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15th Annual Golden Goat and Golden Kid

Briones Regional Park

Date: (Sun.) Nov. 7, 2010
Location: Lafayette, CA
Event Director: - 415.948.5593
Course Setter: Martin Kunz
Type: Extra long course with a mass start -- sorry, but no beginner courses at this event

Course Setter's Notes


The 2010 Golden Goat returns to well-tested grounds: Briones Regional Park. It is the perfect place for a Golden Goat, since it plays into the aim of such an event, namely to present a looong, gruesome, and grinding orienteering race. As in previous years, there will be two courses: a long and steep Golden Goat (11.3 km, ~600 m climb), and a shortened version, the Golden Kid (7.9 km, ~400 m climb). Note that the distance is, as usual, measured as the crow flies, and the climb depends on the routes you choose. I estimate the winning time to be in the 2-hr range (I don't think we will admit crows), and the Kid probably around 75 minutes — although my complete lack of any running form makes the estimation a little difficult.

In the spirit of the race, this is a mass-start event, so you can see and smell your direct competitors, and you can outfox them directly with clever route choice. A butterfly will make sure that everybody has to stay on the map at least a little. Because of the butterfly, you have to chose in advance which course (Goat or Kid) you are going to run. The courses are rather on the hard end of the spectrum, and I recommend that you run the Kid if you are not sure which one to run.

If you get completely lost, run (or crawl) north. At worst you'll hit Alhambra Valley or Reliez Valley Road.

Most BAOC runners have competed in Briones Park before, and know that this is not the most gentle of all 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! As a matter of fact, the course is hard enough it is quite possible that this will be the last time for generations to come that I will be asked to set a Golden Goat course.

The terrain can be characterized as typical rolling California hills, with open oak woods and grass slopes. The various types of vegetation have in common that they grow on steep hills. It may look steep when you look on the map, but it's actually even steeper: the 7.5-m contour interval masks the true gruesomeness of the steep hills. I strongly recommend cleats (harness and 70-m rope are optional...). There is some poison oak, but it is presently brightly red colored and thus avoidable. Besides poison oak, you may encounter cows and bulls. They are generally mellow, although I recommend not to stray into the middle of a herd of young well-fed bulls.

The mass start will be at 10 AM sharp (Swiss timing). Come early enough to get ready and to attend the pre-race briefing at 9:50 (at the Start). Note that Daylight Saving Time ends Saturday night.