The most popular mountain bike race in Canada was maybe a little too popular this year, as technical problems surfaced early on in the online registration and slowed things to a crawl until organizers pulled the plug 18 hours later.
In previous years the race has sold out in under two hours, and one year in 47 minutes.
“It became evident shortly after we went online at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on January 1 that we had a technical problem,” said race director Cliff Miller. “Our technical people were on it right away, but the problem just got worse.”
A decision was made to halt the registration process completely until the bug could be fixed.
Roughly 575 of 800 racers were registered by the time organizers pulled the plug, and were contacted by organizers on Jan. 5 to confirm their entry. The remaining 225 spots were sold on Tuesday afternoon in under an hour.
The Test of Metal organizers say the data centre that processes the Test of Metal entries did not anticipate the number of connections that would be required, and were swamped by the registration rush of approximately 3,000 hits.
“We are in the process of working with our provider to figure out the source of the problem since there was no problem last year, and we would like to avoid this in the future,” said Miller.
Even with the issues, the race registered riders from as far away as South Carolina and New York.
In total, Test of Metal sold 1,000 spots this year, including 200 spots in a locals-only registration in early December. There is no waitlist, and riders who drop out will not be replaced.
As well, riders in the pro elite categories can register until race day.
The 67 km mountain bike race takes place on June 20 in Squamish.
Gymnastics looking for coaches, will train
With record registration this past fall, more programs available, including preschool classes, and a new full-time facility on the way at Cheakamus Crossing, Whistler Gymnastics is looking for more coaches. The club is looking for people with coaching certifications to work on a part-time basis, but will also train people with a gymnastics background.
On Jan. 17-18, Whistler Gymnastics is hosting a NCCP Foundations to Gymnastics course at Spring Creek Elementary School. The course is $147 or $167 after Jan. 10.
To submit an application or enroll in the course, contact firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 604-902-FLIP (3547).