Yesterday, I announced the official winners of the 2009 Great TB Race.  Tonight, we announce what they win.  Each announcement will include a small detail about that item’s travel, a list of awarded prizes, and a picture of the prizes.  We’ll start with 5th place.

5th Place

Our fifth place prize goes to YoungOohRah, who owned WoolyBugger.  Wooly suffered a late game loss when the cache it was last placed in got muggled.  But thanks to the movements by Wooly’s various carriers, he had racked up enough points to keep him within the winners circle, despite some last minute jumps by several racers.  For finishing in 5th place, YoungOohRah will win

  • 1 red lanyard labeled Geocoins, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Turtle Travel Geocoin with attachment chain, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 2008 Kansas Sunshine coin with blue petals, donated by TripCyclone

4th Place

Our 4th place winner is Mr. Skully, who’s KIMO the Turtle travel bug has been bouncing around Europe since March after making a huge jump from California all the way to Northern Switzerland.  Currently, KIMO is awaiting pickup in Ireland, stuck in a rarely visited cache.  For finishing in 4th place, Mr. Skully will win

  • 1 blue lanyard labeled Benchmarking, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Geocaching Tie Tack, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Acme Cache-O-Rator geocoin, purchased with a donation by Truscott
  • 1 Missouri Hawthorne geocoin, donated by Larry739

3rd Place

3rd place goes to Bosox Art, owner of All-Star.  All-Star truly became an all star by the end of the race.  As of October, All Star had been much lower on the standings, not even close to the top ten, having suffered a few lengthy delays in more than one cache (just those two caches totaled about four months!).  But thanks to a pickup by the right person in October, it earned a surprise jump to from just outside San Francisco to Santiago, Chile…all the way in South America.  By the way, a verified visit to Cabo San Lucas didn’t hurt.  Then, still barely scratching at the bottom of the top ten list, it made another jump only two weeks later to Germany.  This late game action by All-Star knocked two people down and earned it the 3rd place spot.  For it’s unexpected swing into 3rd place, Bosox Art will win

  • 1 nano cache with spare log, courtesy of rjholland
  • 1 Where’s My Bailout geocoin with attachment chain, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 mini-Compass Rose geocoin with attachment chain, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 small Lock-n-Lock cache, loaded with logbook, stash note, swag, 2 geocaching lapel pins, & 1 GeoJellies geocoin (obviously, Bosox Art can do what they want with the pins and coin 😛 ), donated by USYoopers

2nd Place

Coming in at 2nd place is OversizeOregon, whose TB Hummer earned 205 points more than our 3rd place winner.  TB Hummer was the clear leader in November, in line for winning the race before getting passed up with a late jump by our Grand Prize Winner.  It’s last logged interaction with a cacher was in early December, which contributed to it’s loss of the top spot.  But TB Hummer had some excitement during the course of the race.  In June, it was picked up by a cacher in SouthEast England and wasn’t seen for two months.   Then, in one of the larger jumps in the entire race, it popped back up in INDONESIA, over 7700 miles away!  Then, in a stroke of luck, it got picked up 30 minutes later by another cacher (NOTE: As far as I’ve been able to research, and I spent time on this, it was pure luck and this wasn’t a group exchange.), then taken back to Europe, this time to the Netherlands.  This single trip to Indonesia earned over 15,000 miles.  And based on the logs from the cache visited, it was EXTREMELY lucky, as it was archived less than a month later due to problems.  For finishing in 2nd Place, OversizeOregon will receive

  • 1 nano cache with spare log, courtesy of rjholland
  • 1 Contryguy geocoin, donated by Contryguy
  • 1 Chiro geocoin, donated by Dr. Neal
  • 1 My Traveling Two Cents geocoin, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Out on the Water geocoin, donated by Eltada
  • 1 American Cacher gift pack, including 1 geocoin, 1 magnet, 1 patch, 1 lapel pin, 1 screen cleaner, 1 pencil, 1 Rite in Rain logbook, some muggle cards, and 1 Geocache Sticker (each labeled American Cacher), donated by Landsharkz

Grand Prize

Our Grand Prize winner is Solan109, whose Swedish Nerd is the only racer to get over 600 points.  With a November position of 2nd place, it was coming down to a heated race between TB Hummer and Swedish Nerd.  It was TB Hummer’s lack of movement the last month of the race that helped Swedish Nerd pass him up.  But it was the jumps that really helped.  In March, a jump to Nevada pushed Swedish Nerd’s mileage past 1000 in a single jump, then it moved on to California soon after.   Three months later, after visiting several caches in the L.A. area, it made a leap across the states to Connecticut.  But it wasn’t done yet.  A few days later, it was picked up again.  This time, the leap would be across the water, landing in the United Kingdom a month later.  Once again, it spent three months exploring as it visited caches around the U.K., before getting picked up and bounced to an event in Ontario.  By now, it was sitting around 7,500 miles.  It still wasn’t done.  While at the event, it made it into the hands of a couple with some travel plans.  Two weeks later, it ended up in Sydney, Australia with a single jump that was 2,000 miles higher than TB Hummer’s largest single jump, only a few hundred miles short of making a 10,000 mile jump.  This leap was just before the November points update, helping place Swedish Nerds in 2nd place at the time.  It sat there for a few weeks, then, while TB Hummer was preparing for a long layover, Swedish Nerds made a cross continent trip to visit Perth in Western Australia.  This jump was enough to catch up to TB Hummer, setting up the final results to be a close race.  Then, just as Swedish Nerds were hanging the Christmas stockings, it was picked up.  This time, it traveled back across the continent to the Australian state of Victoria, Southwest of Sydney.  It is there where Swedish Nerds now rests, celebrating his winning move in the final week of the race.  For becoming the Great TB Race’s 1st Grand Prize Winner, Solan109 will receive

  • 1 Free Personalized Geocaching decal, donated by Debbie Does Dallas
  • 1 $15 Gift Certificate towards a purchase at Cache Advance, donated by Cache Advance
  • 1 Cache-A-Maniacs geocoin, donated by the Cache-A-Maniacs podcast
  • 1 Travel Ingot geocoin with attachment chain, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Space Shuttle geocoin with attachment chain, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Republican Mountain geocoin, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Sextant geocoin, donated by CoinsAndPins
  • 1 Limited Edition, Member’s Only Nebraskacache geocoin, donated by TripCyclone
  • 1 Geocoin Club Member’s Only 2nd Anniversery geocoin, purchased with money donated by Michigan Cacheman
  • 1 Geocoin Club Member’s Only World Flags geocoin, purchased with money donated by Michigan Cacheman

As you can see, the total prize pool was quite extensive.  The Grand Prize winner seemingly won a larger list of items until you take into account the sets that were included in the 2nd and 3rd place prizes, which I did not want to break up.  Our sponsors really helped widen the prize pool well beyond what I originally imagined.  The estimated value of the entire list is $225.  WOW!

Prizes will be going out over the course of the next week.  Two prizes will be traveling to locations in Colorado, one to Central Missouri, one to Norway, and our Grand Prize is going to Sweden.

I’d like to thank everyone who participated in 2009.  I did not expect it to take off like it did, which was a big factor in deciding to hold a second race.  Thanks to our various sponsors and donators.  Without you I wouldn’t have been able to award the prizes above.  All of the race participants would probably like to thank all of the cachers who helped move the travel bugs.  Okay, maybe they might not thank those people that resulted in MIA. 😦

In the next week, the 2009 race details will be consolidated into a single page to clean up the site a bit for the 2010 race. I encourage people to check out some of the various travels our racers made to read about some of the interesting experiences they had while traveling.  For example, one travel bug seemed to repeatedly suffer from dipping problems, despite it being stated clearly on the page and my repeated “Official Race Correction” logs.  Others had some cool photos, visits to interesting caches, and in the last two weeks of the race we even saw a few travel bugs that were long deemed lost make surprising returns to the race.  One disappeared for almost eight months before getting a few last caches in.

For 2010, we have changed the race a bit, adding new goals and including the new Monthly Goals.  The prize pool is already up to $150 and we are working on creating a much quicker system for updating points.  And we’ve added a subscription link at the top of the column of links on the right side of the page.  Through this option, you can sign up to receive e-mails when posts are made and keep in touch with what’s going on with the race throughout the year.

With that, we close the first chapter of the Great TB Race and wish a good luck to all the racers in 2010.