For those new to the race, or those who have been following it for a little while but didn’t know about the banner photo, here’s the scoop. The photo of all the travel bugs that acts as our banner was taken before the start of the 2009 race. The photo shows almost all of the racers that took part in the race. A few are hanging on the edge of the giant ammo can in the background, but were cut off in the automatic cropping that WordPress does.

By the way, if it isn’t readily apparent what the size of that ammo can is, consider this. On the far right side of the photo, near the back, you can see Scooby. To the left of Scooby is a large tan bag. Just to the left of the bag is a Batman Pez Dispenser. Most of you can easily imagine the size of a Pez Dispenser, so compare what you know of that to the size of the ammo can. Yeah…it’s BIG! When the 2009 race started, it was about 2/3rds full of all 81 travel bugs.

For 2009, this ammo can was placed in Kansas City as an actual cache. That won’t happen this year, but it will still serve the race. The ammo can is acting as our official Check-in Table, and will help transport the travel bugs to Dallas. As travel bugs arrive in my hands and processed, they will be added to the 2010 TB CHECK-IN. If you want to see whether your TB has arrived at it’s destination, this is the location to do that. The page has already been updated with a list of everything that is sitting in the ammo can right now. Travel Bugs sent to Dallas will be checked-in over the phone until I get down there in two weeks. Phone check-in will occur two to three times between now and when I arrive in Dallas.

One other update is to announce that the next Points Update for the 2009 race will occur next week, along with an announcement of who will be winning the MIA Prizes. Remember, the MIA Prizes are three free entries into the 2010 race. If you have already entered the race and you happen to win one of the prizes, you will have the option of having your entry redrawn for someone else or sent to you to replace the travel bug you used for 2010.