The 27th Billygoat

Mt. Norwottuck/The Notch, Amherst/Granby, MA
Sunday 4/10/2005
Event Director/Course Setter: Jeff Schapiro

Tee-shirt winners at the 27th Billygoat can wear their prizes with distinction, as they were certainly hard to come by. An unseasonably warm day and a rugged course featuring a record climb conspired to make this year’s event “maybe the toughest course ever,” in the view of a knowledgeable (yet carefully unnamed) veteran of race. Only 50 of the 105 entrants were able to complete the course in less than 3:30, thus leaving an appropriately chagrined Head Goat with approximately 50 distinctive rags to clean off his dogs after training runs.

After serving as Head Goat for last year’s event, Will Hawkins returned as a competitor to win this year’s race in 1:55:06, the only result to best 2:00:00. Samantha Saeger led the women’s field with a time of 2:47:30, placing her 23rd overall. Mark Dominie completed the list of tee-shirt recipients after crossing the finish line with 1:15 to spare. The ranks of near misses include a host of names from the Head Goat’s competitive cohort, and the Head Goat apologizes in particular to those who may have been fatally delayed by the failure to provide multiple punches at the first 2 controls.

The mythical club championship was awarded to RMOC. In particular, the award reflects the Head Goat’s gratitude to course consultant Mikell Platt (incidentally allowing for some spreading of the blame) and to Sharon Crawford (who claimed her 25th tee-shirt in demonstrating that the course, difficult though it was, could be tamed by solid navigation). A strong case was made by CSU, which was well represented by the race winner and three additional finishers in the top 15 (as well as by a very tasty bribe from an Australian vineyard). Nevertheless, it seems that there must be some penalty to pay for spiriting away a certain prominent (and still carefully unnamed) Billygoat icon from his NEOC roots. Such is the price of success.

The Head Goat looks forward to next year’s event, where he will realistically set his goals below the lofty accomplishments of last year’s Head Goat, perhaps seeking only to earn a 6th tee-shirt and to share some more (good-natured?) ribbing from this year’s late finishers.