The New England Orienteering Club
NEOC: Billygoat @ Willard Brook (Ashby, MA)
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Sunday, May 14, 2023, 09:30am - 02:00pm
White, Yellow, Orange, Score-O
Special Courses:
Billygoat (11.4km), Kid Goat (5.8km)
Meet Director:
Jon Campbell

Update (5/11/23):  Link to print-at-home event packet PDF.  Same info as website, just handily formatted.

Billygoat  The legendary Billygoat orienteering race (43rd!!) on its quasi-official Mother's Day berth combined with advanced orienteering training courses on Saturday. All as part of a NEOC-hosted camping weekend at Willard Brook State Forest, site of the 2021 New England Championship weekend.  Mass start at 9:30AM, Sunday, May 14, 2023.

Pre-registration required at: Late registration begins May 01.  Registration closes May 11.

 Billygoat Fees  Regular Late (after 4/30)
Adult  $40 $50
Junior (20 & Under)  $20 $25

See who is registered already

Previous events @ Willard Brook: 2021 New England Championships Livelox  & 2022 NEOC event (Pearl Hill SP) Livelox

The Billygoat is a 11.4km long mass-start race with one fork & one skipped control of the competitor's choice.  225m climb & (23-1 skipped) controls.  2 remote aid station visits. Finishers under 3:30 receive a coveted Billygoat T-shirt.  Course closure at 2PM.

The Kid Goat is 5.8km (145m climb/11controls) long mass-start race.  Same mass-start, same 2PM course closure.  Same advanced-level orienteering, just shorter.  1 remote aid station visit.

Map & Terrain Notes  Billygoat/Kid maps are 1:10,000 scale with 5m (LiDAR) contours.  Mapper notes from the 2021 New England Championship are still accurate (link).  JJ's course setter notes (link) also have some useful tidbits about the forest & map.

Billygoat Course Setter Notes  You will get to experience all of Willard Brook's varied terrain:  steep hillsides & flat, subtle areas, complicated rock/cliff areas & complicated "negative terrain" (ie depressions).  And, you are going to have to navigate in the reduced visibility & runnability of light green and medium green vegetation.   If, at any point, you are not having fun, wait a control or two and it'll be completely different--a blessing of this park! While this winter was, in general, a dud in Massachusetts, the March Nor'easter with heavy winds dropped just under 3-feet of snow in the park.  In some sections, you will see an abundance of tree limbs on the forest floor.  They have not fundamentally changed the mapped runnability of the forest.  

Course Logistics. 

  • Personal aid station supplies.  If you want your own aid station (2 visits by Billygoat; 1 visit by Kid Goat; all the same place) supplies, there will be a labeled drop-off box at Sunday's check-in.  Otherwise, there will be standard mid-race aid station stuff available:  water, sports drink, snacks.  
  • Accountability  Although there are no race packets or bib numbers to pick up, we'll ask all runners to check in Sunday morning on self-serve check-in lists, verifying the e-punch you are using.  Please update any SI numbers that changed since pre-registration.  On the walk to start, you will be required to punch (or repunch) a single "CHECK" box which is how we will know who is/isn't still in the woods later.
  • Walk to Mass Start.  We will leave the parking lot promptly at 9:10AM to walk the 800m uphill to the mass start location.  Along the way, you'll CLEAR (if needed), and CHECK SI sticks, and receive control descriptions.  At the start location, you'll receive the appropriate map (Billygoat or Kid), we'll remind you of the special rules (following is explicitly allowed/encouraged, Billygoat has a forked leg (your choice, left or right), Billygoat runners can skip one control of their choice), then send you off in a thundering herd.  Who will be brave enough to lead the pack out?  
  • SI Air will be enabled.  First runner through MAY have to wake-up the control.  All part of our devious plan to keep the leaders fighting all the way to the finish.
  • Volunteers  A mass-start, cult classic race is particularly hard to get volunteers for.  If you or your travel companion(s) can pitch in, we’d appreciate it.  Use our sign-up sheet, or walk-up and offer to help.  There’s always a crush at check-in/registration, and we need folks to oversee the mid-race food/aid station, the post-race refreshments, and control pick-up (ugh).

There will also be a white, yellow, orange, and Score-O course available for recreation runners, as a standard NEOC event (members run free; register onsite).  Recreational Starts will be from 10 am - 12 pm.  Payment at event registration table (Cash and credit card accepted; some of our electronic payment systems (Venmo, Paypal, etc) may not work due to limited connectivity). Courses close at 2 pm. 

May 13: Saturday training activities for all levels at adjoining Pearl Hill State Park.  Pre-registration required (via Eventreg; link above).  See previous NEOC Event entry.

Group Camping reserved on-site for 50 for the evenings of May 12 & 13.  Or, book a regular campsite ( of your choice at Pearl Hill State Park campground (site of Sat's training and our group site) or at Willard Brook State Forest campground at Damon Pond, which is the nearby start/finish/parking for Sunday's Billygoat.

Billygoat (Sun) event parking will be at the Damon Pond parking area of Willard Brook State Forest. 61 Townsend Rd, Ashby, MA
Willard Brook S.P. (Damon Pond)
61 Townsend Rd.