The Beach to Beacon 10k is a great destination race, especially for a race of such a short distance. A world class field combined with a scenic (and fun) course in Southern Maine serve to provide a great experience for anybody wanting to vacation in the area.
The race is very popular, as evidenced by it selling out so incredibly fast for the past 2 years, causing all kinds of problems with their payment processor.
In fact, they had enough problems that I decided to write up a list of suggestions on how they could improve the registration process to make it run smoother and more fairly for all involved.
This year, it looks like they took my suggestions (and the suggestions of hundreds of runners both irate and satisfied) seriously and will be improving the process.
Here is a summary of the changes that were outlined in a recent press release:
To start, these are the suggestions that I made last year, and whether they were implemented:
- Find a New Provider for Registration
I don’t know if they found a new provider, but they claim that the registration platform has been improved so hopefully that means that there won’t be the same problems as there were last year.
- Change the Registration Time
They did take this suggestion. The new process has a multi-phase registration with start times returning to 8:00 a.m. rather than happening at noon as they did in 2009.
- Allow Cape Elizabeth Residents to Register Early
This suggestion was also implemented, with Cape Elizabeth residents getting a 24 hour head start on registration. 600 bibs are reserved for Cape residents, and I expect that those will sell out before the 24 hour window is reached, but at least it’s a smaller pool of people to fight against in order to get registered if you live in town.
- Allow Streakers to Register Early
While streakers are not allowed to register early, this suggestion can still be said to have been taken as there is now a mechanism to allow them to register outside of the normal process. Those who have run in all of the B2B races to date will be invited and offered a reserved bib along with the elite and local elite athletes.
- Allow the Transfer of Registrations
This suggestion was not implemented.Update: Race organizers are strongly considering a window for race transfers in May and June. Mark Shore Road at both ends throughout July
Not really a registration concern, it was not addressed in the press release. Hopefully they do in fact implement this suggestion come July.
Packet Pickup Should Be Moved to Portland
Again, this suggestion was not addressed. I highly doubt that they will ever move packet pickup, however.
- Extra Shuttle Locations outside of Cape Elizabeth
This suggestion is also something that was not addressed and probably will not be, but hopefully in the next year or two it will be considered.Update: There will be improvements to the shuttle bus program with an eye to additional locations and improved traffic patterns the morning of the race.
So, I did pretty well predicting what changes would be made this year by offering up suggestions last year.
4 of the 5 All 5 of the registration-related suggestions that I made were implemented, plus 1 of the race day suggestions.
Here is the actual bib allocation and when and who can register with them:
- 600 Bibs ($35/ea): March 12, 8:00 a.m. – Cape Elizabeth residents only
- 4000 Bibs ($35/ea): March 13, 8:00 a.m. – Open Registration, First Come/First Serve
- 1500 Bibs ($5+$35/ea): March 13 through March 20 – Once the previous 4600 bibs are sold, a $5 per entry lottery will begin. The drawing will be on March 21.
- 900 Bibs: These bibs will be invitation only and will be given to those who have run every B2B race to date, previous year age group winners, elite athletes, and local elites as determined by the B2B board.
Update: This just in! Race organizers are strongly considering a window for race transfers in May and June. Also, there will be improvements to the shuttle bus program with an eye to additional locations and improved traffic patterns the morning of the race. Details on these improvements will be released closer to race day.
(More Info: Official Press Release)