I have been waiting to register for the Longhorn 70.3 -- waiting for what I am not sure -- but I have been waiting. Well, today I read on the Houston Racing Forums that there were less than 200 spots left, so I decided it was time to pull the trigger and register. Once the races get so close to being full, there is usually a rush and the remaining spots are taken quickly.
Speaking of registering, I have been doing a little reconnaissance on the registration process for the Florida Ironman. The 2008 race is November 1 this year. Athletes that are racing in 2008 are able to register for the 2009 race the day before the 2008 race (so that they don't have to stand in line for 2009 race the day after the race). Then the morning after the event, from 9a - 11a general registration opens at the race site. If, and only if (and it is a big if!), there are any spots left, online registration opens around Noon (race site time) and spots fill quickly, often within minutes.
Those at the event cannot register for friends, etc. (you have to have an ID to register) and race registrations are not transferable nor can they be sold.
I am going to have to stalk the site on November 2 and hope that I get a spot. Ironman Canada and Lake Placid sold out at the race site and never made it to online registration. Uggh.
There is one additional and expensive way to get a spot at an Ironman event. There are Community spots whereby you can donate $775 to the North American Sports Community Foundation (benefits children athletic charities in the host cities) in addition to the $525 race registration fee. The good news is that should I decide to go this route (hopefully it will not be necessary), my company will match my contribution and the Community Fund allows others to contribute on your behalf (i.e. you can raise the money). There are a limited number of Community spots though, so the fundraising time is limited.
I knew it was tough to get a spot, but I thought that was mainly due to the fact that you have to register a year in advance. I had no idea that people who wants spots who are prepared to make the commitment a year in advance don't always make it into the race.