Briones Results (Golden Goat)

May 9, 1998

by Ian Tidswell, meet director

The third annual Golden Goat, the West Coast's version of the Northeast's 20-year-old Billygoat, rushed into the Bay Area in May, dashed up and down several steep but deceptively small-looking hills, and then just as quickly scampered off. Below are the complete results.

The Golden Goat is a "one size fits all" orienteering course designed to be a significant but surmountable physical challenge for most reasonably fit orienteers. The course is pretty much like a long blue course, but with a few twists. A mass start is used and following is allowed giving the opportunity for less experienced and novice orienteers to follow experienced orienteers around the course or compete as a group. Another twist is that any one control could be skipped, a choice which has often been the deciding factor for the winner. The Grand Prize for the winner is a skull and antlers found on last years course (appropriate, if icky award), and a T-shirt for all those finishing under their time limit (more on this later).

The final wrinkle is the 'chapter' prize, awarded on highly abstract grounds to the club or BAOC chapter with the best overall performance based on several factors (including athletic, sportsmanship, and lack of crankiness, to name a few).

The Course

This year's course was held in Briones Regional Park, a large, mostly open, park in the East Bay hills. The Park is famous for three things: wide open meadows with great views, forests seemingly 90% infested with poison oak, and a map which, at best, takes a 'creative' approach to representing the steep hillsides.

I planned the course to take into account the best of the views, while minimizing the poison oak exposure. The course was 10.8k long, with an impressive 550m of climb and split into two loops, the first being about 7k long. After a fast and furious dash mostly on trails to the first control, the second control was placed about 800m away and 100m higher. After successfully depriving the competitor's brain of oxygen, the next two controls were close together to create maximum confusion. This was followed by a 1.5k leg which offered three closely balanced route choices: straight down and up for the poison oak immune, slightly left trail for those unable to count contours easily, and far right trail for those wanting views and fast (but long) trail running. The loop was completed with four more controls set in the meadows.

After drinks and refreshments, the second loop went back up the hill, with four moderately difficult controls. Three of the last four controls were set high on the hill within sight of the parking lot in one of the cleanest sections of woodland on the map.

The Competition

Fifty-five entrants lined up at the start in perfect California weather: 60 F and bright sunshine. On the dot of 11am the crowd sprinted off to the first control, seemingly oblivious to the ½ k of climb to come. By the first water stop, the top 10 were still moving well and separated by no more than 2 minutes (it seems the straight route from 4-5 was almost the same as the trail leg). James Scarborough was first through the refreshment control in 63 minutes, less than a minute ahead of Neeme Loorits, who followed by 5 other runners within 2 ½ minutes.

The biggest surprise was Bruce Wolfe, 44-year-old veteran (and judging by his beard, part goat himself), who, deciding he couldn't keep up with the faster youngsters, skipped the refreshment control. This was probably the key to Bruce's success. While the pack switched leaders several times, Bruce was able to take the lead, finishing over two minutes ahead of James in 96 minutes. The next few places seem to have been decided by two key factors: physical stamina and control 15, a tricky reenterent near the top of the hill.

In the women's race, Penny DeMoss dominated as she did last year. She came through the split control just 5 minutes behind James, and 5 minutes ahead of Angelica Riley. Both women lost ground to the men in the second loop, with Penny finishing in a very respectable 110 minutes, and Angelica 13 minutes behind.

After the initial rush, with the first 17 coming in within 15 minutes, things slowed down somewhat. Stops at the refreshment control became longer and a little more sociable. Some outstanding performances were still to come. One came from Jim Waddington Sr., in from Canada on a business trip, took to the hills like a Goat to cliffs, and finished in a very respectable 147 minutes. Joan Roos steadily worked her way around the course, finishing in shorter time than last year, despite a more challenging course. And novices Ted and Julia Tussing, navigating together for most of the course, managed to finish under the time limit.

T Controversy!

After the race, the T-shirt cut-off time caused some excitement. While previous years Golden Goats only required finishing to earn a shirt, this year an age and gender based scheme was used to try to be a little fairer to the older and more female competitors (the original Billygoat has a flat 3 ½ hour cutoff). The time limits were based loosely on the Dipsea trail race handicaps. For men aged 20-40 the limit was three hours, with an extra 2 minutes for every year over 40 or under 20. The same scheme was used for women, but with an additional 20 minutes for all.

With hindsight, I'm pretty happy with the men's time limit, but not the women's. 90% of the men completed the course in the time limit, a pretty good number. But only about 50% of the women would get a shirt under the original limits. To make amends I retroactively changed the time limit for women to 4 hours plus 3 minutes per year over 40/under 20.

Despite the static, I still favor a time limit, and an age/gender based limit seems more equitable than a single one. Obviously the details of the time limit is critical. I think the numbers I ultimately used get pretty close.

Inaugural Team Prize

The team prize went to the East Bay. Overall they were clear winners, having the most entries and winners of both the men's and women's races. Add to this EBers further contributions of Penny DeMoss' great T-shirt design, Penny and Harold tirelessly picking up controls, and other prolific helpers, and the decision becomes clear.

Unfortunately, the concept of 'style points' is not yet well understood here. Negative style points came from people such as Ted Tussing (Peninsula), who lost all his style points earned with a great novice performance by deserting his wife near the finish line so he would be sure to get a shirt. Is the age of chivalry dead? Steve Gregg didn't help the East Bay's cause with his well-meant, but decidedly unstylish, groveling for the award. As a tip for the future, acknowledging the Head Goat's almost unearthly talents and capabilities, offering to pick up controls, and gifts ("bribes" is such an ugly word) of local specialties seem to have a positive effect on the outcome!

Recreational Courses

One disappointment for the day was the low turnout on the White and yellow courses. Only four groups entered, most likely due to the short notice. Despite this, everyone seems to have had fun, with nearly everyone completing both courses. With luck, a few of them will be next year Golden Goat runners!


Finally, many thanks to the helpers, many of whom came to help despite not running the course themselves. They are Ev and Jean Beuerman, Bob Cooley, Evan Custer, Josh and Jean Friederichs, Rosemary Johnson, Gary Kraght, Penny and Harold DeMoss, and Tony Pinkham.


White Course (2.7 k,  120 m)

1. Cooney, Susan		43.13
2. Senzig, Craig		54.12
3. French, Dean			64.36

Yellow Course (3.3 k, 150 m)

1. Cooney, Susan (2nd Course)	51.58
2. Senzig, Craig (2nd Course)	52.44
3. French, Dean (2nd Course)	76.55
4. Brady, Jay 			79.40

The Golden Goat

55 Starters, 3 DNF

Rank Name M or F Chapter Split Elapse Split rank Total Control skip
1 Wolfe, Bruce M East Bay   Skip 95.55 10
2 Scarborough, James M East Bay 63.12 1 98.13 14
3 Loorits, Neeme M East Bay 63.28 2 99.02 15
4 Gregg, Steve M East Bay 63.53 4 99.27 15
5 Maclean, Derek M Peninsula 67.48 6 100.28 14
6 Taylor, Lans M South Bay 66.19 5 101.17 2
7 Riley, Wyatt M East Bay 68.01 8 101.30 14
8 Carpenter, Gary M East Bay 69.10 14 105.14 14
9 Boughner, Van M South Bay 63.33 3 106.41 14
10 Reader, Sydney M East Bay 68.33 9 106.44 None
11 Graeve, Thorsten M South Bay 68.56 13 106.47 14
12 Prior, Mark M South Bay 68.47 11 107.51 12
13 Meier, Fabian M Peninsula 68.50 12 107.56 14
14 Stein, Douglas M South Bay 71.50 17 108.04 14
15 Greene, Dan M South Bay 72.25 19 109.39 12
16 DeMoss, Penny F East Bay 68.37 10 109.41 12
17 Haag, Werner M South Bay 67.51 7 109.56 3
18 Ohlund, Kent M South Bay 75.38 22 117.35 None
19 Riley, Angelica F East Bay 73.40 21 122.20 2
20 Smith, Steve M NV 72.36 20 123.20 3
21 Karras, Tapio M South Bay 70.30 16 123.47 2
22 Thomas, Randy M East Bay 69.20 15 124.41 18
23 Papendick, Bill M North Bay 81.30 23 124.45 14
24 Wyatt-Mair, Gavin M East Bay 83.27 25 127.22 14
25 Minarik, George M East Bay 85.54 26 131.37 14
26 Graube, Peter M South Bay 82.47 24 132.58 None
27 Gendreau, Rob M East Bay 71.57 18 135.35 None
28 Caprenter, Tom M East Bay 92.48 28 146.51 12
29 Waddington, Jim M - 94.03 30 147.07 14
30 Blair, Mark M East Bay 92.48 28 148.01 14
31 Lynch, John M East Bay 100.00 34 149.01 14
32 Friedrichs, Josh M East Bay 92.18 27 149.24 14
33 Barclay, Jenni F East Bay 100.00 34 150.53 6
34 Wolford, Wendy F East Bay 100.00 34 150.54 12
35 Glendinning, Alan M South Bay 94.38 32 151.49 3
36 Vomaske, Ken M SLO 94.10 31 158.27 14
37 Aster, Scott M North Bay 96.57 33 160.12 2
38 Tussing, Ted M Peninsula 100.00 34 177.36 14
39 Tussing, Julia F Peninsula 100.00 34 178.37 14
40 Davidson, Josh M South Bay   ? 179.10 12
41 Warmuth, Audrey F South Bay 128.50 40 199.39 12
42 Goss, Stacy F South Bay 128.50 40 199.41 12
43 Minarik, Leslie F East Bay 138.19 43 205.16 14
44 Lewis, Robert M South Bay   Skip 210.14 10
45 Beuerman, Steve M South Bay   Skip 210.24 10
46 Abernathy, Aileen F Peninsula 144.55 44 229.39 14
47 Gerstner, Meg F South Bay 160.06 46 252.17 14
47 Jacobs, Marsha F Peninsula 160.06 46 252.17 14
49 Roos, Joan F East Bay 145.00 45 252.24 14
50 Henderson, Scott M East Bay   ? 270.46 14
51 Evans, Sharon F Peninsula 129.30 42 275.26 2
52 Madson, Cheryl F East Bay 162.54 48 278.37 14
DNF Riley, Jorian F   105.59 39 999.00  
DNF Custer, Jill F East Bay   DNF 999.00  
DNF Jankowski, Steve M South Bay   DNF 999.00