Hate to run and run, New Jersey, but...
Our flight home was departing Atlantic City at 4:08 p.m. Basically, we had a couple of hours post-race to get ourselves, and our stuff together. We were leaving the glitz, glamor and cigarette smoke behind. All of us had to be at work bright and early Monday morning. Not only that, but Ted and I had to be ready to rock and roll with the old credit card because registration for the 2011 Boston Marathon opened on Monday at 9 a.m. sharp. Speaking of Boston...
On to Logan International!
We arrived at the airport in plenty of time to go through security without much incident (Ted's iPod was not returned to his bag, as it turns out, so he had to file a claim) and have a pre-flight beverage. Michael, Ted and I opted to have a celebratory shot of Jim Beam in addition to our beer.
Because friends, that's how we roll.
Of course they totally threw me under the bus, because when the drinks arrived, we clinked our shot glasses and commenced to kick it back. Well, I did. I drained my glass and set it down, only to see Namby and Pamby still sipping theirs, like it was a steaming cup of Earl Grey.
The plane ride home was pretty uneventful, which is always preferable, particularly when you're talking about air travel. As luck (?) would have it, I had an ENTIRE row of seats all to myself. How cool is that? Hooray for meeeeee! I leaned back and closed my eyes thinking maybe, just maybe, I could fall asleep.
What can I say? I'm a dreamer. I just happen to do all of my dreaming while I'm awake.
Once we arrived at our destination and claimed our luggage, we piled into Michelle and Dan's Expedition for the ride home. Ted only lives a few short miles from Logan, so dropping him off on our way north made sense. We hugged, said goodbye, and reiterated how glad we were to have shared this experience together. Barely six hours removed from completing this one, we were already plotting the next adventure: BOSTON.
The next day, I sat patiently by the computer waiting for registration to open. Last year, they sold out in six short weeks. Word on the street was, it was going to fill up in record time. Better to be safe than sorry.
So, I waited.
Finally the time came. 9:00 a.m. EST. I clicked on the link and started filling in my information. After completing all of the required fields, I hit the SUBMIT button. However, instead of seeing a screen with a "Congratulations", "Registration Complete" or even a flipping confirmation #, I was brought to the same screen I had just completed.
Except it was totally blank.
Which means I had to fill it in ALL OVER AGAIN.
Okay, I said to myself, maybe I just hit a wrong button or something. I'll try it again.
Confused, yet undeterred, I completed the form again a third, fourth and fifth time. And all I saw was that same blank screen. This went on for a good 30 minutes. And I type over 80 wpm.
I was starting to feel like Bill Murray in the movie "Groundhog Day".
So, at this point, I did what any smart, sensible person would do: I loudly aired my displeasure on facebook. Turns out, I got my answer pretty quick since lots of folks I knew were attempting to do the same thing I was. Apparently, there was some technical glitch going on and what happened to me was not an isolated incident. Thankfully, I got a different link from one of my friends who had succeeded in registering. At this point, I was willing to try anything, so I pasted it into my browser and filled in that @#*&%$ form again. I took a deep breath and hit submit.
For the first time that day, I saw the screen I was expecting to see. I was greeted with these words:
Thank you for submitting an entry to the 115th B.A.A. Boston Marathon. Your submission ID# is...
Ted hadn't had any luck up until that point registering either, so I quickly sent him the link I used in the hopes he would have the same result I did. Thankfully, he got in on the first try.
Whew. That was a close one.
To quote a friend of mine, "registering for that race was almost as hard as running it." Boy, they weren't kidding.
Later on that day, I was visiting with my brother and sister-in-law. They had their television tuned to the local news. All of a sudden, I heard the following announcement: Registration for the Boston Marathon, which opened this morning at 9 a.m., has officially closed as of 5:03 p.m.
I couldn't believe my ears. I mean, I had a feeling the race was going to sell out in record time, but in one day??? Really??? This was unprecedented. I breathed a sigh of relief that Ted and I had resolved to "camp out" in line, metaphorically speaking. It turns out we made the right choice.
I had another feeling, though.
That there were other runners who didn't make that choice. Lots of runners.
Lots of angry runners.
I was right on both counts. The next day, the Boston Marathon's facebook page was flooded with people loudly expressing their displeasure at the registration process. Remember, for the first hour or two, there was this whacked out, gremlin-like computer glitch that prevented a lot of folks from successfully registering. I know I was getting fed up with my inability to close the deal, so I had no problem imagining other frustrated folks wanting to punch a hole through their computer monitor. I'm sure some of them made the decision to "try again later". Unfortunately, for some of them, "later" turned into "too late".
It was getting pretty ugly.
However, I wasn't quite prepared for just how ugly, or personal, it was about to get.
In the words of the late Bette Davis, "Fasten your seatbelts—it's gonna be a bumpy night!"