From: William Hawkins
Subject: The Billygoat Run, 2004

Cambridge Sports Union invites you to make a weekend of the 2004 Billygoat Run!

On April 27, 1979, at Mount Tom State Reservation, Holyoke, Massachusetts, seven* intrepid orienteers started the very first Billygoat Run, not knowing what a tradition they were beginning. Now, on April 25, 2004, twenty-five years almost to the day from that first auspicious occasion, the Billygoat Run returns to its roots, organized by Cambridge Sports Union. And you can be part of this illustrious event as the one and only original Billygoat Run enters its second quarter-century. (You might want to hum the theme from Chariots of Fire to yourself while reading this.)

Picture the scene at peaceful Lake Bray on the morning of April 25. 150 orienteers await the start. Some want to win; they dare to dream of taming the Goat in less than 90 minutes of orienteering. Some want to challenge themselves to finish this long race (12.4km) in less than three-and-a-half hours - they dream of joining the illustrious band of people who can handle the Goat. The forest is fast and open, the courses are set to challenge your brain and your legs, and we promise: not too much climbing!

And remember, this is the Billygoat Run - following is explicitly permitted, skipping a control is in the rules (don't like the look of the hill up to number 9? skip it!), and a fork is also on the cards. The T-shirts will be as good as ever this year, and expect a couple of twenty-fifth anniversary twists... Also, the Mount Tom map has been undergoing updating over the winter and has been converted to OCAD - it's better than ever before.

On Saturday April 24, preceding the Billygoat Run itself, we also invite you to participate in two shorter events: first, starting from 1pm, a short distance event, and second, from 4pm, a sprint distance race. A full range of courses (from white to blue) will be offered in the short event, for which winning times will be around 30 minutes. What's more, the start will be at the top of the mountain and the finish at the bottom - we understand you don't want to run yourself into the ground the day before the Billygoat! And afterwards, there will be a spectator-friendly sprint race in the Lake Bray area - stay and compete, or watch the exciting racing (winning time around 12 minutes, one course only).

For more information, mundane details about fees, and online entry, check out the event Cambridge Sports Union web page. Entries at the standard rate must be postmarked by April 10; late entries (up to the day of the meet) will be accepted but pre-marked maps are not guaranteed for those entering late. Online entry is preferred if possible; however payments must still be mailed the old-fashioned way. Or contact the Head Goat William Hawkins.

Finally, if you are an orienteering club office holder, webmaster or newsletter editor, please publicize this event on your web page or in your newsletter! We'd love to make this the biggest and best Billygoat yet. And add a link to the CSU page to your web page.

William Hawkins
for Cambridge Sports Union

* Four of them finished!

One final comment: we are aware that this event conflicts with the Badger A meet in Wisconsin. Apologies to those negatively affected by this - the packed Northeast region A meet calendar, together with the 25th anniversary, leaves us with little choice.