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Route to Christmas: Day 10 2017

Today’s leg in Route to Christmas is leg 14 in the M21E course from the Slovenian Championships Long distance. Thanks a lot to Matjaz Stanfel for the suggestion – and for preparing the material

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).

Before making your choice, here are the thoughts from course setter:

Karst terrains in Slovenia and Croatia are always a nice playground for orienteering. That was also the case at this years Slovenian Long distance national championships. Runnability ranges from 4:00 min/km on the paths to 9:00 min/km on the rocky ground, for elite runners. Visibility was ranging from quite good „white forest“ down to low in green areas. Also keep in mind that this was the leg in the middle of the course.


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. There were only a few runners using GPS at this race, and thus the graphics below is prepared by Matjaz Stanfel (great work, thanks again).

Course planner´s solution:

There are 3 possible route choises with equal time of running. The three best runners (Hribar, Bogataj and Dovč) each took one of it. It is up to runner´s xperience and speed of running to chose the most suitable one. By my opinion, Hribar´s route was the most optimal providing you time to recover mentally in the middle of tough race while saving 200 meters extra comparing to Dovč´s route. On the other hand, Bogataj proved that he was able to stay focused all the time and execute the straight route in a very good time, saving 500 meters compared to Dovč but taking difficult zig-zag paths.

Here are the three different routes shown:

And here all the routes:

Some toughts from the runners:

Jan Dovč, 10:38 (1) on the leg, 3rd on the race

I’m not really experienced on karst terrain, but I’m pretty fast on the road.  This is why I often choose easier and faster route for longer legs. This route choice was perfect for me to mentally rest in the first part (before coming to the main road) and for planning routes to the last controls in the second part. Unfortunately I looked too far ahead, so I made some mistakes after control 15. The end of the race was OK.

Andraž Hribar, 10:46 (2) on the leg, 1st on the race

Studying in advance I saw only the “straight” route choice (Mark Bogataj´s route). I didn’t notice right or left for it was too far around. I immediately left control 14 going north, following the “straight” idea. After a few steps while looking at the map, I stopped because something smelled fishy, and I started calculating. I tried to straighten all the curves of the “straight” line and I realized that there is quite some length in addition to it being a hilly and path-less route. So as I widened my search, I noticed an easy, fast route with little climb and a lot of paths. So I turned.

Mark Bogataj, 10:50 (3) on the leg, 2nd on the race

I made the decision to take the path pretty easy. Slovenian karst is one of the hardest terrains to run off the tracks in, because there are sharp rocks and fallen trees (from sleed/ice storm) everywhere, so this reduced the other route choices. The next thing was just to find the best path connection to cross the middle part. I think I made a pretty good decision with choosing this route.

Jaka Piltaver, 11:48 (5) on the leg, 4th on the race

The execution wasn’t perfect. I was extremely slow on the downhill towards the first asphalt road. It was much more stony than it looks from the map  and I even didn’t know where exactly I came to the road. I was unnecessarily checking all the turns in the second part of the leg. It would be possible (for me) to run at least 30′ seconds faster.

Ivan Nagy, 11:59 (6) on the leg, 7th on the race

The route I chose for this leg was very easy to execute. My feeling was that it cannot be much slower than any other routes. At the same time it seemed a nice opportunity to plan ahead, and a kind of mental break before the last, more technical part of the course.

Complete map

You find the complete map below.  If you liked this map, you may try it next year during Cerkno Cup/South East European Championship (and try not to get lost here like the author of Route to Christmas did a few years ago….).

Density map

See below for a density map of some of the ones who have drawn their routes so far.

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!

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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