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Route to Christmas: Day 12 2013

We are back in Finland at the World Championships – but instead of looking at the finals which most have probably taken a good, long look at, we look at the long distance qualification. Here we had a long leg with interesting route choice options.

Todays leg in Route to Christmas is leg 5 in the M21 course from Heat 3 at July 7th.

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 have solved this leg below. The first illustration is for heat 3 – the second is for the other heats, showing different route choice to the other control locations.

Two conclusions were drawn based on this qualification (ahead of the final): The marshes are slow (see both Föhr in this heat and Gueorgiou in another heat) – and you can actually run quite far around on a road. The problem with the route choices to the left is that they are not entirely flat – you need to go up-and-down all the way if you are too close to the marshes like Novikov is. However, if you go a bit further to the left (as Bertuks did), you can find some flatter areas, and the left route choice can still be a quite good one. For this particular leg, the fastest times were run on the road.

Here is the text about this leg from the WOC magazine which I co-authored:

There were many different route choices made on the longest leg as shown in the illustration. Tue Lassen from Denmark ran almost the whole leg on the road to the north (3300 meter) – while Daniel Barkasz chose a route mostly on the road to the south (3600 meter). The optimal choice on this leg is the 2900 meter long route of Baptiste Rollier (2nd in heat 3) and Peeter Pihl (4th in heat 3), using the northern road for the first part of the leg, and then continue through the terrain for the second part of the leg towards the control. The route run by Tero Föhr is significantly shorter (2650 meter). 38-year old Valentin Novikov from Russia was one of the favourites, but he took a southern route choice (2700 meter long) without any roads at all, and spent over two minutes more than Baptiste Rollier on the same leg. In the illustration the faster routes are shown in green and the slower in red – generally the northern choices are the fastest for the leg in heat 3. In the other heats the 5th control was placed further to the north, giving other optimal routes.

Density map

See below for a density map of some of the ones who have drawn their routes so far.

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 2013-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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