As a new cacher, I have thought a lot about the Stud Mill run and the numbers game. At first, I disliked the run because it seemed to just be a way that some people would get a quick 100+ caches. But, it made me realize that comparing my numbers to others would just lead to disappointment. This is especially true since I don't drive (maybe next year) and thus I have low numbers right now. I probably wouldn't have enjoyed the caches I did as much if concerned with the numbers, so in that way the run was a good thing without me ever doing it. But, once I decided that comparing numbers didn't matter, I didn't have much of a problem with the quick numbers the run offered.
Thinking about it now, I have no problems with the run. If you really play the game for the numbers, the 100+ offered really isn't that much compared to many other cachers numbers and other people have the same opportunity to do the run. So while it may diminish the accomplishment of get those caches, it is still the other caches that will make the real difference in the numbers game. If you don't play for the numbers, you are free to ignore the run. I also wonder if you spent the same amount of time in the Bangor area or other areas with fairly high cache density if you could get similar numbers of caches. (If my speculation is way off, feel free to let me know.) I think the difference that runs like these have made is in how people cache. While people could get large numbers in a similar time in urban areas, most people didn't plan a whole day around those types of areas. Now people are traveling hundreds of miles to get numbers they could get closer to home in urban areas. But, if people want to bring their money to Maine, I welcome them.
Can't we all get along and just hate the people that log caches they haven't actually been to?
I myself do them all. The GRC's, the LPC's, the hikes, the paddles, the puzzles, (when I can solve them). This is how Ichoose to play. Welcome to the hobby so many of us enjoy. We all have our own reasons as to why we play. It is an individual game after all. And yes adding numbers to it of course make it a competition for many. Just human nature I suppose. Have fun at it and make what you want of it.