Bank of American Chicago Marathon Facebook page Tuesday afternoon.
Willie Maul tweeted his conundrum: "Entered the lottery for Chicago Marathon and got n. Don't know if I should b happy 4 getting n or disappointed b/c now I have to train."
Runners have until Thursday to complete registration. If they don't, those spots will not reissued, a spokeswoman said.
Runners still have the chance to enter if they sign up for a charity team, but fundraising is required. Many charities took to Twitter Tuesday to advertise their teams.
"Didn't get a lottery entry in the Chicago Marathon? You can still run as a member of Team Anti-Cruelty!" the organization Tweeted.
Girls in the Game, among other organizations, also advertised spots on their teams.