The first ever (unofficial) World Cup race in Mixed Sprint Relay was run last Sunday in Turkey. What is your opinion about the “new” race format – and how well did it work in Turkey?
Was it fun to run? Yes (Gustav Bergman)
All participants (athletes, coaches, officials) are asked to fill out an online-form prepared by the athletes commission/foot-o commision – this will be very important for the evaluation of the race format – and therefore all runners are strongly encouraged to fill out the form (this is were opinions will certainly be read).
As the online form is “only” for participants in the race, it would be very interesting to hear the opinion the readers of World of O in the comments below (participants are of course especially invited to offer their opinion and take part in a discussion).
Some comments from around the Internet
I can’t help to think of it as a bit of a joke (Gustav Bergman)
- Gustav Bergman on his webpage:
I can’t help to think of it as a bit of a joke. I think that the introduction of this dicipline on the WOC programme really shows that the International Orienteering Federation makes very strange priorities sometimes. One would assume that the biggest reason to extend the WOC programme by including the sprint relay is to make orienteering more spectator friendly. I can accept that vision, but I believe that a sprint relay is completely the wrong way to go. It is just too messy and and hard to understand for non-orienteerers. And we could also see that the format favours the big orienteering countries like Sweden and Switzerland, so it is not good for spreading the WOC medals to new nations either… Was it fun to run? Yes (despite the obvious lack of gaffling, and the very non-demanding and boring course). Was it spectator friendly? No, not especially.
- Judith Wyder on her webpage:
It was my first time running a sprint relay with emits- touch free and I have to say it’s a bit special to just pass the controls without stopping and punching. But I think it’s going to be a really interesting new world champs competition this summer.
- Øystein Kvaal Østerbø’s blog (guest post by other members of the Norwegian Team:
- Even though people have different opinions about this relay format, it is taken seriously by all the athletes and we have ambitions to fight for medals at WOC.
- Lina Strand on her webpage:
Maybe it does not sound so important with an inofficial cup, but considering that there will be medals in this discipline at the World Champs in Italy this summer, it is very important for the team. [...] Forbidden areas were not included on the GPS-version of the map – our map looked differently.
- EMIT’s Tommy Jauhojärvi (via e-mail):
Everything worked 100% as it should. Super feedback from the runners. Nobody was disqualified due to missing punch. All disqualifications were due to runners having been at the wrong control or not seen a control [on the map]. Many gave positive feedback on the fact that you had to get very close to the control when you run fast to get a valid punch.
- O-zeugs commented on the World of O article from World Cup mixed sprint relay:
The running momentum seemed pretty dominant and because of the outbalanced route choices it was not useful to take a different choice than the pack leader. To change this one would expect more forkings to influence the route choices alike at the 3rd control of the womens course. (For one forked control the one choice is favourable, for the other the other route is).
- Eric commented on the World of O article from World Cup mixed sprint relay:
In my opinion it was very very boring to watch (with gps only). Maybe it was cool for some spectators, because you see the runners and then hope after they disappeared that your favourite runners shows up first. But with easy course and gps its only boring. You always see who is in front and there arent many changes (except for misspunches wich you couldnt see because you didnt knew wich control needs to be taken by who. The only thing that was maybe interesting was, to see how runners who almost catched up some pack in the front choose their next leg. If they just fallow or try an other choice to gain some time.
It is taken seriously by all the athletes and we have ambitions to fight for medals at WOC
The running momentum seemed pretty dominant and because of the outbalanced route choices it was not useful to take a different choice than the pack leader
Background info: The Mixed Sprint Relay format
The Mixed Sprint Relay consists of 4 legs – each with around 15 minutes winner time. Women run the first and last leg – men the 2nd and 3rd leg. There is forking - although not very much in Turkey (and probably there should not be very much forking in this format either). Touch free punching is used. According to the definition of the format, there shall be a spectator control dividing the courses into two loops.