The reason we do this is it is the most reliable mechanism to handle a sell out situation. There is a very accurate count and a very accurate time stamp on when someone clicked on the submit credit card information and it successfully completes.
Trying to hand out tickets like a deli when people first start registering is a very messy way to do this. The fact is people do not complete the registration process. So say we gave people 15 minutes from the time they got their “deli ticket”, that means there would be a bunch of expirations after 15 minutes. And this would repeat several times with unknown periods of deli ticket availability.
For example, if there are 1,000 participant slots and 1,000 deli tickets are handed out within 3 minutes at 9:00AM. Only 800 complete within 15 minutes, then 200 deli tickets are available again between 9:15-9:18AM. Of those 200, only 150 are used. Which means there are 50 more available between 9:30-9:36. This is obviously not very fair or easy.
While it is frustrating to be in the middle of registering to find out you did not get in, the reality is you spent a few minutes filling in a few forms on a web page.
Runners can speed up the process by making sure they have a RunSignUp account and are already signed into it when they are waiting for registration to open. Also, be on a fast Internet connection and browser (Chrome is typically the fastest). The fastest registration for the Space Coast race today was 55 seconds. There were over 300 people who were under 4 minutes. Our system can handle much more (and faster) than that, but it gives you an idea of how fast people are at registering.