Shell Ridge

5th annual Golden Goat

Walnut Creek
Sunday, Oct. 1, 2000

Contact: Harold DeMoss, 510-658-4327

Break out that second pair of gaiters and limber up those hind legs. Shell Ridge Open Space (near Walnut Creek) is the site of this year's running of the Golden Goat, a treasured BAOC tradition dating back to the previous millenium. This event is a different sort of animal that begins with a mass start and covers a fairly long distance with lots of climb, but consists mainly of trail-oriented running. Following other goats, if you think your own hooves are fast enough to keep up, is actually encouraged in this race!

Not feeling Goatish? Dan Stoll-Hadayia is setting standard White, Yellow, and Orange courses for normal two-legged folks. No preregistration required, and the usual club entry fees apply (no T-shirt included). Start times will be 10:00 am to 12:00 pm, and the courses close at 2:00 pm.

Golden Goat and Kid

Mark Blair is our course-setter for the "Goatala" (as he calls it). The mass start is at 10:15 am, with a 10:00 am briefing. There is a 5-hour time limit (that's 3:15 pm).

In keeping with a newer part of the tradition, there will also be a shorter Golden Kid course that covers about 2/3 of the full Goat course. You do not have to decide in advance which course to run; you can decide when you reach the map exchange point (see below).

Goat Preregistration and Entry Fee

The entry fee for the Golden Goat or Kid is $18, which includes the cost of an exquisite DeMoss designer T-shirt commemorating the event. To receive a T-shirt, you must preregister AND pay by Sept. 23, as the T-shirts will be printed beforehand and handed out at the event.

Send your check and T-shirt size to Penny and Harold DeMoss at 6365 Crown Ave., Oakland, CA 94611. (If you aren't running the Goat but would like a T-shirt, you can get one by sending us $10 and your shirt size by Sept. 23.)

However, this year you don't HAVE to preregister - you can sign up and pay for the Goat on the day of the event. But the fee is still $18 and you won't get a T-shirt.

Registration and T-shirt Pickup

At the event, there will a separate Registration Tent for the Golden Goat, where you will fill out the usual registration form, obtain a clue sheet, a Tyvek punch card, and your T-shirt (pre-ordered).

On-site entries, and people who called or e-mailed this week, will also register at this tent, and pay your $18 if the meet director hasn't received it earlier. People who ordered a T-shirt but are not running the Goat should also pick up their shirt at this tent, then go to the WYO tent if you are doing those courses.

The Goat registration tent will only be open until the 10:00 am Goat briefing. ALL T-shirts must be picked up by then; Ev and Jean have other duties after 10:00 and they will NOT hold your shirt for you until you finish.

Since parking is 400 m to 800 m from registration, you might want to come to the registration/start/finish area with a sports bag for your T-shirt and any change of clothes, munchies, etc.

NOTE: There are no bathrooms in the registration area.

Course Format and Specs

As the name suggests, the Goatala 2000 is a motala (a format of orienteering in which the race is split into 2 or more loops that all meet at a common start/finish point). The Goatala consists of 2 loops to be run in the same order by everyone. The first loop consists of 18 controls over 6.9 km, with 395 m of climb. The second loop is a little more than half as long as the first but is a little steeper, covering 4.2 km with 305 m of climb. It has 11 controls. Both loops together comprise 29 controls, 11.1 km bee-line distance, with 700 m of climb. (This is if no controls are skipped; see below.)

As in last year's Golden Goat, each competitor may run the entire Goat course or may opt to run the Golden Kid. It's as simple as this: Those who decide to run the Kid course will just run the first loop, then run the remaining 50 m from Control 18 to the Finish. Those running the full Goat will run the first loop, then grab a map for the second loop out of a box at Control 18, and run the second loop to the Finish. You don't have to decide whether to run the one-loop Kid or the two-loop Goat until you get to the end of the first loop.

This year's Goat "format feature" is also quite simple: Each competitor may skip one control on each loop. Those running the Kid course may thus skip one control on their single loop and those who traverse the full Goat course may skip one control on the first loop and one control on the second loop. All contestants must punch Control 18, which is the final control of the Kid and the map exchange control for the Goat.

Kid or Goat?

If you reach the map exchange and can't decide whether to stop at the Kid or continue on and finish the Golden Goat, you will be allowed to look at the second map before deciding.

If you are out on the second loop and have NOT punched any control yet, you may return to the finish, and your time at that point will be used as your finish for the Kid. But if you HAVE punched a control and then return to the finish line, you will be DNF on the Golden Goat. However, since we are taking splits at the map exchange, you may look at the final results, and see how you would have done on just the Kid.


Water will be available at 4 controls on the first loop and 2 controls on the second loop. So no matter which controls you skip, you'll encounter at least 3 water controls on the first loop and 1 water control on the second loop. There will be both water and Gookinaid at the map exchange.

The Map

As mentioned above, our map of Shell Ridge has just been transferred to OCAD computer format, thanks to Evan Custer. Like the original map drafted in 1986, the scale is 1:10000 with a contour interval of 5 m. Your friendly course setter has field-checked the new map to add almost all (I hope) of the many trail and fence changes that have been made to this area during the last 14 years.

Terrain and Hazards

Shell Ridge Open Space Area consists of open, treeless grasslands over 3/4 of its area. The remaining area, in the map's northern and eastern regions, is lightly forested in oak. The entire area is crisscrossed extensively by trails which are very runnable everywhere (unless it rains).

There are a few small bushes of poison oak at Shell Ridge, but none are anywhere near the expected route of a sane Goat runner, except at Control 27, where an impressive tree-sized bush of the stuff lies about 15 m WSW of the control. A large (and quite spectacular) tarantula also lives in a hole in the ground near this control. If you happen to see it (which is unlikely), just don't reach down with your hand to pet it, and you should be okay.

A difficult fence crossing between Controls 20 and 21 has been flagged. When you reach this fence, look for orange streamers along it. Tests by our staff have proven this to be the easiest place to scrooch underneath the fence.


Shell Ridge has always been a major equestrian area. During the last few years equestrian use has increased considerably, especially in the eastern part of the park. Be prepared to encounter horses and riders on the trails. They sometimes group together in long caravans of 15 to 25 that originate from rider-training stables near the east edge of the park.

When you come across a horse and rider on a trail, please exercise appropriate caution. NEVER RUN PAST A HORSE AT CLOSE RANGE. This can spook the horse and throw the rider. Instead, stop or slow to a walk and/or move off the trail as you pass the horse.


The start and finish for all courses will be close to registration. Registration will be in the area just as you enter Shell Ridge from the parking area close to the school.

From I-680 in Walnut Creek, exit onto Ygnacio Valley Road and head east for approximately 2.3 miles to Walnut Avenue. (DO NOT turn onto Walnut Boulevard, which you may see along the way). Turn right on Walnut Avenue and go about 1.5 miles to Oak Grove Road. Turn right onto this road and immediately veer right onto Castle Rock Road. Continue on Castle Rock Road for 0.5 miles until the large parking lot for Northgate High School appears on your right.

Park in the lot, then walk a short distance along Castle Rock Road to Comistas Drive. Turn right on Comistas, then walk the short distance to where you'll see registration on your left, at the start of the Hanna Grove Trail, the same place we've used for many years.