Briones – Golden Goat & Golden Kid
Date: (Sun.) Mar. 26, 2006
Location: Lafayette, CA
Event Director: - 510.658.4327
Course Setter: Penny DeMoss
Type: Extra long and strenuous courses; NO BEGINNER COURSES due to park restrictions on the number of participants at this assembly area due to limited parking
I thoroughly enjoyed this year's Goat. After an unsuccessful attempt at a 50-km race on Saturday, I was looking forward to a long, protracted battle slog in the same vein as the 2004 and 2005 Goats. But, the course ended up much faster and quite close to the announced climb number.
This was a mixed blessing... I was done sooner, but also realized I had to work a bit to keep up, since I couldn't just rely on nearly everyone else falling apart from exhaustion... And, the technical difficulty was just right. There was a bare minimum of navigation to do, but a lot of strategizing and jockeying for a preferred position within the pack. The best skip seemed unique to me (#12), but the fork seemed almost even if executed correctly.
By Penny DeMoss, Course Setter
I once was told by a goat herder that goats do not like to get wet – so weren't we lucky that Sunday was such a beautiful day? He didn't mention how they feel about mud though... At any rate, by Monday the rain and wind were back just in time for control pick up! On Saturday, when Harold and I were putting out controls, it was actually so windy on that upper ridge that I was knocked down a couple of times before I had to abandon going across the "front" of those high peaks east of #20 at the pond. I virtually crawled back to the gate, went "behind" the peaks on the trail, put out #20, then crept down to #8 and #7b. And the pelting rain... Oh the joys of course setting. Meanwhile Harold was putting out controls 9 thru 19, which was equally adventurous. Harold apologizes for the slightly high (on the spur) placement of #13. I very much appreciate Harold's help.
After the 2005 Golden Goat, most people, including that course setter, felt that course (at Quicksilver) was too hard. And then I was told that, in fact, people felt my course in 2004 at Tamarancho was too difficult as well. So I set out to design a course that would be challenging, but more runnable and enjoyable for the majority of the participants. I didn't hear anyone say it was too hard OR too easy...cool. I'm sure that many of you entered with trepidation, knowing my preference for very long courses, but I think over the last few weeks Harold did a good job of convincing people that this year's Goat was "runner friendly". The short grass and perfect weather conditions made for a very fast and exciting race.
The Golden Kid course was 6 km, 360 m climb, and 13 controls. Brad Wetmore took the lead early on, and at #3 had a 28-second lead over 2nd place Marina Keating, but by #4 Werner Haag had jumped into the lead with George Minarik now in 2nd place, trailing by 28 seconds Werner still held a 16-second lead over George at #5. On the difficult traverse to #6, Greg Khanlarov managed to pull ahead with Gary Martinez following in 13 seconds, then Werner 5 seconds back, Marina 6 seconds after him, and Brad Wetmore 6 seconds after her. George had lost significant time on that leg and found himself almost a full 2 minutes behind at this point. Now it was decision time, 7A or 7B? Werner, Brad, and Marina chose 7A (the high route) and Greg, Gary, Bob Cooley (who had slipped ahead of George) and George all chose 7B (the low route). By the end of the split, at #8 Gary Martinez had a 9-second lead over George Minarik, with Brad Wetmore reentering the picture 27 seconds back.
By the water stop, #21, Brad had a 5-second lead on George. Greg Khanlarov was 1 minute 15 seconds back in 3rd place. Bob Cooley had moved into 4th. George took the lead at #22, and by #23 was asking Greg Khanlarov, who was 1 second back, "Are we leading?". They couldn't know that they were indeed, and so with the two of them virtually tied at the GO control the sprint was on to the finish. On the long run in George was able to pull away and win by 15 seconds over Greg, with a winning time of 1:14:01 (8 seconds off my predicted winning time).
What a great race! Congratulations George. Brad Wetmore followed by 1 minute 12 seconds for 3rd. Werner Haag was 4th, 23 seconds back, Bob Cooley was 5th 1 minute 41 seconds back, and 6th overall and 1st woman was Marina Keating in 1:19:41. The winner, George Minarik, was also the first "Old Goat"(50+), but since he would rather be known as the Golden Kid Champ, he graciously passed on his "Old Goat" prize to the 2nd place finisher in that category, who was 4th place Werner Haag. The second place woman was Meg Gerstner in 1:54:07, and third place went to Hilary Hardcastle only 2 minutes 1 second back in 1:58:06. We had 34 finishers on the Golden Kid.
The Golden Goat was 10.3 km, 650 m climb and 24(23) controls. Last year's Golden Kid winner Pierre Delforge, was first to punch at control #1, with Martin Kunz, who had won the previous two Golden Goats, somewhat predictably punching in right behind. Roy Malone was a quick 3rd, and close on his heels was Bret Sarnquist. By #2 Martin, with Rex Winterbottom 7 seconds behind, had gotten a bit of a gap on the rest by being clean to the control. The long, uphill trail run through the dark green to #3 saw Bret pass Rex to punch in 8 seconds after leader Martin. By the fourth control, in spite of a questionable route choice that took them over the highest point in Briones, Martin and Bret had established a comfortable 2-minute lead. Bret Sarnquist, after a being a bit discouraged by his run the week before at Sunol, had decided his strategy for the Goat would be to try to hang with the leader as long as he could. At this time the battle for 3rd was getting interesting. In 3rd place at #4, Syd Reader had a 2-second lead over Mikkel Conradi who was 6 seconds ahead of Matthias Kohler, with Pierre Delforge 12 seconds back, Vlad Gusiatnikov 3 seconds behind him, and Rex still hanging in 8th place a mere 2 seconds back. At the 5th control Martin and Bret had maintained their 2-minute lead, and the next group was pretty much running as a pack.
Control #6 was decision time, with Martin, Bret, Pierre, Rex, and Syd taking the low route (7B), and Mikkel, Vlad, and Matthias taking the high route (7A). It appears the low route was a bit faster. Taking into account the fact that Martin and Bret were running a bit faster anyway, with splits of 11:42 for Martin and 11:30 for Bret compared to 13:47 for Vlad and 14:04 for Mikkel (#6 to #8), it seems that the lower route was the better part of a minute faster. At the ninth control Martin and Bret had about a 5-minute lead on Mikkel and Vlad, who were only 2 seconds apart, and Rex, Syd, and Pierre were about 1-1/2 minutes behind them. Things stayed pretty much unchanged through #11, except that Francois Leonard had moved up into 5th place. Looks like almost everyone recognized that #12 was the optimum skip — with Pierre and Matthias the lone runners of that lead pack to visit it. As Martin and his "shadow" Bret slowly increased their lead, Mikkel and Vlad carried on swapping 3rd place by just 2 seconds until #14, where Mikkel opened up a slight 10-second lead on Vlad. Francois had continued to move up, and was only about 50 seconds back by this time.
Splits from control #20 at the pond, show that Martin and Bret, still only 3 seconds apart, had a 10-minute lead on 3rd-place Mikkel, who was now being followed closely (19 seconds) by Francois, then Vlad. Not long after that, down at the finish line, we could see Martin tearing down the valley towards us with Bret ever so close behind. We hadn't expected them quite so soon to say the least!!! Wow, what a battle. They were running in so fast that water was literally flying off their feet. Martin flew across the finish with a scant 3-second margin, and smiled as Bret did a "face plant" on the grass. Needless to say, they made a mockery of my predicted winning time by coming in at 1:22:40 and 1:22:43. Excellent, well done.
Meanwhile, the race for 3rd continued. At #22 Mikkel's lead had shrunk to only 2 seconds over Vlad, who had jumped ahead of Francois by 6 seconds. Another lead change saw Vlad in front at #23, with Mikkel 4 seconds back, and Francois another 3 seconds behind him. Francois threw in an impressive sprint to punch the GO control 10 seconds ahead of Vlad, who was 3 seconds in front of Mikkel. On the long run in down the valley Francois held his lead to finish 3rd in 1:33:03, Mikkel found the legs to pass Vlad for 4th in 1:33:22, and Vlad held on for 5th in 1:33:31.
The first "Old Goat" was Bruce Wolfe in an impressive 1:49 57. The first and only woman finisher was, if not quick, tenacious – finishing just 17 minutes before the closing time. Congratulations Cathy Tuglas. Her time was 4:13:15. By the way, she thinks Martin must have cheated because it's not humanly possible to run that course as fast as he did! By the way Martin, looking at route gadget, I'm wondering if you are aware that was poison oak you went through between controls 2 and 3?
Many thanks to the following people who helped Harold and me with this meet. Rosemary Johnson took care of the insurance. Bob Cooley did a great job with the maps. Thanks to Trinka Gillis and her E-punch crew of Terry Farrah, Jeff Lanam, and Evan Custer. Jim Waite and his brother Ken couldn't do the run, but were nice enough to pick up controls. Kelly Wells ran the Kid, then returned on Monday with his trusty dog Marley to pick up the rest of the controls for us. Special thanks to Ev and Jean Beuerman — like I've said many times before "I don't know what we'd do without them" — for handling registration and T-shirt distribution. Thanks also to Head park ranger Denise Defreese, and her assistants for being so agreeable and helpful.
Thanks also to Tapio Karras for putting the Goat on RouteGadget. Check it out, it's very interesting.
Cheers, until next time.
Penny DeMoss, Course Setter
Harold DeMoss, Event Director
In the nicest possible way, it has been pointed out to me that the description of the chaos, I mean race, was not totally accurate. In the early stages (the first few controls), there was quite a pack. Since I didn't have splits other than the jumbled ones from when the computer was being weird, I focused on pulling out the times from the group that figured in the top results. But in fact, now that I have splits (thanks Trinka) it is easier to see that, in fact, it was quite a tight pack there at the start.
It should be noted that Russell Neilson, Roy Malone, and John Holm (and perhaps many others) all punched #3 before the pack mentioned in the write-up, but after leaders Martin Kunz and Bret Sarnquist. In fact, Russell and Roy managed to stay slightly ahead of the pack until the vexing 5-to-6 leg where they lost time, never to rejoin the group.
Briones Regional Park – Golden Goat & Golden Kid Martinez, CA Sunday, March 26, 2006 Pl Name(s) Pts Time Score Golden Goat (10.3 km, 650 m climb, 23 controls required) 1 Martin Kunz 23 1:22:40 23 2 Bret Sarnquist 23 1:22:43 23 3 Francois Leonard 23 1:33:03 23 4 Mikkel Conradi 23 1:33:22 23 5 Vladimir Gusiatnikov 23 1:33:31 23 6 Pierre Delforge 23 1:36:51 23 7 Syd Reader 23 1:38:02 23 8 Rex Winterbottom 23 1:39:15 23 9 Matthias Kohler 23 1:41:04 23 10 Steve Gregg 23 1:44:07 23 11 Andrew Masalkovas 23 1:44:54 23 12 Russell Neilson 23 1:46:48 23 13 Mats Jansson 23 1:47:08 23 14 Tapio Karras 23 1:47:18 23 15 Peter Graham 23 1:47:25 23 16 Wendell Doman 23 1:48:20 23 17 Mark Prior 23 1:48:36 23 18 Bruce Wolfe 23 1:49:57 23 19 Roy Malone 23 1:54:48 23 20 Kent Ohlund 23 2:00:09 23 21 Malcolm Wyatt-Mair 23 2:04:57 23 22 Tad Beach 23 2:04:59 23 23 Nad Nubthar 24 2:05:14 24 24 Roger Pruett 23 2:05:51 23 25 Steve Smith 23 2:08:18 23 26 John Holm 23 2:11:03 23 27 Deron vanHoff 23 2:12:00 23 28 Gavin Wyatt-Mair 23 2:13:13 23 29 Derek Maclean 23 2:17:24 23 30 Rod Jaehn, Brett Lehigh 23 2:18:07 23 31 Dan Greene 23 2:23:42 23 32 James Wilson 23 2:24:20 23 33 Mark Blair 23 2:24:38 23 34 Evan Custer 23 2:25:30 23 35 Greg Favor 23 2:28:45 23 36 Theo Verhoeven 23 2:34:52 23 37 David Egbert 23 2:35:47 23 38 Eric Rosenzweig 23 2:39:21 23 39 Bill Papendick 23 2:40:14 23 40 Greg Barber 23 2:42:57 23 41 Peter Graube 23 2:56:38 23 42 Manfred Kopisch 23 3:06:44 23 43 Joe Saba 23 3:41:12 23 44 Luc Poppe 24 3:54:07 24 45 John Quintrell 23 4:11:28 23 46 Cathy Tuglas, Chris Roper 23 4:13:15 23 47 Jim Fish 24 5:08:02 24 Todd Henson 22 1:53:35 DNF Jesse Iverson 16 1:48:00 DNF Golden Kid (6.0 km, 360 m climb, 13 controls) 1 George Minarik 13 1:14:01 13 2 Greg Khanlarov 13 1:14:16 13 3 Brad Wetmore 13 1:15:28 13 4 Werner Haag 13 1:15:51 13 5 Bob Cooley 13 1:17:32 13 6 Gary Martinez 13 1:19:41 13 7 Marina Keating 13 1:24:05 13 8 Fyodor Konkov 13 1:33:39 13 9 Kelly Wells 13 1:34:13 13 10 Brian Kirshner 13 1:38:46 13 11 Mark Hunt 13 1:47:01 13 12 Mike Fleishman 13 1:47:30 13 13 Oleg Shakhnovsky 13 1:49:52 13 14 Meg Gerstner 13 1:54:07 13 15 Jay Hann 13 1:54:51 13 16 Alan Glendinning 13 1:55:16 13 17 Wes Erck 13 1:56:19 13 18 Hilary Hardcastle 13 1:58:06 13 19 Terry Farrah 13 2:04:07 13 20 Judy & Tom Cronin 13 2:05:25 13 21 Terry Gleason 13 2:06:14 13 22 Parag Gupta 13 2:16:15 13 23 Helena Stolka 13 2:19:12 13 24 Ilya Katsnelson 13 2:19:29 13 25 Jennifer Kerr 13 2:20:49 13 26 Leslie Minarik 13 2:24:35 13 27 Rob Clima, Laura McKeegan 13 2:27:30 13 28 Rosemary Johnson 13 2:45:41 13 29 Juozas Martisius 13 3:08:36 13 30 Dean French 13 3:09:06 13 31 Nancy Lindeman 13 3:09:24 13 32 Steve Beuerman 13 3:18:11 13 Phillip Hoare 9 2:04:20 DNF Joan Roos 5 1:47:26 DNF Jane Moorhead 2 DNF Anne Barrington DNS Melissa Griffiths DNS Sandra Rosas DNS Will Gilmore DNS Ido Green DNS Mark Rice DNS _______________ DNF = Did not finish (missed one or more controls) DNS = Did not start