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Route to Christmas: Day 10 2011

Monsterleg! 4.5 km long! Today’s Route to Christmas is the longest leg in this years travel through the orienteering world. I choose a Saturday for it as I guess you all have some extra time for Route to Christmas in the weekend. Todays leg is leg number 34(!) in the 25 km long H21 course from the Finnish Champs Ultralong, organized on May 21st 2011.

The race was organized as a mass start with 3 forked loops of around 4 km first – and afterwards one long loop of 13 km. This 34th leg is towards the last part of the race – a decisive leg in the race!

The leg is as usually first provided without routes – you may take a look at it and think about how you would attack this leg (if the image is too small, you may click on it to get it larger):


Next you can draw your own route using the ‘Webroute’ below (this is a real monsterleg – so it might be good to open it in a new window for drawing). Think through how you would attack this leg, and draw the route you would have made. Some comments about why you would choose a certain route are always nice for the other readers. Remember that this is leg number 34 in a long course (you find the complete course here).

Then you can take a look at how the runners who have drawn their route choice solved this leg. Full splits and results are available here. Click here to open to routes in a new window. Note that only a few of the good runners have drawn their routes – but among them is the winner Petteri Muukkonen – who was also the fastest runner on this very long leg. Kiril Nikolov who finished second overall did not draw his route in Routegadget, but he has posted his route on his webpage, and you can see that he has the same route as Muukkonen for large parts of the leg. However, he chose a more direct route on the first third of the leg (and as far as I can read from Google Translate, so did Pasi Ikonen). – We parted and I like the route of Pasi and me better, Nikolov writes on his webpage.

– After about 1.5 km race through the woods, we were again gathered all three together. On the road Muukkonen built up the pace dramatically, and I decided to follow him, Nikolov continues.

– Unfortunately in this fast pace, a stop at the refreshments would cost me a lot, and Muukkonen had a Camelback and I didn’t. I decided to venture out and try to stand up to where I can.

Pasi Ikonen’s route you can find in his training diary – part 4 and part 5 of his map from the race contains the long leg.

Thus based on the routes drawn, you would probably not do too bad by taking one of the northern routes which involves a lot of road running as the three top finishers in the race did. None of the runners drawing their route have chosen the southern alternative which also involves a lot of road running. The southern route is about 15% longer, but gives you nearly only road running. 15% is probably still too much. Have you got any comments to this long leg? Did you participate?

Update: More analysis

Some comments by e-mail from Antti Harju:

Situation in the race before long leg 33-34 (based on splits)

  • Nikolov, Muukkonen, Ikonen together
  • Fincke, + 1.50
  • Anjala, Parjanne, Taanila, Lakanen +2.40-2.50

Situation in the race at control 34:

  • Muukkonen, Nikolov
  • Ikonen +1.20
  • Anjala, Parjanne,Taanila,Lakanen +5.05-5.10
  • Fincke, +7:20

    Muukkonen & Nikolov pushed really hard in the road and gap for Ikonen was made there. Route by group Anjala you can see here. It is pretty similar to Ikonen&Nikolov. Fincke takes the southern option via roads and looses a lot, no mistake, it´s just the route choice that is slower. With the speed he had I would count this route choice about 4min slower than the straighter ones.

    Complete map in Omaps.worldofo.com

    You find the complete map and Routegadget info in omaps.worldofo.com at this location.


    The ‘Route to Christmas’ series at World of O has been very popular the last years – and I’ve therefore decided to continue the series this Christmas as well. If you have got any good legs in RouteGadget from 2011-competitions – or old forgotten ones which are still interesting – please email me the link at Jan@Kocbach.net, and I’ll include it in Route to Christmas if it looks good. Route to Christmas will not be interesting if YOU don’t contribute.

    There will be no analysis about the best routechoice for each leg – you can provide that yourself in the comments or in the Webroute. Not all legs are taken for the interesting routechoice alternatives – some are also taken because the map is interesting – or because it is not straightforward to see what to do on a certain leg. Any comments are welcome – especially if you ran the event chosen for todays leg!

    Note that there may be some errors in the Routegadget data (sometimes somebody draws a route for another runner just for fun). Please add a comment below if you spot en error.

  • 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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