Spinny wheel of death

Phew, she said, as she swiped away the beads of sweat lining her brow and breathed out a gust of relief. It was 4 p.m., seven hours after the registration for the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo first opened, six and a half hours after the registration process timed out mid register, six hours after the spinny wheel of death first began spinning, five and a half hours after the website crashed, and five hours after she sent a frantic email to organizers followed up by a frantic phone call. He was registered!

This morning at 9 a.m. was the start of registration for the Levi Leipheimer Gran Fondo, a registration of which I had promised Mario for his birthday. I set up two calendars with alerts on my iPhone days before, I sent emails to both my work and home accounts, and I got Mario to send me an email too. I did NOT want to forget. At 8:45 a.m., my iPhone dinged. I went to the website and waited. At 9 a.m. the spinny wheel. I opened three browsers and kept refreshing them over and over again. It was seriously Ticketmaster-esque frustration! Finally at 9:25, I had success. I started filling out the form, pressed the button to advance to the next page andddd nothing. Noooooo.

Apparently, the fondo organizers informed their website provider they’d be getting a lot of traffic and were assured it wouldn’t be a problem. But after just 350 successful registrants, the web host shut the site down. Here’s the email I got from the operations manager:

Despite notifying our web host that they would be seeing a huge amount of traffic to our site, they thought they were being hacked and closed down our site.  We will be moving the site to a dedicated server and registration will reopen at 4pm today.  We apologize for this inconvenience.  Now go for a ride!

Alright, I could deal with that … mind you, it was on my mind for the duration of the day as I feared I would forget the 4 p.m. deadline. Any spare moment I had, I sought out information on the Gran Fondo Twitter and Facebook feeds, and I got to say, it’s a good thing I did, because with just 15 minutes before 4 the site was still down. At five minutes before, I went to Twitter and saw that a back door option had been set up for such instances:

And it worked. I got in at 3:55 p.m. filled out the form and by 4 p.m. Mario was registered. Phew! Apparently I was one of 200 to get through on that round of registration overload. The site again crashed shortly after re-opening and won’t be up again until tomorrow at noon. I guess it shouldn’t be too surprising though as they got mondo amounts of media exposure this year and only 7,500 spots up for grabs. Good golly, I was in serious need of my new bed after such an exhaustive day!


  • 6:30 p.m. BG before: 6.8 (granola bar, 0.15 units insulin (I had a low two hours prior, and figured if I didn’t at least bolus a little bit, I’d have a major rebound on my hands post run))
  • Temp basal: -50 per cent
  • Distance: 4 km
  • Time: Not a clue, forgot to check
  • 7 p.m. BG after: 6.4

Have you ever had frustration registering for an event?

1 thought on “Spinny wheel of death”

  1. The first half half marathon which I managed to get into after about 3 hours of trying. They also had a server that crashed and it took some folks days to get registered. Crazy and stressful.

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