Chicago closes in record time

Sometimes when writing my newspaper column, I tweak it for the audience in which it will appear.

The column that appears in The Forum on Monday might include information geared more toward the audience in Fargo-Moorhead, while Tuesday’s column in the Pioneer might be slightly different. Mainly, Bemidji readers might not be all that interested in F-M area runners or events.

Knowing there are a lot of F-M runners who train for the Twin Cities and Chicago marathons in the fall, I included some details about registration opening last week for those races. Namely, if someone had plans for running one of those races, particularly Chicago, my guess was that it would close quickly.

Based on changes to the major marathons in Boston and New York, the new standards and processes appeared likely to have a profound impact on Chicago. Runners want to go to marquee events, share the experience with thousands of runners and aim for fast times.

Today, the Chicago Marathon filled to capacity, minus the charity runner program and a few other non-traditional ways of entering a major marathon. Marathon officials released this statement via email today: “Registration for the 2012 Bank of America Chicago Marathon has officially closed as 45,000 participants signed up in record time. After opening registration last Wednesday, the race reached its participant capacity in six days, 25 days earlier than last year.”

If you planned to run there and hadn’t signed up, your only option is to open your wallet – or start recruiting friends to donate to your fundraising efforts.

While the Twin Cities Marathon, which opened registration one day after Chicago and about one-fifth the participants, typically takes more time to fill to capacity, there’s no word yet on how close the Twin Cities Marathon is to filling its openings. Chances are those who wanted to run Chicago this fall will start looking at other races, and Twin Cities will be high on the list for many of them. If you’re planning to run the Minneapolis to St. Paul route, it might be wise to sign up soon. As an added incentive, the current $105 entry fee increases to $115 on Feb. 16, if the race is still open then.

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