We are ready for a very technical Middle distance at WOC Middle in Estonia today. Here is a quick first look at the men’s course and some of the challenges the athletes will meet.
Follow the race LIVE here:
- Background material: Startlist WOC Middle, WorldofO All You Need to Know article, Maps &Results from WOC Middle 2016
- WebTV at liveorienteering.org
- Other Live services at the organizer’s LIVE Center (see also direct link to live results as some had trouble finding them on the Qual)
Quick course preview
The courses are very technical, and the terrain is actually more green than it looks from the map.
We start off with a quite easy control (to be on this course). It might be tempting to go straight in any other terrain, but the light green here is quite green, so you will chase white areas from the start – either going right as shown here or alternatively taking to the left. Most I have talked to here favour left, I like the simplicity of right. We’ll see – this is not were the race will be decided anyway, tougher challenges ahead…
The second control is a real challenge – several will struggle already here. The key is to make it easy while keeping up speed. A blue line is drawn here, but it is probably better to keep more to the left and use the depressions to make the orienteering easier. However, although the depressions look very clear on the map, you don’t see them until you are very close to them (20-30 meters). Note also that the dark green areas are fallen trees; the map is very good, and you can really trust these areas according to people who have been in the forest.
The third and fourth control are transport legs before the next challenge to control 5.
This is a tricky one – the area just before the control is very green. It might be better to take this one to the left of the blue line, as the yellow areas are very nicely visible, and also the big depression is nice to secure the orienteering.
The 6th control is a transport leg (but still tricky)
And then another long leg. This one is easier, but you have to be careful into the control; if you go down to early to the right here you can search in the green for some time.
Then another few tricky short legs before the arena passage.
The arena passage does not destroy the course at all with excellent terrain all the way around the arena. Instead it gives this extra pressure which might give some extra mistakes on the 11th control.
Then one of the real challenges to the 12th control. These heights look very clear on the map, but you don’t see them from far away, so you have to be accurate with the compass and trust yourself. Then it can be made quite easy. Some WOC 2005 Japan feeling here.
Then again two short, tricky legs.
And finally we get to cross a wet, Estonian marsh. The 15th here can be tricky to hit 100% as it is not as clear as it looks on the map. Can get some 10-15 second mistakes here.
Then we get some nice running with higher speed for a few legs …
Before diving into a long leg again. This should be simpler than the other long legs, but pressure is now building up …
This is an interesting leg! The blue line is drawn direct, but this is a place where it could definitely be better to run around and save 20 meters of climb. Could be decisive if some choose to go straight – or even go to the right.
Then again some technical legs towards the end.
And the last control is again a little bit tricky – could have some small 5-10 second mistakes here as well …