Innovative Changes to Registration Process Unveiled for 2010 TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race
Modifications will provide a more fair way for runners to secure spots in the popular race, set for Aug. 7 in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine (January 19, 2010) – Organizers of the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K Road Race on Tuesday unveiled an innovative new online registration process aimed at providing a more equitable way for runners to secure bib numbers when registration gets underway in March.
A name change for the title sponsor also means the 13th edition of the popular road race, set for Saturday, Aug. 7 in coastal Cape Elizabeth, Maine, will have a new name – the TD Bank Beach to Beacon 10K. A new logo and signage have been developed.
The new registration process combines the previous first-come/first-serve approach with a bib lottery for those who get shut out online, and also earmarks bib numbers to accommodate Cape Elizabeth residents and those who have participated in every previous race.
“We feel like we’ve developed a very fair and equitable registration process for the race this year that balances the needs and the concerns of a number of constituencies,” Race President David Weatherbie said.
Race organizers began looking at improvements after the first-come/first-serve only online registration last year opened and closed in less than two hours, shattering the previous record of 26 hours. The high volume overwhelmed computer servers and led to duplicates and confusion for some who tried to register within the two-hour time period, and frustration for others who couldn’t access a computer in time and got left out.
Weatherbie, Race Director David McGillivray and Joan Benoit Samuelson, the race founder, devised the new process after listening to concerns and seeking input from the running community, including feedback from 1,300 runners who participated in a survey.
Runners will continue to register at the race website, www.beach2beacon.org. The 2010 race entry fee will remain at $35.
Here is how the new online registration process will work:
- Phase One: Beginning at 8 a.m. on Friday, March 12, Cape Elizabeth residents will have a 24-hour window to fill 600 slots. Addresses will be verified to ensure a Cape Elizabeth zip code.
- Phase Two: Online registration will open to the general public at 8 a.m. on Saturday, March 13. Registration will remain open until 4,000 runners are signed up.
- Phase Three: Once the online registration limit of 4,600 is reached, visitors will be automatically directed to the lottery registration process. The lottery system will distribute 1,500 bib numbers. Lottery registrations will be gathered over a one-week period, ending at midnight on Sunday, March 20.
Lottery entrants are limited to one online entry, but can include up to two registrants in that entry. Entrants will be charged a per-entry lottery fee of $5, which will be used for race enhancements.
The lottery drawing will occur on Monday, March 21.
The remaining bib numbers will be set aside for so-called “streakers” – runners who have participated in every TD Bank Beach to Beacon – and sponsors, elite athletes and charities.
“By combining a lottery with the first-come/first-serve component, everybody who wants into the race is going to get a fair shot and that’s really the best we can do,” said Race Director David McGillivray.
The computer platform used to handle registration also has been upgraded, he said.
Weatherbie said runners who completed the survey were evenly split between retaining the first-come/first-serve process, going to a lottery only and implementing some combination of both.
The “hybrid” registration approach taken by the TD Bank Beach to Beacon is unusual in the road race industry, he said, and will be watched closely as race organizers across the country grapple with how to deal with races filling up faster and faster each year.
In addition, he said, a large number of survey respondents outside Cape Elizabeth indicated that residents in the host community should get special accommodation due to the huge volunteer effort the town makes to stage what is regarded as a first-rate event.
“They recognized the sacrifices the community makes in hosting this event and wanted a mechanism to ensure Cape residents can get in,” Weatherbie said. In 2009, 579 Cape residents finished the race.
The field size will increase only slightly for 2010. Race organizers will accept 7,000 registrations, compared to 6,850 in 2009, again targeting a race day field of 6,000. The race has doubled in size since it debuted in 1998 with a race day field of 3,000.
Even as the field has grown, registration for the race has consistently closed earlier and earlier each year. In the early years, the race did not fill up until June. By 2007, it closed in 10 days. In 2008 – the first year of online-only registration – it filled in 26 hours, setting up last year’s stunning result.
The TD Bank Beach to Beacon is one of Maine’s premiere sporting events and one of the most popular events on the U.S. road race circuit. The race draws runners from throughout the region and the world to the picturesque coastal community of Cape Elizabeth. Thousands of spectators cheer on the runners along the scenic course and at the finish, and more than 800 volunteers help ensure a smooth operation.
The race begins near the Crescent Beach entrance on Route 77 in Cape Elizabeth, winds past breathtaking ocean vistas, and ends in Fort Williams Park at the historic Portland Head Light, the most photographed lighthouse in the world.
More than $60,000 in prize money is awarded to the top finishers and place winners in the various categories for men and women. For more information, visit www.beach2beacon.org.
TD Bank is the title sponsor of the race founded by Joan Benoit Samuelson, the Olympic gold medalist
from Cape Elizabeth and Maine’s most admired athlete.
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 15 largest commercial banks in the United States with $142 billion in assets, and provides customers with a full range of financial products and services at more than 1,000 convenient locations from Maine to Florida. TD Bank, N.A., is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J., and Portland, Maine. TD Bank is a trade name of TD Bank, N.A. For more information, visit www.tdbank.com.
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Financial Group of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America and one of the few banks in the world rated Aaa by Moody’s.
(More Info: My Summary of the Changes)