After tallying all the votes, Phoenix was our winner for where people would like to have the 2011 Great TB Race start from.  And our mystery host happens to be familiar with winning in our race already.  CachingCop previously won one of our Twitter contests last year, winning a free Travel Bug for entering the race.

CachingCop has been itching to tell people that he won (I notified him last week) and is already thinking about how he would like to host the event.  Unfortunately, my schedule does not allow me to attend. 😦

On a side note, the voting also dealt with the idea of having an entry fee.  The entry fee would be small, designed to help cover the costs of shipping the prizes, with left over being used to purchase additional prizes.  The vote was close on this one, coming down to only a single vote separating $2 and $3.  Which one did that single vote go towards?

For the 2011 Great TB Race, there will be a $2 entry fee per travel bug.  Based on the shipping costs for the 2009 race, which shipped out to five different locations (three of which were overseas), and based on the # of entries in 2010, that means we would have a bit over $100 to spend on prizes.  I’m sure everyone would be open to that.  Of course, those that are interested are more than welcome to donate items.  Almost every item in our current prize pool, valued over $250, was donated by race entrants.

Because some people donate items, if you donate an item for the prize pool, I will waive the entry fee for your travel bug.  If you are doing this, please make sure to include a note when you ship your entry and prize so that we can properly document your donation, and waive the fee.

So when is registration going to begin?  Sit tight for a few more days (at most) as I finish putting together the documents that you will receive upon registering.  Registration will begin this week, once that is done.

I will give a heads up.  In past years, registration involved commenting on this site or e-mailing me.  This sometimes made it hard to track entries.  This year we will be using an online form, much like we did with the voting.  This will make registration a lot easier on our end for record keeping.  There will be some required info and optional info.  One of the required items is the tracking number for your travel bug.  This is being done to aid us during the check in process (when we receive your actual travel bug).  So if you want to enter the race, you’ll need to have a travel bug in your hands already before you enter.  In past years, you could enter then order your bugs if desired.  This sometimes caused errors in our records as people entered but we never received anything, or vice-versa.

Also, this last year, we saw the entry of several Geopal/Geobuddy/Geotags.  Those animal shaped metal tags that were actually geocoins, not travel bugs.  I was undecided on this one.  It is the Great Travel Bug Race.  I’ve realized that for some, these are easier to obtain then travel bugs.  I will allow these tags if so desired, but only these tags.  An example can be found HERE.  NO GEOCOINS!  They are much more prone to theft and due to there often higher cost than travel bugs, it’s a bigger loss to all of you.

That’s it for now.  Keep watching for more news on registering for 2011 and we have the September points update for the 2010 race coming down the line as soon as all the data arrives.