Fredrik Delås, visiting from Norway, was tipped as the men's winner at the briefing before the 11:00 mass start, and he lived up to his pre-race billing. He completed the first loop of the course two minutes clear of his nearest competitors, and, in the tradition of Norwegian orienteers, Delås took his time exchanging his punch card and sampling the refreshments, leaving almost two minutes after he arrived. Joe Brautigam and Gregory Balter caught sight of him as they arrived, and were followed a minute later by Peter Gagarin; three minutes passed before the threesome of Craig Murray, Scott Pleban, and Sandy Stripp arrived. Although the second loop, which covered easier terrain, shook things up a bit, the first seven through the split accounted for the first five men and the top woman in the final results list. Delås steadily pulled away to win by over eight minutes, and Balter dropped Brautigam to come in six minutes clear in second place. Gagarin and Brautigam engaged in a sprint for third, but, as Gagarin said, "Joe was just playing with me." Craig Murray, who is less than half Gagarin's age, took fifth place. Sandy Stripp was the first woman in 118:02, 4 minutes ahead of Peggy Dickison, and almost 11 minutes ahead of Pavlina Brautigam; the intervals at the finish were almost identical to those at the end of the first loop.
For this event, Peter Gagarin ceded control of the weather to A. Peter Dunlavey. The new holder of the position did well until more than half of the finishers were in, at which time he took a two hour nap. After hail and two thunderstorms had pelted the area, the nap ended, and the weather cleared for the awarding of T-shirts. As is usual at the Billygoat, the awards ceremony featured two finishers at almost exactly 3½ hours; Barb Dominie made it with 12 seconds to spare, and Mary Smith missed the cutoff by 4 seconds, claiming second place in the all-time missed-a-T-shirt-by-the fewest-seconds rankings list (Bob Lehman still holds first place with a time of 3:30:01).
This year's Billygoat was notable for the introduction of a punch-card exchange. The course was made up of two loops, both of which were shown on the map (how else could competitors make an informed decision on which control to skip?). Because the organizers did not wish to perform a punch card check upon queues of competitive and impatient orienteers, punch cards were handed in at the end of the first loop and new ones plucked from a line to start the second loop. Due to careful course setting, the O/NA press contingent finished the first loop just in time to see the winner's arrival at the end of the second loop.
The punch-card exchange was announced on the O-net a few days prior to the event, and this afforded the first opportunity for competitors to acquire all-important style points for the club competition. CNYO and NEOC-MQ managed to garner negative points by questioning the organizers' intelligence, sanity, and common sense, and HVO took an early lead by pointing out the brilliant thinking behind the punch-card exchange scheme. On the day of the race, HVO led in number of T-shirts awarded (11; WCOC and NEOC-MQ won 10 each). Style points were awarded to NEOC-UNO (5 T-shirts) for their café and the champagne and caviar they provided to the organizers; to AOK (5 T-shirts) for their special Billygoat competition uniforms and for having last official finisher, the only junior finisher, and the first woman; to NEOC-MQ for car adornments (unfortunately, NEOC-MQ lost these points when it was discovered that no one had registered from NEOC-MQ); and to CNYO (6 T-shirts) for their attempts to overcome the early handicap. WCOC's fine performances were eclipsed by a loss of style points when experienced club members met Dan Bedeker and sent him back out to punch at the last control, causing him to miss a T-shirt; he had not skipped a control and did not need to do the extra kilometer imposed upon him. In the end HVO, while not as elegantly flamboyant as NEOC-UNO, held on to its lead by virtue of Jon Nash's acquisition of a T-shirt even though he avoided skipping the most advantageous control (#10) so that he would not have to visit the control bearing the initials of the orienteer who had questioned the organizers' brilliance - and, as all Billygoat devotees know, the most important rule is that the organizers "must be accorded the utmost respect, in view of, if nothing else, their advancing age."
Results of the club competition:
1. HVO 2. NEOC-UNO 3. AOK 4. NEOC-WM 5. WCOC
We thank Mette Tabur and Akina Yim for volunteering as event workers, and Tom Conklin of Grafton Lakes State Park for his support.
15.6 km, 315 m climb, 21 controls
|55||Sara Mae Berman||CSU||10||94:15||199:17|
|Francis Hogle III||DVOA||9||93:25||212:20|