The Great TB Race is a year-long race amongst travel bugs.  The race will be of a slightly different design than a typical “how far will it travel” race.  In this race, the race is for points.  Points are awarded for meeting certain goals.  Meet the goals and your travel bug earns points. Earn the most points by the end of the race and you win. Simple as that. Oh, and there is no entry fee to play.

Entering the Race:

Now in its second year, we’ve changed the entry procedures.  The planned registration period is from the end of October to about Christmas Day (subject to change).  During the registration period, there will be a “Race Entry” tab at the top of the page.  Click on that tab to read about how to enter the race.  Besides entering, what else do you need to do?

1.When you register, you will shortly receive an e-mail with entry information (usually by the end of the day).  Please read this e-mail as it contains important information for what you need to do to get ready for the race.  It will also contain instructions for where to send your travel bug (see below).

2.Obtain a new travel bug and attach a traveler.  The traveler may be whatever you choose, but keep in mind that larger travelers have less caches they can fit into.

3. Activate your travel bug.  The Great TB Race will provide a standardized race description for you to use on your Travel Bug page.  It is not required, but the information is designed to help inform cachers about the details of the race and how they can help your travel bug.

4. DO NOT DO ANYTHING ELSE BEYOND ACTIVATING THE TRAVEL BUG.  Part of the design of the race is that all contestants start in the same location. Dropping it into a cache near you before sending it to me will only result in me contacting you to delete the log, as it will screw up the Zero Point for the race.  You might be inclined to drop it into the starting cache when it is published.  Do not do this either.  Whomever is handling the start of the race will use the procedure of grabbing the bug and dropping it into the event as a virtual check-in.  This also helps prevent delays by ensuring that all Travel Bugs are properly logged into the starting cache.

5. As travel bugs arrive, the “Check-In” tab at the top of this site will be updated.  You can check this page to see if your Travel Bug has arrived. The Check-In list is usually updated every two-three days.

6. Wait for the race to begin and enjoy.

Starting the Race

In 2009, all contestants started the race in a cache located in Kansas City.  In 2010, all contestants started the race at an event held in Dallas.  If we have a race in 2011, we will look for another location to start the race at.

By providing a starting cache or event, we help create a more equal start, no matter where the contestant’s owner lives.  This eliminates any advantage one contestant may have over another that can develop if it’s started in an area that has a lot of cachers compared to the contestant coming from an area with fewer cachers.  Alongside this, by starting in a brand new cache, it helps prevent the disadvantage some contestants would have by being started in a cache that has been visited by everyone in that area already.  A new cache means nobody has found it before.  Since the starting point will be a brand new cache, it also ensures that all contestants start at the same time since no cacher will know where the cache is located until it is published.

The end of the race will be just that…the end of the race.  This will take place exactly one year after the start of the race.

Earning Points

In 2009, race contestants voted on the rule of NO DIPPING, and we have kept that rule.  If a travel bug is dipped into a cache, the points gained will be voided.  Only the final location will count for points.  See the FTF rule to learn about the one exception to this rule. To aid in evaluating how points are awarded, rules (and restrictions) will be in place regarding the goals, as follows.

1. Points for caches visited will only be awarded once for a cache.  Once a bug visits a cache, any subsequent visits to that cache will not count for points.  Only one cache will be counted per cacher.

2. Points for mileage will be based on the mileage counter on each bug’s page.  If dipping occurs, mileage will be recalculated using Google Maps, the same system used on the Geocaching site.

3. Points for crossing state lines will be based on a straight line model, using the travel bug’s map.  No matter how a cacher travels as they carry the travel bug, a straight line between cache A and cache B will be used to determine which state lines are crossed and how many times they are crossed.  If a travel bug leaves the United States, only country borders will be counted.  Province/state borders within other countries will not be counted for points.

4. Points for posting pictures will only be awarded once per photo per cacher.  One cacher posting multiple pictures will not gain additional points, though it is encouraged if the poster desires to help document the travels.

5. Points for being exchanged with a trackable item require that you identify the trackable item you traded with in your log.  Failure to identify the trackable item will result in no points being awarded.  This is done to help verify that an exchange occurred, whether you dropped or picked up the racing travel bug.  There are two ways to do this.  Either list the item Name or the item’s Reference Number (listed a few lines below the item’s name on it’s profile).  Please do not post the tracking number listed on the item.

7. If a travel bug visits a cache that has either a difficulty or terrain rating of 2.5 or higher, it will earn points for D/T.

7.Points for attendance at an event is only awarded once per event.

8. Points for being placed during an FTF requires that you be the FTF on the cache in question and that you either drop or pick up the racing travel bug.  Due to the increase in smaller caches, if the travel bug is too big to fit into the cache, take a photo of the TB, container, and freshly signed logsheet.  Post the photo as proof of the size by logging a note on the travel bug page.  make sure to provide the GC code for the cache in question for verification purposes.  In this instance, the photo will only count for FTF, not FTF and photo points.

9. If a travel bug attends a CITO event, it will earn bonus points.  The item will only receive points for one race type per cacher.  In other words, attending a CITO event does not gain points for both the Event goal and the CITO goal.  Only the CITO goal will be counted (the same applies to MEGA and CITO).

10. If a travel bug attends a MEGA event, it will earn bonus points.  The item will only receive points for one race type per cacher.  In other words, attending a MEGA event does not gain points for both the Event goal and the MEGA goal.  Only the MEGA goal will be counted (the same applies to MEGA and CITO).

Monthly Goals

Several people had suggestions to have bonus goals.  In 2010, we implemented monthly bonus goals.  These goals will earn extra points if they are met during the course of the listed month.  For example, January goals can not be met in February, and vice-versa.  Rules for Monthly Goals will be listed on the “Monthly Goals” page of this site.  On the last day of each month, the page will be updated with the goals for the following month.  Goals must be met as described or they will not count.

If you have questions regarding the rules, check the FAQ’s page before sending them in.  It might have been answered already.  All rule changes put into place during the race will be discussed with all race participants to decide whether or not to put the change into effect.