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Route to Christmas: Day 5 2014

Today we travel to Finland for a really tough long distance competition: The Finnish Championships long distance. Already to the second control the runners met the longest leg of the day – a more than 2 kilometer long leg in a hilly terrain with many routechoice options. The race was organized at September 7th 2014

Thanks to “Ege” for the suggestion. Please keep suggesting interesting legs for Route to Christmas! If possible from “exotic” orienteering countries – and there should be at least 4-5 GPS tracks on the leg.

Long and tough

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). It is easy to get overwhelmed when you see a leg like this – how should you choose a route here?

  • I guess the first thing you have to do is to get rid of all bad alternatives so that you are left with two or three alternatives.
  • Then if you still can’t decide between these, try to consider the risk of really losing time on any of them. Remove the ones with significant risk of losing time.
  • If you’ve still got more than one alternative, then evaluate (quickly) the length difference, the climb difference and the runnability.
    • If there is no significant difference in climb/runnability, just pick the one which you think is shortest.
    • If there is difference in runnability/climb, you need to use your experience on how much further you can run flat compared to uphill (E.g. give 70 meter extra length for each 10 meter climb) – and how much faster you are on the road compared to in the terrain (E.g. 20-30% faster?).
    • The challenge is of course making these considerations fast – at least you need to spend less time than the time difference between the alternatives – especially if you choose the wrong alternative.

Update: Note that contour interval is 5 meters.


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. As you can see in the first illustration were the distinct routechoices are compared, the time differences between left and direct were quite small (around 30-40 seconds) – whereas you could lose some more time by going to the right. However, this second leg is more about not losing than about winning. If you take a look at the second illustration were most of the routes are included (some of the slowest are removed to make these better visible), you see that most of the runners running to the left perform well on this leg – whereas many of the ones running direct lose much more time. This is a typical example of the risk being higher by going direct – while the potential time-saving by going direct (30 seconds faster) is probably not large enough for most runners – at least not this early in a long distance race. Or what do you think?

The illustrations further down compare some of the route choices so that you can get a feeling for why going direct can be faster.


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 2014-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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