apologizes, donates Marine Corps Marathon registration fees

In the wake of Marine Corps Marathon registration problems, apologizes to runners and donates their fees to charity. Photo: Marine Corps Marathon-US Marine Corps

NEW YORK, April 3, 2013—The Active Network has issued an apology to runners for problems with the Marine Corps Marathon registration process on March 27 via a message on Marine Corps Marathon’s website. The company added that they are donating all of their fees associated with the event “in order to create some good out of a frustrating experience.”

“Have you ever had a race where after months or even years of training, eating right, listening to your coaches, investing in new gear, it went badly?” Active stated in the apology letter. “This happened to Active last week and we feel sick about it. Marine Corps Marathon was ready to sell-out in record time. 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.”

Unlike the wake of the 2013 Bank of America Chicago Marathon registration process, which also suffered from technical difficulties caused by’s systems, Active did not say what caused the problems. Instead, they chalked it up to “miscalculations.”

“We’ve looked back from every single angle. We should have done this. We could have done that. The fundamentals are all there. It came down to a few miscalculations,” the apology went on. “We know you expect more from us. We are capable of much more. It’s our job to prove it from now on.” 

Active chose the Wounded Warrior Project and Semper Fi Fund, two organizations that support military veterans, as the beneficiaries of their donation.

“This by no means makes our mistake right, but using these funds to support our military and the running community is the best way we know to move forward,” the company stated.

It was no surprise that the Marine Corps Marathon in Arlington, Va., and Washington, D.C. sold-out in a record time of 2 hours, 27 minutes. But what frustrated thousands of runners and race organizers was a massive failure of the race’s registration system run by the Active Network via

As tens of thousands of runners rushed to the site when registration opened, problems with the Active Network caused delays for many runners attempting to register. Many never successfully gained access to the registration system before the race sold-out.

Read the full apology letter via a PDF on Marine Corps Marathon’s website.

Karla Bruning is host of On The Run, New York Road Runners’ web show about running. She has completed six marathons, two triathlons and trains with the New York Harriers. Follow Karla’s “Notes From a Running Nerd” at, Facebook and Twitter@KBruning.

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Karla Bruning

Karla Bruning is the host of On The Run, a TV and web show from New York Road Runners. Her work has appeared in Newsweek, American Athlete Magazine,,, The Philadelphia Inquirer, San Francisco Chronicle, Orlando Sentinel, and two dozen other outlets including ESPN2, Universal Sports and ABC in New York. She and her work have also received mentions from The New York Times, Runner's World, Fox Sports, Canadian Running, The Baltimore Sun, and PBS among others. She also covered the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver for The Washington Times.


A former Newsweek reporter, Karla has won a Fulbright scholarship for American journalists and reporting grants from the Scripps Howard, Carnegie and Knight Foundations. Karla holds degrees from Amherst College and Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism.


When not pounding the pavement as a reporter, Karla is pounding the pavement as a runner. She has completed seven marathons, four triathlons, trains with the New York Harriers and is a member of New York Road Runners. She is a writer, editor, and on-camera reporter dedicated to covering the sport of running from a runner’s perspective. Find Karla on, Twitter@KBruning, Facebook and Google+.

Contact Karla Bruning


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