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Route to Christmas: Day 7 2014

Today we visit Switzerland for some tough alpine orienteering! The chosen leg is a very decisive long route choice leg from the M21E course in the last national race in Switzerland in the 2014 season – organized at October 19th 2014. Starring are Swiss world stars like Daniel Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz and Florian Howald.

Daniel Hubmann and Florian Howald basically lost their races there

Thanks a lot to Jonas Mathys for sending this tip – there are surely lots of other nice legs out there just waiting to be viewed by thousands of interested orienteers in Route to Christmas. I have received several nice tips the last days, but there is still room for a few more nice legs! Especially if we are outside the “normal” countries – maybe even outside Europe? Remember that I need some GPS-data to make it interesting for the readers.

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). The leg is especially interesting as “Daniel Hubmann and Florian Howard basically lost their races here” – as Mathys writes in his e-mail. Hubmann lost around 2:30 – Howald more than 7(!) minutes. Your main task in today’s Route to Christmas is to avoid risk. A good start is to choose a route where you are sure you won’t loose 7 minutes. Next take the risk reduction one step further and eliminate the routes were you think it is possible to loose more than 2 minutes. Hopefully you’ve only got one route left now?

Get a good basis for the choice by (1) understand the difference in climb and length between the different alternatives. (2) If climb/length is approximately equal, look at runnability. Write in your comment what was the most important thing for your choice: (A) least climb, (B) shortest length or (C) best runnability?


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 central runners have solved this leg below. As you can see, going down to the road following Kyburz’s route is surely the best option. Let’s compare Kyburz’s route with the two other main alternatives of Hubmann and Howald:

  • Kyburz vs Hubmann: Hubmann’s route is significantly shorter, and on first sight it might look like there is significantly less climb than for Kyburz’s choice as Kyburz has to run all the way down to the road and up again. However, according to my quick comparison between the two routes using Google’s altitude data (see figure below, if somebody has time to count the contours and can add a comment, that would be great), the total climb on these two routes is quite equal. However, the lower route of Kyburz has a lot better runnability – running much of the route on a road.
  • Kyburz vs Howald: The direct route is obviously a lot shorter – and there is less climb. However, the runnability is mostlly quite bad – running in a steep hillside without path/road is not very fast, generally.

Comparison of elevation profile between routes of Kyburz (blue), Hubmann (red) and Howald (orange).

Dot-analysis of the 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 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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