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Route to Christmas: Day 20 2015

Today’s leg in Route to Christmas is Edgars Bertuks’ pick of a routechoice leg which he remembers particularly well from 2015. Bertuks is one of the top runners who was challenged to pick a leg for Route to Christmas in this year’s edition of Route to Christmas. The chosen leg is the 2nd leg from the World Cup Long distance in Halden in June.

Some of you might have seen the leg before as this is definitely one of the legs to remember from 2015. Here is Bertuks’ intro to the leg:

Since it was at the beginning of the race [after a short first leg] there was limited time for choosing route choice. The placing of the first control was rather unclear, and there was little time left for exploring the next leg.

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. First a selection of top runners (via a Tweet):

Then almost all runners with a GPS:

As you can see from the illustrations, going right on the road was clearly faster. Here are Bertuks’ toughts about the leg:


– It was crucial to spot the small path at the end of leg that leads very close to the control and saves you a lot of time. Knowing that, it was a rather easy choice to make (I didn’t do it).
I was trying to be too smart and thought that the leg can’t be as easy as running all the way around
Bertuks continues to explain his choice:
– I saw both options – straight and the road, but chose going more or less straight. It was a big mistake for me since my advantage is running on roads and saving energy needed later in such a tough terrains as this one. I can see two reasons for that. Number one – I was trying to be too smart and thought that the leg can’t be as easy as running all the way around. Number two – I didn’t see that small path going into the control, and the cliffs before the control made me cautious .
And finally the analysis:
– Using the big road was clearly fastest. From the map, the terrain doesn’t look that tough and also the first leg was going through open and fast forest which made me (and some other runners, I believe) too optimistic about what was coming. Running straight was around one minute slower in a best case scenario, and complicated to execute since it is not easy to spot the best places to go down and up the cliffs.

Below are some more illustrations included for further analysis of the leg. First a comparison of two different alternatives for going around. Clearly you should take the road all the way around as Kyburz and not cut through as Boström (20 seconds slower).


Next a dot comparison of Kyburz (around) and Gueorgiou (direct). Here you can clearly see how much slower it is to move in the terrain.


Next up a pace comparison between Kyburz and Gueorgiou. Kyburz runs around 3:20 min/km and faster all the way on the road while Gueorgiou is only below 6:00 min/km for about half of the leg on his direct route.


The same picture is seen when comparing the pace of all runners:


Then finally some illustrations showing that it is tricky to choose the best route direct – comparing micro-routechoices of three different runners with Gueorgiou.

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 – giving the readers the opportunity to do one Route Choice Challenge each day from December 1st until December 24th. If you have got any good legs in RouteGadget, GPSSeuranta or 3DRerun from 2015-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!

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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  1. Another cool Challenge, thanks.

    Comparing Bostrom and Kyburz, it looks to just as Kyburz has a higher pace also at the road where Theo have identical routechoices.. I actually think, that the Two routechoices are equally, and maybe Kyburz could have been even faster if he had cut off the “corner” in the beginning of the leg as some of the gps runners did.

    • @Johan: Boström’s choice is faster out to the road, but Boström loses some second due to the cut (when you look at the average time difference between them on the road). But not 19 seconds, but rather 3-5 seconds.