[With 30+ illustrations] The women made more control mistakes than the men – but also the women struggled with finding the good micro-routechoices in the World Cup middle distance race in Munkedal, Sweden Sunday. Helena Jansson (Swedish Orienteering Federation) won 1:41 minutes ahead of Nadiya Volynska (Ukrainian Orienteering Federation) with Emma Johansson (Swedish Orienteering Federation) in 3rd at 1:44.
Tove Alexandersson took the lead at the first control and stayed in front until control 4. Helena Jansson took over the lead at control 5 of 18 controls and kept it until the finish. Helena Jansson lost 30 seconds or less to the leg winner on all legs – that was least of all runners in this race. Helena Jansson won only 2 of 18 legs – but did less than half a minute of mistakes in total.
Looking at the splitsbrowser below one can see that Volynska had higher speed than Jansson in significant parts of the course (a slope going upwards means that a runner runs faster than the current leader – a slope going downwards means that time is lost). Wyder and Alexandersson were also on the same level on the control were they did not make mistakes. Jansson was however the most stable orienteer – and this made the victory nearly 2 minutes.
Leg by leg: Routes and Split times
Below the routes and split times (from the official split times) is shown for the Top 3 on each leg along with the Top 10 in the competition (except for Rantanen not wearing a GPS). A full text-based analysis is not provided here – but the illustrations tell more than 1000 words – and by studying these illustrations (and using the GPS-tracking as help in some places) there is a lot to be learned about how to tackle this type of terrain. A few short comments are provided for selected legs.
Leg 1: Hausken has a bad start and loses more than a minute already to the first control. This control was mostly about trusting the compass for the first half of the leg and then using the contour details to make it easy.
Leg 2: An easy leg – lots of nice features to orienteer on on the way. Mostly about running speed. Kauppi and Volynska lose some time here.
Leg 3: Quite easy control as there are a lot of features to orienteer on, but the ones chosing a simple solution are rewarded.
Leg 4: Run straight – and if you are off it is easy to use the contour details to steer you into the control. No trouble for our ladies.
Leg 5: The long leg was less problematic for the women than for the men. Jansson’s direct route is the fastest – but you don’t lose a lot of time by going left on the path. If Jansson would have taken that route it might even have been faster …:?
Leg 6: One of the legs making most trouble for the women. Tove Alexandersson was in a good flow and on the way to fight with Jansson for victory before she made this mistake. Minna Kauppi also lost a minute here after a good start. Interpreting the map wrongly and forgetting to use the compass seems to be the main cause for the mistakes becoming big.
Leg 7: A typical leg for this type of terrain where you have to be accurate with your orienteering – it gets especially tricky if you fall to far down in the slope. Kauppi and Alexandersson both lost time on the previous leg – and here they again lose 20-25 seconds.
Leg 8: A chance to rest the head by going right. Both variants are equal timewise – going right is probably an advantage to rest the brain and get time to read ahead.
Leg 9: Short leg were quite a few are inaccurate with the direction and loses some 15-20 valuable seconds.
Leg 10: Medium long route choice leg. By not going onto the road you lose some seconds. Judith Wyder runs high speed here, winning the leg with 15 seconds. Looks like there is nothing wrong with the physical shape!
Leg 11: The key to this control is to be accurate when going in to the white area from the road. By going straight on the leg (Kauppi) you make it more tricky for yourself as there is a risk to not find the white opening (or at least not be 100% sure you found it). Emma Johansson uses the more secure choice but still loses time. 50-60 seconds lost for these two.
Leg 12: Short leg to spectator control – actually you can lose some seconds here by not going direct.
Leg 13: Nice leg by the course setter. Nearly everybody lose time by going left – probably because all the men went there (to another control) and there was no good path in the grass straight? Bobach goes direct and wins the leg.
Leg 14: Quite easy leg, but Kauppi loses control and nearly 40 seconds.
Leg 16: Short and easy leg – Kinni still loses 20 seconds by chosing the wrong solution.
Leg 17: Like for the men – the runnability to the left is not the best and therefore you lose some more time than you can see from the map. But from the map it is quite clear that right is less risky.
Leg 18: Run! Impressive by Wyder to win the finish sprint with 3 seconds!
Selected time losses
Some time losses/mistakes of top runners are shown here to show decision points and which types of mistakes were made in this terrain. No analysis runner by runner is provided (but feel free to add one in the comments).