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Discussion: Race notes

in: Billygoat 2016 (May 8 - Townsend, MA, US)

May 6, 2016 3:53 AM # 
Walk to the start:

The walk to the start is ~2km, and will begin at 10:20am, for Billygoat and Pygmy goat starters alike. Do not miss the mass start walk to the start. If you miss this, you will miss the race, as this walk is not streamered. We will hand out maps and start the race when everybody is assembled, at roughly 11am. The Billygoat and the Pygmy goat will start at the same time. We will have two different people handing out maps; please be sure to take the correct one.

We will carry back any clothing you may want to leave at the start, but please be considerate of how much you bring. There will be some water available at the start.

Please clear and check your SI at registration. But if you forget, we'll have the clear and check at the start, too.


The Billygoat has three water stops. One of these is on a trail, not at a control, but marked on your map. The water stops are roughly evenly spaced. The Pygmy goat has two water stops. One of these is on a trail, not at a control. None of these water stops will be manned, and only water is provided.

There will be plenty of refreshments at the finish, we don't want you leaving hungry!


All Billygoat and all Pygmy goat finishers under 3.5 hours earn a kick-ass teeshirt. The winning male and female runners get custody of the ugly doorstop for 1 year. We will begin awards around 2:15pm, near the finish, so we can cheer in any latecomers!


We're in for a good day for running, rainy and cool. Please dress appropriately. There is no indoor shelter at the finish.
May 6, 2016 4:08 AM # 
Make sure you get the NEOC website updated, if possible, or any other place you think people will read. The website says walk to start begins at 10:40.

How long is the Pygmy?

Thanks for designing the course/s! I'm sure it'll be awesome--see you on Sunday!
May 6, 2016 4:58 PM # 
Website time fixed.
May 6, 2016 5:21 PM # 
The walk to the start is ~2km.

I don't suppose the start triangle can be chosen as a valid skip?
May 6, 2016 6:49 PM # 
@stever - only if you want to attempt the course with no map...

With the forecast for rain on Sunday, thinking about dry clothes at the finish. Parking at the school, I'm assuming the finish will not be right there, but over where the finish was for the Troll Cup.

Will the walk to start go past there so a change of clothes can be left in a bag? Or will we have to make do with a brand new dry kick-ass Billygoat t-shirt as later runners come in?
May 6, 2016 7:59 PM # 
I'm not assuming that the finish will be at the unpaved parking on Dudley Road, and I'm rather hoping it will be near the schools. I'm hoping we can get a clarification on that so that we'll know how to prepare for the weather, as you say.
May 6, 2016 9:42 PM # 
The finish is near the parking at the school.
May 6, 2016 10:06 PM # 
Course lengths?
May 6, 2016 10:38 PM # 
Billygoat: 11.5km
Pygmy goat: 7km
Both are pretty flat.
May 6, 2016 10:52 PM # 
May 9, 2016 12:04 AM # 
A great event. All done with smiles and enthusiasm. Nice courses and then the pizzas at the finish. When the first dozen were gone, more were ordered for the late finishers. Watching people talk about their courses, getting their shirts and generally having a great time was great. The organizers also seemed to be able to make the forecasted heavy rain turn into just sprinkles.
May 9, 2016 2:05 PM # 
Any chance of this going up on Routegadget?
May 9, 2016 4:46 PM # 
The site is down. Anyone know who can get it back up again?
May 9, 2016 5:00 PM # 
Billygoat Map:

Pygmy Goat Map:
May 9, 2016 7:42 PM # 
Would anyone like to comment, with perfect hindsight, on the possible advantage of skipping #1 by taking the left trail route through the green? It looks like it goes 80% of the way to #2 on trails, but unfortunately requires a decision before even taking the first step.

For those who skipped #1, did you go right (N from the start triangle) or left?
May 9, 2016 8:07 PM # 
Thats an interesting route I hadn't considered. I thought that 1 would be a tempting skip to save distance, but really wouldn't be that good because the route through the woods still required you to go north around the green, and there is a nice trail into 1. I don't think anyone went south out of the start.
May 9, 2016 10:17 PM # 
real billygoaters skip the last control! ;-). Am I still the only one to have done that in Billygoat history?
May 9, 2016 10:50 PM # 
Looks like only one of those getting a shirt could have reasonably skipped the last control, having already visited 23 controls before then, but he didn't. Sometimes it's just too hard to decide which one to skip.
May 9, 2016 11:23 PM # 
Scott Turner skipped the last control in 1990.
I don't have a record of skips for 1994, but the last control looked like a reasonable skip.
Daniel Bedecker may have never gotten the last control in 1995 (that's unclear), but he supposedly did go to all of the other controls. But he never crossed the finish line.
Pete Rachal, Bryan Hallberg, Mike Derrick, and Eric Smith (but not Hammer, who won) all skipped the last control in 1998.
Hammer, Alan Young, Erin Nielsen, Doug Graham, Andrew Pfluger, Doug Gosling, Sean McCafferty, and Frank Ferraro all skipped the last control in 2000.
I can't find the 2001 results, but the last control looked like a possible skip... maybe.
I can't find the 2004 results, but the last control looked like quite a good skip.
I can't find the 2005 results, but the last control looked like a feasible skip (I know some people who wish they could have skipped it).
Darrell Scott skipped the last control in 2007.
There are some other years that I don't have the results handy for, but skipping the last control on those looked really unlikely. Of possible interest is the reaction that Swampfox had when he first heard about the proposed skipping rule: he figured everybody would hold onto their skip until the very end and skip the last control.
May 10, 2016 12:51 AM # 
oh cool so lots of others. when we were driving home from the 1999? Billygoat (last control was in corner of a field but a little back from where people entered it) Doug Mahoney said "wouldn't it be cool to skip the last control". So when I saw that option existed in 2000 I took it. it was risky because I really wanted to tie Eric's five wins in a row. almost didn't work.

Fun times. need more races like the Billygoat. Still one of my fave races.
May 10, 2016 1:41 AM # 
Perhaps I'm missing something obvious, but...
What is that skeletal+leaves graphic on both maps above the course name?
May 10, 2016 1:48 AM # 
Event logo. Billy goat skull and laurel (kind of a wreath, kind of representing mountain laurel).

Also printed on the shirts awarded. I like it.
May 12, 2016 11:40 PM # 
Are Billygoat results posted somewhere?
May 13, 2016 12:24 AM # 

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