The oldest continuous orienteering event celebrated its twentieth anniversary on December sixth. At eleven a.m. thirty competitors set off from two secret locations in the Blue Hills in a re-creation of the first event. As in the first even the competitors orienteered from east to west. Although this years event was longer than the 11.7 Km. in 1973, many more finished. At the first event there were thirty-six starters (winning time 101 minutes) and twenty-one DNFs.
Despite the lower DNF rate and equal winning times, this year's Traverse was longer than ever, longer even than stated in the course description. I did not discover until tabulating the results that the acutal length was 14.9 Km., a bit over the 14 I had stated at the event. I have never measured the climb, but with the final three legs climbing up and down Big Blue Hill, I am sure the competitors had their fill.
This year's event was again won by non-New Englanders. Joe Brautigam out ran Peter Andersen for first place, followed by a new New Englander from Australia, Matthew Cull, who has been doing very well on the trail running circuit. Joe brought along Pavlina Genova from Bulgaria who ran away with the women's title. They both were awarded the Traverse Novice Award (neither having run the traverse before) of a pair of polypro socks.
The weather barely cooperated this year, with temperatures in the mid twenties and a stiff breeze under cloudy skies, the workers were a bit chilled. It caused the competitors no problems other than producing iced water and rock hard power bars at the manned food and splits control.
I wish to thank those workers who volunteered to help again this year, Judy Karpinski and Steve Bauman: start and manned control, Joanne Sankus: finish, Tom Moore: Recreational meet and control pick-up.