Monday, November 24, 2008

Ironman Arizona Registration on (In)Active.com

Registration opened for Ironman Arizona on Active.com at precisely 2 PM. The link was available either from the Ironman Arizona site, or if you were willing to dig on Google you might have had it earlier. It also eventually showed up on Active.com directly.

Unfortunately through no fault of NA Sports, the link brought more frustration than the crowded start of an Ironman swim.





A representative at NA Sports who nice enough to answer my email at a time when a barrage of emails and phone calls was probably coming in (thanks !) indicated that just 25 people got in in the first 20 minutes.

For almost 50 minutes, I was furiously re-loading a variety of web browsers until I finally got past the first page and the 'too busy' errors. At the same time, another athlete I know got in, but a teammate of ours didn't get in for 75 minutes, and got the too busy error several times after starting the process.

The page is loading fine now. It really appears that Active had a problem with the volume of requests hitting that registration link simultaneously- probably several hundred at one time. The problem is, Active should be able to hand a thousand simultaneous hits to a race application without a problem- they are a web application service vendor. It's true I'm more of a big picture guy than a nuts-and-bolts coder, but judging from what I saw, this was a load balancing issue of a load the server ought to have handled.

I'm going to follow up both with Active and NA Sports (someone deserves a fruit basket), but it's nice to know I'm in and friends are in.

3 comments:

sbrtv said...

Congrats. I still never understood why NAS always uses Active.com. Did they sign some lifetime contract with them?

I've never heard a single good thing about IM registration with Active.com (other than your comment about actually talking to someone) and am surprised NAS hasn't come up with their own alternative to handle registration (and take the registration fee all for themselves).

Either way, glad you and all your buddies made it in!

alan said...

It's a tough call with Active. I recommended one of my clients use Active for their event registration because they also wanted a charitable giving component and I think that went pretty well.

I also think it's fine for the average-sized race, like Hammerfest Triathlon. It's easy to get reports out for race directors to send to the timing company.

But this is definitely not the first time that an Ironman registration has brought Active to its knees. Registration for other events was working fine at the same time, too.

Thanks for the congrats. Now if we all can still afford to go next year...

Anonymous said...

Dude! PR of 10:08 in the Ironman! SWEEEET! keep up the good work....I'm also Liking the blog.

-Pat dennen