Today we are moving over to a long and decisive leg in the Swiss Alps. Fantastic nature and high altitude may make it tricky to do the right choice – can you take the right choice at Route to Christmas Day 2?
The chosen leg is the long leg from the 11th to the 12th control in the M21E course from World Cup Final Long 2017, organized in Grindelwald, Switzerland at September 29th 2017. This is alpine terrain, and here it is important to be able to estimate how much it costs to run extra around compared to taking extra altitude.
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. As you can see it is very clear that going straight (or slightly right, actually), is significantly slower than going direct – the time difference being around 2:15 as Matthias Kyburz who is fastest around to the left is 2:15 faster than Olav Lundanes who is the fastest to the right – both are very capable runners, each exploiting their own strength.
Looking at the climb along the two routes, going right gives you around 200 (!) meter climb, while the leftmost route gives you around 90 meters of climb – that’s a difference of 110 meters. The length difference is however around 700 meters. Looking purely at distance versus climb, going to the left leaves you at a slight advantage (700 meters at 4 min/km is around 2:45; climbing 110 meters in 2:45 is possible, but very tough speed). One could estimate that that corresponds to maybe 1 minute of the time difference. The rest is due to poorer runnability on the rightmost option; running in the steep slopes as you have to do part of the rightmost route takes extra time.
To see how clear the difference in routechoice is on final time, take a look at the below comparison which colors the athletes by routechoice. Lundanes who is the fastest of the ones going to the right has only 19th(!) best split time! And none of the ones running to the left are slower than 17:08 – while 18 running to the right are slower than 17:08. Big difference!
Finally a comparison with dots every 20 seconds of Lundanes versus Kyburz. When Lundanes is at the top of the climb, Kyburz is nearly at the control. Note how much time Lundanes uses in the first, steep climb without path/road.
See below for a density map of some of the ones who have drawn their routes so far (to be updated).
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 is a pre-Christmas tradition at World of O – 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 2017-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!