Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Soldier Field 10 Registration

One of the difficult aspects of racing in events takes places before race day and does not involve training or preparing in any way for the event. It involves registering for the race. For the most part, I have become comfortable with navigating registration sites, but there are points in the registration which can frustrate me. At times, the system will not accept my information as I type it. Other times, my curser will be announced as being in the correct edit box, but in fact, will be in a different one on the page therefore, even as I hear my computer's screen reader speaking that I am typing in my information, nothing will actually get entered in the space provided. Often, I must spend plenty of time with some trial and error until I get the information filled in to the proper place. Other times, for whatever reason, the registration site insists that some bit of information is missing when it clearly is not. In those cases, I will have to resort to finding sighted assistance. There have been moments where I simply need to provide the final detail to complete registration, but it does not work and I must cancel the entire process and wait for someone to be available to help me. There are cases where I have been lucky enough to have the person in charge of registration for the race offer to assist me. This is always the case when it comes to Soldier Field 10. The first year I wanted to race in this, I had to contact Justine Boney who was and is a tremendous lovely woman. The next year, Elizabeth was more than happy to register me. This year, Alexis Arvis of Fleet Feet has agreed to register my name to ensure I will race. Today, Alexis did just that! Tomorrow, I will have to call her back to register my guide, Michael Crissie. Michael has guided me each of the first two years I have run this race. I am so excited that he will be my eyes once again. It is always so much fun starting just outside of Soldier Field, home of the Chicago Bears, and running through the streets of Chicago before finishing by running through the players' tunnel, through the end zone, and across the fifty yard line. I am excited about being faster than we have ever been together. Michael has been working hard to get in the best shape of his life. He did tell me a few months ago that it was seeing the pictures of Kimberly and Jennifer guiding me at the Chicago Marathon as well as reading the blog entry about the experience which motivated him to push very hard this year. So on Michael's behalf, thank you Kimberly Shah and Jennifer Pfaff for inspiring Michael to be a better guide. I can not wait for May 26 when Michael and I will get to add another race to our growing experiences of running together.

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