The California International Marathon on Dec. 6 reached its 7,000-entrant limit by the deadline on Sunday.
So you runners who -- do'h -- forgot to actually fill out the online form and fork over the entry fee are plum out of luck, right?
Not so fast.
Race director John Mansoor (pictured) says the CIM board meets tonight and is likely to approve at least 200 additional spots for tardy runners. To be put on the waiting list, email email@example.com. pronto. There will be a price to pay for tardiness, though: Mansoor says the entry fee will be raised to $200 (from $100, plus bus fare). The "penalty fee" will be donated to charity, Mansoor says.
UPDATE 11/3: The CIM announced today it will accept 250 additional entries, with half of the $200 fee going to charity. Details here.
"We capped out a 6,000 last year and then we got a lot of people just desperate to get in," Mansoor says. "I can't believe this, but it's happening again. I've heard from people who are coming from Canada who already bought their airline tickets, already made their hotel reservation but didn't enter. It doesn't make sense.
"Last year, we did 200 additional entries for charity. We donated that money to the improvement of the American River running trail. We'll probably do at least 200 charity entries again this year, if not more."
Marathon relay entries also closed at 850 and Mansoor says that the relay will not be expanded.
More than 7,000 runners in the marathon field is impressive, but Mansoor says the race has become so popular that it could swell to as many as 10,000. But such an expansion, he says, would mean some changes in the race.
For instance, there would have to be "wave" starts every 15 minutes, the faster runners going first. That would mean keeping the race course open a half an hour longer than the current six hour time limit, but Mansoor says community officials are open to the idea.
The other change would be to ban personal vehicles from parking anywhere near the starting line in Folsom and having all runners take buses to the start line. That's a practice nearly all big and medium marathons already employ, but it would without a doubt lead to some grumbling from bus-averse runners.
To encourage runners to take the bus, the CIM will route the shuttles around the car traffic and designate an "express route" on the newly opened Folsom Lake crossing bridge.
"We're also going to stop personal vehicles a little further away from the start line and force them to get out of their cars and shuttle them in that last way," Mansoor says.