How many travel bug’s may I enter?
Only one travel bug may be entered per cacher.

Is there a limit on how many people can enter?
The more the merrier. If we can get a large group it makes the contest more interesting. However, if we only get a handful of participants, I will let the race participants decide whether to push off the start date a little longer to allow time for more entries, or to start as is.

Can I move my own travel bug?
In the effort to eliminate an opportunity for cheating, all cachers who enter the race are not allowed to move ANY travel bug that is a race contestant. This is to avoid cachers trying to inflate their own score, or hindering the movement of others.

Okay, so I get the whole points thing, but I’m confused on something. Once my TB meets a goal, is that it or can it meet it again for more points?
Every time a contestant meets a goal it will gain points. If your TB is involved with 6 FTF’s during the entire race, then it will get 4 points for each of the 6 FTF’s for a total of 24 points just for the FTF goal, provided it meets the rules for that goal (see the rules list that follows the table of goals above). However, false logging of goals will not be acceptable and repeat offenders may be subject to disqualification.

What are officially designated caches?
These are caches that have been deemed official race caches. Visits to these caches are worth more points because they require seeking them out. Caches with this status are required to be traditional caches with a difficulty/terrain rating of no higher than 2.5/2.5. UPDATE: There will not be Official Race Caches in the 2010 race.

How can I place an officially designated cache?
All officially designated caches must be approved by the race organizer and at least one additional race participant. It is encouraged to place new caches for this role, however already established caches will be accepted provided they meet the requirements already listed. Established caches will not be considered unless submitted by the owner of the cache. Established caches should display a good record of maintenance by the cache owner to help aid approval. UPDATE: There will not be Official Race Caches in the 2010 race.

Hey, I just thought of this great goal for gaining points. Interested?
Sure I’m interested. Send it my way and it will be looked into (read the note at the end of this page regarding rule changes).

Okay, the race sounds cool, but what happens if I win?
Good question. Well, besides being named the winner of the race, prizes will be awarded for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Prizes have yet to be determined, but trust that even the 3rd place prize will be worth at least than the cost of purchasing a travel bug and shipping it to me (and that’s not including shipping the prize to you). The number of participants might play a factor in prize selection.

I’m interested in the race, but I don’t live in the United States. Can I still enter?
It wouldn’t be the Great TB Race if I didn’t let you enter. It would only be the Great US TB Race. If you can get it to me, I’ll allow it.

I’m interested in the race, but I didn’t hear about it until XX/XX/XX, and I’m not sure I’ll make it in time for the start of the race. Can I still enter
Because the start of the race will begin at an eent, for the 2010 race we are designating entry periods. The entry period for U.S. residents is open until December 25th, 2009. The entry period for anyone outside the U.S. is December 19th, 2009. This is because of the longer shipping times for international shipping. As long as you enter before midnight on those dates, you can still enter.

What is the official start date? You haven’t said that yet.
The official start date for the 2010 race will be New Year’s Day. There will be an event in Dallas, Texas where all of the contestants will be released.

What about this “standardized TB description” and “TB Info Card” you mentioned?
I am putting together a listing that can be put on your travel bug’s page that summarizes the contest and explains how a cacher can help your travel bug earn points. The info card will do the same thing, but on a smaller scale, designed to be printed off. It can then be laminated and attached to the bug, or put in a baggie. Whatever your preferred method is. This is encouraged to help cachers in the field.

Will you be entering the race?
You bet I will. However, before objections are raised, I am inclined to remind you that once the race starts, all participants are required to not handle any racing travel bugs. Just like everyone else, if I were to manipulate the race, I would be disqualified. Once the race begins, my bug will have the same chances as everyone else.

If you win, how do I know you didn’t cheat?
Ummm…read the previous question and answer.

I would like to follow the race once it begins. Am I going to have to keep tabs on all the TB’s in the race?
This website has a contestants page (the tabs above) which will have a list of the travel bugs in the race (currently, it displays the 2009 race list). Each item will be linked to its respective page on Groundspeak, and it will be accompanied by it’s score as of the last update. For a list of the top 10 racers, check the Standings page.

Can I use a geocoin instead of a TB?”
Good question. My answer is a wee-part personal traveler preference (though I love seeing all the different coins out there), and mostly safety. Compared to TB’s, it seems coins have a higher risk of theft due to “Ooooohhhh, that is an AWESOME coin. Let’s keep it.” So I’d have to say no.

When I activate my travel bug for the race, does it matter what I put for it’s activation location?
This does not matter as it won’t affect the travel bug in anyone way other than to say where it is from. The mileage counter is only affected when it is placed in a cache?

Do I have to start a new travel bug or can I use one I already have?
Please start a new travel bug. The travel bugs in the race should have no logs on them at all until they are in my possession. While it is possible to reset the mileage counter, this would require deleting every single log that has already been entered on the item, and somehow getting your hands on the item again. After all of it’s travels, why erase it’s travel history, and why put yourself through the work? This brings up another question.

Can I dip the item into a cache near me before I send it to you to record where it started?
You can, but I’ll only e-mail you to delete it anyway. This directly affects the mileage counter, which needs to be at zero when the race starts. If you want to record where it started, make sure to list your location when activating the travel bug.

If you think of additional questions, send them my way. If you would like to help spread the word about the race, I’d be appreciative of the help. If you would like to advertise your interest so that visitors can see that people are interested in the race, post some comments below.