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Route to Christmas: Day 6 2012

In todays leg in Route to Christmas we are moving south from Scandinavia to Switzerland. The race in question is the first national race on April 9th – and as there was GPS tracking in this race there is a lot of data to analyze. With WOC being run in Switzerland in autumn, there were a lot of national team runners on the start making the race more interesting than a regular Swiss competition.

Thanks a lot to Sewerin Howald for the tip. If you know about a candidate – don’t be shy – just send me an e-mail at jan@kocbach.net!

The chosen leg is the second leg – a leg which had a very nice spread of the runners. 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):


You find other maps from the area in omaps.worldofo.com here. See also latest additions in 3DRerun from this area in order to learn more about this terrain type.


Next you can draw your own route using the ‘Webroute’ below. 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.

Then you can take a look at how the runners solved this leg. As there was GPS-tracking for a lot of runners in this race, I “played” a bit with the GPS-data and made several figures in order to understand easily the challenges on this leg.

The first figure simply shows all routes run – colored by the time used on the route. A lot of runners with GPS-tracking, so this looks quite complex. Anyway, it is quite clear that the direct variants are fastest – the leftmost variants are quite slow.

Next we use the “Show variants” feature in 2DRerun. This function analyses all routes run, and divides them into different “variants” based on how equal/different the routes are (Note that i removed a few variants were the runners obviously did mistakes). As you can see, this gives better overview over the different alternatives. It looks to be so simple that far left and far right have too much uphill compared to the runnability on the direct route – which obviously is not as bad as some of the runners running much longer around (and climbing more) had expected. Both Müller and Kvaal Østerbø run nearly 200 meters longer than the more direct variants.

Next we look in more detail at the difference between different routes. Based on the GPS split-times, Kyburz and Gueorgiou are the two fastest (may be off by some seconds, though – I didn’t have full split times to correct the times). As you can see, Gueorgiou looses some time at the start of the leg – runs better in the middle (where Kyburz probably hit some nasty green for some meters), and lost a bit in the very end again. No significant differences here.

Then we have Kyburz up agains Tero Föhr. Föhr simply looses too much height, and therefore looses it up the last hill (he also has a bad start on the leg)

Next up Lauenstein: He gets caught in the green (marked with red:).

Finally we have Müller who takes the left variant. As you can see, it is simply not possible to run much faster on the left variant than on the direct variant – there is only a small part on the direct route which is slow. Therefore Müller has no chance when the route is that much longer.

Additional information

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

Route to Christmas series

The ‘Route to Christmas’ series at World of O has been very popular the last years – and I have therefore decided to continue the series this Christmas as well. If you have got any good legs in RouteGadget, GPSSeuranta or 3DRerun from 2012-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.

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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