Despite some last-minute frantic scrambling to get ready, the First Ever Hillbilly Goat came off smoothly Sunday, June 6th. Named somewhat facetiously after Charlie and Ann Leonard's ROGAINE moniker "Hillbillies," the Hillbilly Goat (16.5k, 635m climb), and its shorter cousin, the Pygmy Goat (9k, 345m climb), were modeled after the original Billy Goat race. I also shamelessly borrowed ideas used elsewhere in similar events, such as the "control windows" very effectively put to use in the Susquehanna Stumble, and the Highlander's Hill Run leg, which I modified to be a trail run straight up a hill and renamed the "Mountain Goat." Awards (goat bells, of course!) were slated for top Billy and Nanny on each of the Goats (Hillbilly, Pygmy, and Mountain).
Turnout was smaller than at other, established goats, but representatives from EMPO, DVOA, SVO and ROC joined the CNYO faithful at the start line. Five minutes before noon, the runners were instructed as to various hazards, such as orienteer-eating briars and logging slash, ("keep to the trails in this area, or you deserve what you get!") carrying water, instructions to feed the "Guest of Honor" (as yet unidentified: "you'll know him when you see him") and a stern warning that running through the vegetable garden was grounds for disqualification. At high noon, right on schedule, the field was off and running... and headed straight towards the cow pasture!
OOPS. Forgot to tell them: "NOBODY goes through the cow pasture! GO AROUND!!" This desperate yell was accompanied by frantic gesticulations due west: that way! The last thing I needed was for a herd of orienteers to stampede Charlie's four Chianina beef cows (weighing a ton apiece) through a fence, when I had to haul my rear posthaste to the Mountain Goat area to set up! Fortunately the crowd listened, swerving en masse down around the bottom of the garden and cow pasture. Phew. Close call... Good thing I have a foghorn for a voice!
After leaving instructions for Raylene Ludgate (my start/finish vounteer,) and further exhortations to Ramana Dominie and Ben Leonard as to how and when to get the Guest of Honor into position, Wendy Alberg (my fellow Mountain Goat herder) and I jumped into my husband's brand new Chevy 4x4 and headed for the end of Red Man Run to get the Mountain Goat set up. Halfway down Canaan Road, we saw orienteers dashing across, already en route to the control window just before the Mountain Goat. I will not say what transpired next because it might prove grounds for divorce, but let it suffice that I got us over to the log landing on Red Man in record time. Abandoning Wendy at the bottom, I scrambled up the Mountain Goat, loaded down with my backpack and two full gallons of water, terrified that the first racer would beat me there. I made it to the top in five minutes. A mere six minutes later, Owen Baird punched in. Phew! Another close call...!
A couple minutes later, I realized there was a detail I'd overlooked: fly spray. The next hour was spent stamping and shooing flies awaiting the last of the runners to finish the Mountain Goat. However, the "gee whiz, that was a quite a hill!" comments I got were well worth the wait.
Back to base (much more sedately) we joined Raylene at the finish line. We didn't have long to wait. Ross Smith jogged across the line at 2:11:30, to take First Billy on the Pygmy Goat. He had been signed up for the Hillbilly Goat, but dropped down to the Pygmy, an option made available in case any orienteer ran into trouble and needed to cut out early. This gave runners in trouble an opportunity to salvage their race, rather than continuing on when quitting was a saner option. His reason for shortening his race: "too darn hot." He had not carried water with him, despite the warnings to do so.
Ross was quickly followed by Peter Dady (2:12:58) Had Peter not arrived after the Noon start, he'd have won the Pygmy. Shawn Leonard was third in 2:35:18. "First Nanny" across the line for the Pygmy was Barb Dominie, with the "Youngest Goat Finisher," Rob Tryson (11) in tow. The two had walked the whole way, finishing in good physical condition in 3:22:18.
Owen Baird was already back from the Hillbilly Goat, finishing in 3:16:30. Heat had taken its toll, however, and other than raising an arm to drink from his water bottle every so often, Owen did not move a whole lot over the next hour. In the closest finish of the day, Mike Ball spurted over the finish line in 3:52:55 to place second just in front of Charlie Leonard (3:53:06). Mike had been content to walk in, but heard Charlie coming up behind him, still jogging, on the final approach to the finish. Forced to jog in or take third place, Mike mustered what little remaining energy he had and picked his pace up a notch, finishing a scant 11 seconds in front of Charlie. Several other men finished before Mary Smith, who took First Nanny on the HillBilly Goat in 5:43:20. However, none did the course with as little effect to their systems as she: Mary strode across the finish line with as much vigor and aplomb as when she'd started, demonstrating the endurance that has won many a ROGAINE for her and her partner. Mary's secret? "I walk!"
Winners of the Mountain Goat leg were, First Billy: Owen Baird (2:59), with Ross Smith doing the leg in 3:20, and Shawn Leonard in 3:31. First Nanny was Mary Smith (6:57), followed by Barb Dominie close behind with a time of 7:31. Third was Erin Colquitt (8:11)
For those who hadn't guessed, our Guest of Honor was CD, a real billygoat supplied by Mary Smith. CD did his job admirably, greeting surprised orienteers as they approached the 19th control, then happily munching the carrots they stuffed in his mouth. Ramana Dominie staffed this control for three hours, taking pictures of orienteers meeting billygoat. Mark Dominie engaged in a butting contest with CD. The results of that skirmish have not yet been been determined.
Sadly (or perhaps wisely, given the 90 degree heat), no non-orienteer runners showed up to take Mark Dominie's challenge, so there was no ritual washing of feet. The spray from the garden hose was quite popular, though, among those who'd gone all-out on the long Hillbilly Goat.
The dish-to-pass feast afterwards was accompanied by enthusiastic course comparisons, ending only after I "sent out the cavalry" in search of a lone orienteer who had yet to finish. As Murphy's Law would dictate, the errant orienteer pulled in, in good condition, 15 minutes after I took off on horseback to go looking for him. I didn't mind; I had a nice ride, and was very grateful that everyone came back safely despite the very difficult running conditions.
I plan to host the Hillbilly Goat again next year, God willing, despite my son Ben vowing to be "elsewhere! You're crazy at these things!" Thanks to all my volunteers, and the brave souls who took on the 90 degree record heat and near 100% humidity to run the First Ever Hillbilly Goat. Couldn't have done it with out you, folks!
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1. Owen Baird (CNYO) 3:16:30 (First Billy) 2. Mike Ball (SVO) 3:52.55 3. Charlie Leonard (CNYO) 3:53:06 4. Mark Dominie (CNYO) 4:05:25 5. Eric Smith (CNYO) 4:10:29 6. Phil Hawkes-Teeter (EMPO) 4:26:50 7. David Levine (SVO) 5:03:15 8. Glen Tryson (EMPO) 5:12:58 9. Randy Hall (DVOA) 5:18:20 10. Mary Smith (CNYO) 5:43:20 (First Nanny) 11. Greg Tryson (EMPO) 6:36:30Pygmy Goat (9k, 345m climb):
1. Ross Smith (CNYO) 2:11:30 (First Billy) 2. Peter Dady (CNYO) 2:12:58 3. Shawn Leonard (CNYO) 2:35:18 4. Steve Halasz (CNYO) 2:36:55 5. Rob Tryson (EMPO) 3:22:18 5. Barb Dominie (CNYO) 3:22:18 (First Nanny) 6. Dan Blakeley (CNYO) 4:17:13 7. Erin Colquitt (ROC) 4:27:41 7. Matt George (EMPO) 4:27:41Mountain Goat:
1. Owen Baird 2:59 (First Billy) 2. Ross Smith 3:20 3. Shawn Leonard 3:31 4. Greg Tryson 4:16 5. Glen Tryson 4:26 6. Mike Ball 4:28 7. Steve Halasz 4:30 8. Charlie Leonard 4:31 9. Peter Dady 4:38 10. Mark Dominie 4:50 11. Eric Smith 4:54 11. Phil Hawkes-Teeter 4:54 12. Dan Blakeley 5:11 13. David Levine 5:31 14. Randy Hall 5:51 15. Mary Smith 6:57 (First Nanny) 16. Barb Dominie 7:31 16. Rob Tryson 7:31 18. Erin Colquitt 8:11 18. Matt George 8:11Back to top