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Annual Golden Goat and Golden Kid

Tilden Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Mar. 29, 2009
Location: Berkeley, CA
Event Director: - 925.516.7622
Course Setter: Martin Kunz
Type: C; Extra long and strenuous courses; NO BEGINNER COURSES

Course Setter's Notes


This year's Goats crown their Golden specimen in the testing slopes and bushes of Tilden Regional Park. There are two courses: a long one (Golden Goat, 11.6 km, 575 m climb), and a shortened version (Golden Kid, 6.6 km, 275 m climb). I expect the winner to finish the Golden Goat in about 1 hour 45 minutes. The winning time of the Kid race should be around 1 hour.

Course setting did not allow setting the shortened Golden Kid version such that it is a mere shortcut of the Golden Goat. That means that runners have to decide in advance which of the two courses they want to do.

There will be three controls with water on the Golden Goat, and two on the Golden Kid. As usual for the unusual Golden Goat race, the race has a mass start, and "tram-riding" (i.e., following each other) is part of the Golden Goat strategy. There will be some surprises in the layout of the course, so stay alert. You can't "just follow each other", but need to keep contact to the map until the bitter end. The courses have some sections where short-range navigation is more important, and some larger stretches with emphasis on route choice.

If you get completely lost, go down to the canyon and follow the trail/canyon in the NW direction, and you will end up at Start/Finish.

Most BAOC runners have competed in Tilden Park before, and know that it is not the loveliest of all Orienteering terrains, i.e., just about right for a hardy, gruesome, testing, rough and tough Golden Goat race. This is a real adventure, and not a race for the faint hearted or people afraid of steep hills, dirt, mud, and scratches. Your physical, mental, and spiritual skills will be tested to their outer limit!

The terrain is characterized by a central canyon (Wildcat Canyon) flanked by rather steep and often densely overgrown hillsides. The beginning and very end of the race will be mostly in Eucalyptus forest, with some dense under-wood (lots of poison oak in this part). The middle section (i.e., the far end of the loop) is in steeper terrain, some of it fairly open, some of it overgrown with coyote brush (I'm guessing, I am not a botanist.).

The map is of varying quality. Contours are reliable, "green" is good at the far end, but sometimes debatable (probably season dependent) around the Start/Finish area. Faint trails are there, but sometimes really faint. I took the faintest few off the map.

As usual: hardship and pain is rewarded. Here it will be occasional glimpses of spectacular views into the Bay Area and over the flower covered "Irish Green" hills of late March Tilden hillsides.

Note: This event is not at the same location as previous events in Tilden Park. See the Driving Directions in the event announcement.