The moment you’ve been waiting for is finally here. We are now accepting entries for the 4th Annual Road Warrior contest. Last year we received almost 10,000 entries, and we’re hoping for more this year. We’re looking for the ultimate Road Warrior, so this year’s essay questions and prizes are based on the ultimate everything. We want to know about your ultimate office, your ultimate
homecoming, and your ultimate meal.

What’s in it for you? If you’re our grand-prize winner, you’ll receive the ultimate travel package: two million Hilton HHonors Bonus Points and one million American Airlines AAdvantage Miles.

The second-prize winner will get the ultimate sound package, which includes a Bose Lifestyle 48 Home Entertainment System, a Sound Dock digital music system for your iPod, and two QuietComfort 2 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones — everything you need to wind down with your favorite tunes after a stressful day on the job.

For third prize we’ll choose three winners, and each one will receive the ultimate business package. With two years of T-Mobile Hot Spot Wi-Fi Inter­net service for your laptop or PDA, and a Panasonic Toughbook 73 laptop computer, life on the road just got easier.

Did I mention the fame and notoriety? All five winners will appear on the cover of our December 15, 2005, cover and throughout the issue. And we’re not kidding about celebrity status: Just about every winner last year e-mailed me to say that he or she had been recognized in the airport.

Even if you’re not a winner, we use lots of quotes and stories and tips from the entries, so you still stand a chance of seeing your name in print. What’s not to love about that?

Before you turn to page 16 for the essay questions, let me go over a few guidelines.

First, many people think that the definition of a Road Warrior is as simple as the number of miles he or she has flown. But those of us who read your Road Warrior submissions know it’s much more than that. It’s not the miles. It’s the experiences. What you take away from your travels is as important as the traveling you do. That’s why we have the essay questions. If you can’t convince us you’re the ultimate Road Warrior with your answers, then the number of miles you’ve flown is not going to matter much — even if it’s seven billion (okay, seven billion might win you a few points).

Second, like last year, we’re not accepting paper entries. (Come on! This is the 21st century!­) All entries must be submitted online at That said, I highly recommend you type out a rough draft of your answers first. That way, you can revisit them. Once you’re certain they’re the best answers ever, just copy and paste them into our entry form online.

New this year is the ability to upload a file. In the past, people often sent in pictures with their entries, and we missed that last year. So send us a jpg or a pdf to accompany­ your essays.

You only have until July 14. So read, think, write, and send. The judges are waiting.

Picture of Sheri Burns