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Course of the Year 2010: Submit your suggestions!

What was the best orienteering course of 2010? Finding THE ONE won’t be easy, but the search for it will be fun, for sure! The rules are simple: Suggest a course from a competition or training in 2010, and state the reason why you think this course deserves to be “The course of the Year 2010″.

A jury of elite orienteers will choose the best among all the suggestions – and there will be a voting process among the readers of “World of O” in order to name “The course of the year 2010″. Prizes from sponsors make it more fun to be in on the suggestions and voting – Trimtex and sun-o.com are sponsoring “The course of the year 2010″ with great prizes (see below).

Use the comments below, and submit either

  1. The course which in your opinion is the best course you run in 2010 yourself!
  2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.
  3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2010

Most course-setters surely have to make some compromises, so finding the perfect one is probably not possible. Still, it is interesting to see which is the best course you run or set in 2010!

Starting point

To provide you with a starting point, I’ve picked out a few very different candidates for you based on maps and courses I have seen in omaps.worldofo.com and comments on various webpages:

I am sure you have a lot of better suggestions than the one I gave above – this is just a starting point to see the wide variety of candidates there are out there. Submit your suggestions now!


The following rules are given for “The course of the Year 2010″.

  • The course must have been run in competition or training in 2010.
  • Suggestions are submitted as a comment to this post – including link to the map with course in a quality which is good enough for the readers to understand the course and the challenges involved. Please add information about location/date if that is not clear from the link provided.
  • You must give a reason for why you think this course deserves to be named “The course of the Year 2010″ (or why it is the best course you run/set this year)
  • All reasons are valid. Examples can for example be “varied orienteering challenges”, “extremely technical orienteering”, “high fun-factor”, “fantastic map”, “spectacular orienteering”, “fantastic nature” – a combination of these – or a totally different reason. To get all the way to the top you should probably have a combination of reasons…
  • The course may be any discipline – e.g. a long distance, a middle distance, a sprint distance. It may also be a technical training course – like e.g. a corridor orienteering exercise.
  • A jury of elite orienteers will choose the best of all the suggestions – and there will be a voting process among the readers of “World of O” in order to name “The course of the year 2010″.
Prizes from our Sponsors

Prizes from our Sponsors always makes it more fun! There will be a prize for the course setter in “The course of the Year 2010″, a price for the first one suggesting the course which ends up becoming “The course of the Year 2010″, and finally prizes drawn among all suggesting and voting.

Sponsors for “The course of the Year 2010″:

  • trimtexTrimtex sponsors “The course of the year 2010″ with 10 prizes. More information about the prizes to come. Trimtex Sport make technical team wear for athletes in clubs and companies. Trimtex’s products are world-leading within function, design and quality, whether it’s for cycling, running, skiing or orienteering.
  • sun-o.com sponsors “The course of the year 2010″ with a voucher for a 2011 Sun-O Camp, value of 150 Euro. Sun-o offers orienteering travel-packages in Spain and Portugal, combining high quality terrains and varied O-maps, in regions with rich culture and sunny climate – organizing your O-holidays from from start to finish.

  • For the record: All sponsor gifts/income related to “The Best Course of 2010″ goes directly to the WorldofO.com readers.

About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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  1. The EYOC long distance course is the best course this year! Challenging, technical and beautiful terrain. Varied course with both long legs with routes and short difficult legs in the stony areas. Map here:

  2. Technical and physical demanding, with cources made by one of the best course setters in Norway:

    I had the possibility to go out there after the race – and for sure – it will not be the last time.

  3. 3rd day of Croatia Open 2010. The most technical course this year for me, making the biggest errors in the easiest parts (followed by OOCup Day 3…)

  4. NM long the best course I ran in 2010 http://bit.ly/9ZiCTJ

    Close behind are
    The Tour de Trondheim sprint (http://bit.ly/bcGnDl) and long (http://bit.ly/aPoFws).

    All these races were in the autumn so maybe I only have a short memory?? But I like old skool long distance races. IMO too many long distance races these days have butterfly loops which can compromise the planning and give a large chunk of the course a middle distance feel. NM long had a bit of everything. The tour de trondheim sprint was maybe the best sprint race I ran in 2010, varied and fair.

    Also will mention this sprint race in Erskine near Glasgow (http://bit.ly/d0eSIt). I can’t vote for it as my favourite course since I didn’t think the map was good enough in the green area for a fair sprint race plus a silent SI-unit was placed at the 1st control but otherwise good course planning made great use of this strange little urban area.

    • Thanks a lot, Helen! Looks like several people like the Norwegian Champs long. No middle distance races so far though – are they more difficult to set?

      • Maybe people have different ideas about what a good middle race should be? I can’t think of a stand out one from this year. I can think of a really bad one but that’s a bit mean (it was in England).

      • Middle distance courses are most vulnerable to comp centre near urban areas and spectator controls, I consider. Hard to avoid that low-value orienteering dominate the course then. Plus the fact that EOC, NORT(FIN), WOC, WC(SUI) and Norw champs were held in not too interesting terrains this year.

        • Might be part of the truth, yes. But there are tons of middle distance races organized this year, so it should still be possible to find some with good quality? One of the best middle distance courses I’ve seen this year is the middle distance course from the Qual in WOC this year, I think,


          having both technical orienteering, variation and longer legs. I guess in a long distance course you have the possibility to put in a lot more of elements.

          Strange thing in the orienteering world that while the orienteers find the long distance courses the best (along with of course many sprint races), those are the ones disappearing more and more from international top orienteering…

          • Ja! the woc middle qualification races looked great, but I even heard some grumbles about those courses. Love Jervskogen, off there this weekend for a spot of night orienteering :-D. Watch out for Halvard H. Norbroden, superstar planner of the future! His courses from NTNUI’s Coffee Cup Cup-final look very exciting.

  5. Jan,

    Most technical race I ran this year was Kytäjä-Jukola. Personally I ran 6th leg. It was one of the most difficult terrain I ever ran. Soft, but very stony ground, no paths, wet and cold weather. http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=25596

  6. First one : O’Tomne en Savoie Day 1 : http://photorientation.free.fr/cartes/2010/101023otomne.jpg
    Second as a course setter : http://www.matrace.fr/gadget/cgi/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=479&kieli=fr
    Third what I look about : World Cup Final sprint, Geneve, October 10th 2010

  7. Hello, I consider special trainings created by Mr. Gueorgiou as one of the best and funniest technical challenges one can find in our sport. Impressive nature of Sälen-Sweden on top of that, and one of the front runners is here :)

    The map taken from Eva Jurenikova’s archive: http://evajurenikova.com/d/show_map.php?user=evaju&map=115

  8. 1. JWOC sprint, Denmark – my favourite sprint this year

    2. Austrian junior champ. (M18 course)-nice terrain which remind on scandinavia

    3. My training (Manja Vas – Croatia) – I used this for preparing for Alpe Adria Cup in Italy this year. Example for this training was Thiery’s training in Salen. I was added some sponsors for better feeling during training.

    4. Croatian Champ. on middle distance – This year I was the course setter for this competition so I tried to make it technically difficult with changing some o-techniques. (Take in mind that I’m 17 years old :) )

  9. Here are my two suggestions:
    Very interesting terrain, we dont see many like it.

    Also interesting terrain and very good long distance course.

  10. The US classic championships in Moreau State Park, NY.
    I hadn’t been on such a technical map since Norway 1996!!!! When I picked up the map at the start I literally yelped! I could not believe we had such detailed/intricate terrain in North America. What an unbelievable surprise!
    The course setter kept it challenging all the way to the end, not a single bit of trail running, all orienteering! and since it was October, the colors were absolutely fantastic, the forest was super nice and open… an unbelievable joy. I am still dreaming about it!
    Check out Route Gadget – WElite was on Red

    Or if you just wanna see the map, Peter Gagarin has a photo posted here of the Green course – W19-20: http://www.petergagarin.org/2010/20101016%28uschamps1%29.jpg

    • Thanks, Marie-Cat. Terrain looks very Nordic – just like anything we’d find over here:)

      • The North American map looks very Nordic on paper, but in reality it was totally different – very fast on the ground which meant the navigational challenges were pretty unique. Certainly gets my vote – a beautiful place with great courses.

      • Becky makes a really good point – only on paper did it look like Scandinavia because once you were in the forest there was no mistake: it was mainly maple trees, which not only turn a fabulous color in the Fall (almost iridescent) but the acid in the maple trees and leaves make that nothing else around can grow – so absolutely no undergrowth! Yep, dreamlike!
        Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going for a ski :-)

  11. I’d suggest the Latvian national championships’ middle distance held on the same map as the Long distance Final at the EOC 2008 in Ventspils. Detailed and technical, yet fast orienteering in the beginning, then some desert orienteering followed by a bit of fast, but hilly running, and concluded by wet, green and rather slow part. Was clearly won by Martins Sirmais.
    The course: http://anatolijstarasovs.com/maps/show_map.php?user=anatolijs&map=358
    The map speaks for itself. More about the map and the are: http://orienteeringmaps.net/blog/2010/03/02/irbene/

  12. Marvelous sprint held in Bautzen. Course was quite long. It wasn’t definietly common sprint course.

    • Thanks for another sprint course. There are quite a few sprint courses added here – but as I noted earlier very few middle distance courses. Is it easier to make a good sprint course?

  13. I’ve run some great courses through the year! Some of the best:

    Elitseriesprint in Norrköping. Extraordinary good sprint for being swedish.

    One of the coolest terrains (noteb above), but maybe not the best course?

    Swedish Middle Champs. Great course. Very demanding.

    Swedish Ultralong Champs. Demanding course, good orienteering.

    And of course the Centrum Team Sprint Silja Symphony Edition, wich is linked above. ;-)

  14. 1st: Tradisjonsbærern (http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20100606-trad-H21) for carrying on the good traditions of real norwegian orienteering. Fantastic terrain, wild beautiful nature and challenging course. This in huge contrast (from a runner’s point of view) to the upcoming WOC just a few kilometres west, and Tradisjonsbærern therefore deserves a first place on my list.

    2nd: Norwegian champs long distanse (http://www.orientering.no/t2c.asp?p=79161), which offered real orienteering on HQ map unlike WC in France. Challenging and varied course that demanded high concentration and problem solving throughout the whole course.

    3rd: Jukola for offering wilderness, demanding nordic orienteering and no spectator control at the arena, plus good map&course.

  15. Wheal Florence

    For now, here is half of a race I did in the South West of England. The map scale is 1:2,500 and the contours are 1.25m!
    This was not just one of the best orienteering training events this year – I think it was one of the best I have ever done! Old mining detail in open terrain on a slope, very fast running (just short grass) but very difficult to keep control! A real challenge to keep position while running and to plan ahead at the same time.
    There was a map change at the 16th control. If people are interested I can scan the other half of the map too.

  16. There are a lot of great courses being suggested here, but most of them are European, so I’d like to add the two best courses I ran in the US this year:

    1) Western Connecticut Orienteering Club A meet, long distance, Huntington State Park, CT, USA, May 9

    It might not be obvious why this course is outstanding, but somehow everyone who finished that day seemed to have a smile on their face. It is easy to set a good course in technically challenging Scandinavian terrain, but it is a lot trickier to set a great course in more ordinary terrain, such as this. This course, set by Joe Brautigam, had everything: route choice, changes of pace, changes of direction, fast open woods followed by controls in areas of detailed contours and green, several-contour climbs followed by detailed navigation in oxygen debt.
    I think this course shows off the art of the course setter more than any other I have run this year.

    2) US WOC Team Trials, Harriman State Park, NY, May 16
    part 1: http://www.dxdeluxe.se/linnekartparmen/show_map.php?user=borisgr&map=1344
    part 2: http://www.dxdeluxe.se/linnekartparmen/show_map.php?user=borisgr&map=1345

    This was a combination of a great course and great terrain. The terrain is WOC ’93, the particular map (Jackie Jones Mountain) was the location of the middle distance qualifier in ’93. I think the course speaks for itself, with non-stop brain-frying intense navigation and an awesome route choice leg.

    • Thanks for your suggestions, Boris. Nice to get some more non-European courses into the suggestions.

      • I think the Huntington Long Distance is my favourite course this year. As Boris says, not the most spectacular area (though it is beautiful!), but an excellent example of a really good course planning. I enjoyed every second of this course, and by the end there were many mistakes from the oxygen debt – the running was very fast in places! Really excellent orienteering.

  17. This may have already been mentioned but here is the JWOC Sprint. http://www.jwoc2010.dk/images/jwoc/sprintm20_route.jpg
    It is probably the most challenging sprint I have ever witnessed, offering various route-choices on virtually every leg (with all 3 of the M20 medalists taking different routes on most) in a complex university area which left plenty of potential for mistakes on such an intense and detailed map at such high speeds.

  18. Miguel Reis e Silva

    I’ll choose this control picking train in Clermont Ferrand, with Bruno Nazário, last February.
    Unfortunately, I was injured so did it slowly.

    Technical map with really good runnability (compared to others around). It was a pleasure to navigate there and I’ll definitively have to come back.

  19. South African Sprint Championships:

    Great combination of intricate map reading and speed. Good course and a good map.


  20. Another suggestion: Canadian National Championships 2010, Long distance. Haven’t been there, but the map and the course looks great. Stumbled upon the map in Olle’s Maps: http://rg.orienteering.ca/kartat/254.jpg
    Here is the course in RouteGadget: http://orienteering.ca/cgi-bin/reitti.pl?act=map&id=308&kieli&kieli=

    The quote from Olle’s Maps that says it all:
    “Canadian Orienteering Champs 2020 were held in unique “Scandi-tario” terrain. In Mike Waddington’s words: “A very sweet bit of open rock terrain near Ottawa, Ontario. World Class terrain and a World Class map.” Some very nice route choice legs out there. I mapped this area together with Bill Anderson last year.”

    More info here: http://on.fb.me/cyh4Vg

  21. Thanks for another suggestion, Tolya. Map looks great!

  22. 3 really interesting races in Spain:
    Eyoc long distance:(my route)http://dhofar.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/larga-m182.gif

    beatufil map,for me one of the most beautiful and technical areas in Spain,together with Peguerinos.Challenging terrain, stony area,fast white-forest,interesting semi-open area,demanding phisically and good mapmaker.
    Monte el viejo:
    nice O’exprience,good route choices,some areas demanding technically
    Coto de las Maravillas(Costa Calida 2010):
    In my opinion , one of the best Costa Calida maps ever.Good mapmaker, course setters,technical, and the challenge between both sides of the map(Forest and semi-open area)

  23. Thought this was a really well planned and organised competition with a great atmosphere. Really enjoyed the course :)

  24. Thought this was a really well planned course and really enjoyed it :)

  25. Wojciech Dwojak

    2nd Stage of “Bóbr Valley Cup” – Sprint.
    It was 1st edition of competition.

    Urban sprint, fast with lots of route choices.
    Map with analysis of best runners in men elit.


    • I agree with Wojciech Dwojak. This sprint during Bóbr Valley Cup was the most interesting one I have ever run in Poland! Great course setting and a perfect terrain for sprint distance;)

  26. Certainly the best race in Latvia this season – qualification race for JWOC.
    Extremely complicated orienteering in a very detailed map with variable runability, perfect for middle!
    Better map from Martin’s Sirmais archive here ->

  27. In your “starting points” you’ve invited a variety of course and map types. That’s going to make judging difficult, but more interesting, and I’m going to submit a score event. The Metlink City Safari is a rogaine (team score event) in Wellington, New Zealand. The “coolest little capital in the world”, according to Lonely Planet.

    The metropolitan area has been mapped at 1:25,000, including all the public spaces, downtown and suburban lanes, and the paths in the forest which reaches right into the city. By itself that allows interesting route planning and navigation. But in the Safari we “distort” the shape of the land by allowing travel on public transport – there are bus, train, cablecar and harbour ferry routes.

    There are two A3 maps for the competition, at http://www.mapsport.co.nz/hvoc/wgtns39safnorth.jpg and http://www.mapsport.co.nz/hvoc/wgtns39safsouth.jpg

    We’ve departed from classical score event planning which has a more-or-less even distribution of control points, with higher values for further/steeper/more difficult points. Family teams who make up a large part of the field can generally visit only one or two suburbs in the 3 hours they usually choose, so we use a clustering of controls with a liberal sprinkling of easy high-pointers. This doesn’t compromise the challenge at all for more athletic teams in the 6-hour section; after all the landscape is non-geometric due to the public transit.

    You can read more about the City Safari at http://www.citysafari.org.nz

  28. Nice topic, and nice to fly over 2010 once more…before another exciting orienteering season ;)

    So, I have a lot to submit here…

    1. The course which in your opinion is the best course you run in 2010 yourself!

    a) Beno’s masterpiece in Aydat (France). I enjoyed a lot his trainings and the hard job he did. Check the 3 loops here : http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=84

    b) Tyrol 6 days stage 6 in Obernbergersee (Austria). I enjoyed the whole week with not less than 8 competitions, and the final stage was a great pleasure in a dreaming place : http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=57
    Picture of the area : http://mw2.google.com/mw-panoramio/photos/medium/2350306.jpg

    c) French sprint champs in Figeac. There had to be a sprint in this list, and this one was both technical and amazing : http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=82
    Maybe hard to see the map with my route, here you can find it without : http://suistu.free.fr/CFsprint.jpg

    I could have mentioned O’Tomne en Savoie (http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=78) but Bnco did it before, as well as Jukola which was awesome (http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=51)

    2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.

    Can’t really choose between those two. 2 long distance races, one day, one night :

    a) Long Night Cup stage 1, Chamrousse : http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=74

    b) Long distance training, Corrençon en Vercors : http://ben5907.free.fr/routes/show_map.php?user=maxx&map=64

    3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2010

    I think I was lucky, I participated in almost every crazy race this year :)

    A year to be remembered…

  29. Why there is no search of best Ski-O or MTB-O Course?

    In this way – best MTBO course of the year: WMTBOC sprint M21


  30. i think best mtb-o course was the sprint in Gdansk in the small park, free cutting, a lot of tracks and e few rc.s