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WOC 2017 Long Course: First Look

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We are ready for a very tough and green Long distance in Rouge, Estonia today. Here is a quick first look at the women’s course and some of the challenges the athletes will meet.

Follow the race live here:

Men’s course

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Quick look at the women’s course

See the complete course here. The course starts with a long route choices leg:

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Here is a webroute where you can draw your route (please open in new window to draw):

This is a leg where you can exploit the network of paths to the left or to the right – you can actually run most of the leg on paths without risk of loosing much time. Going around to the right gives you most path running, and therefore less risk that you come to places with bad runnability. It might be faster to go on a more left/direct route, but probably few will dare to do it this early on the course when you can use the paths with very small potential time loss.

Some of the best routes of the early starters are shown below. As you can see, the right variant is ran significantly faster so far (but the Sandra Pauzaite is from the Baltic countries and is used to these kind of challenges). Length-wise going to the left is a bit shorter, but you do get less path running.

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After a few controls in a green we have another long route choice leg:

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Here is also a webroute for this leg  (please open in new window to draw)::

There are basically two main routes here – either going quite far around on the road/big path to the left (green route below), or using smaller paths and going directly in the terrain in some places to the right (red route below). You can also go more straight (blue), but here the runnability is really bad, so I can not see this as being a good choice.

The question here is if 200 meter shorter running to the right is worth all the extra running in tough terrain and on small paths. I think the women will not loose much by taking the safer technical route to the left – at least not the ones who are not really in the top. It will be interesting to see.

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Update: After we have had the first runners through, the rightmost route has been run faster, but time differences are relatively small with time difference of around 35-40 seconds between left and right. Let us see what happens when the top runners arrive.

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Then we have some forking (a so called phi-loop). This is actually a very nice form of forking where every second runner has to “wait” for around 1:30-2 minutes by taking control number 6 while the others go directly to control 12. This will split up any groups for the quite long loop 8-9-10-11 before they have opposite controls again at 12/6.

And continue with another long leg. Here we have some height differences in addition which the runners have to take into account when choosing their route:

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Here is also a webroute for this leg  (please open in new window to draw)::

Here it seems like direct (red below) should be the fastest alternative. Cross the marsh in the bottom of the valley at the place where it is narrowest, and exploit the white forest wherever possible. Going around to the left has to be too long. Right could be an alternative, but it is difficult to see why it should be significantly faster, and you get the risk of loosing time in the green.

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And finally a “sprint/urban type” route choice leg on the end:

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Here straight(red) looks like the best alternative if you manage to get through the marsh in a good way – the alternative left may be just as fast – again depending on the marsh.

Before arena passage and a small loop in the end:

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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