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Active Network, which runs the third-party website responsible for widespread problems experienced last week when thousands of runners attempted to register for this year’s Marine Corps Marathon, hopes to make amends for the snafu by donating its profits from the race to two charities that support wounded troops.
“Marine Corps Marathon was ready to sell out in record time,” said Eric McCue, spokesman for Active Network, in a news release issued Tuesday. “We were ready. And we tripped at the starting line. We are truly sorry the registration experience did not reflect the iconic Marine Corps Marathon itself.”
Active will divide $75,000 between the Semper Fi Fund and The Wounded Warrior Project, saying each organization has “specific programs that support our military on the road to creating an active life through the sport of running.”
Active’s announcement comes a week after its website crashed March 27 as would-be marathon entrants tried to register for the Oct. 27 race in Washington, D.C.
In all, 30,000 bibs were available for the race, with nearly half going to active-duty troops, charity slots and MCM Running Club members, among others. Just 16,000 went up for sale March 27, and all were sold out in two hours and 27 minutes.
The crash caused many runners to be shutout entirely while others waited in a digital queue for hours only to be kicked out midway through the registration process. Thousands of frustrated runners then took to Facebook and Twitter to vent, with many slamming the company for not doing more to prevent the same problems it experienced when registration opened earlier this year for the Chicago Marathon.
“We’ve looked back from every single angle. We should have done this. We could have done that. The fundamentals are all there,” McCue said in the news release. “It came down to a few miscalculations. We know you expect more from us. We are capable of much more. It’s our job to prove it from now on.”
Rick Nealis, the Marine Corps Marathon’s director, has vowed to study how similar problems can be prevented in the future. Although the race most likely won’t grow in size to accommodate more runners, organizers may consider establishing a lottery process for those wishing to register, he said.