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Course of the Year 2019: Submit your suggestions!


What was the best orienteering course of 2019? The World Cup Final Middle in Czech Republic won in 2018, the World Champs middle distance in Estonia won in 2017 and the last stage of France 5 won in 2016. Other recent winners are a spectacular sprint between boulders and old buildings in Portugal in 2013 and some great technical orienteering at Portugal O-Meeting in 2012. Who do you think should win in 2019?

The search for the orienteering course of the year  is always fun and interesting – with many nice courses and maps surfacing! The rules are simple: Suggest a course from a competition or training in 2019, and state the reason why you think this course deserves to be “The course of the Year 2019″. The best among all the suggestions will be chosen – and there will be a voting process among the readers of “World of O” in order to name “The course of the year 2019″. We will also identify the best course in each category: Sprint, Middle and Long.

And please state the reason for your suggestion – that’s where the fun & the passion for orienteering comes in! YOU are the one to decide who takes the prestigious top spot this year- first by submitting suggestions – and then by voting. As part of “The course of the Year 2019″ we have some great interviews from top runners where they talk about their favourite courses and maps from the last year. Stay tuned during the next days.

PS! Suggestions for Route to Christmas are also welcome; a combined suggestion doubly so!

More than 6000 Euro worth of prizes for YOU

Prizes from sponsors make it more fun to be in on the suggestions and voting. This year we again have some great sponsors and prizes – with a total value of more than 6000 Euro! We hope this means many good suggestions & a lot of interactivity from YOU! See all details about the sponsors & prizes below! Use the comments below, and submit either

  1. The course which in your opinion is the best course you run in 2019 yourself!
  2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.
  3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2019

Most course-setters surely have to make some compromises, so finding the perfect one is probably not possible. Still, it is interesting to see which is the best course you run or set in 2019!

Starting point

To provide you with a starting point, I’ve picked out a few different candidates for you based on maps and courses I have seen in omaps.worldofo.com and comments on various webpages:

  • The first World Cup race of the season was a middle distance race in Nuuksio National Park, a green oasis in the Helsinki capital region. The course offered some very interesting technical orienteering which was generally very well received among the world orienteering elite. You might argue that there could have been more routechoice legs, but this was still a great and challenging course. Part of the women’s course is included on the top – see the complete course here.


  • Another course which comes into mind when looking back at 2019 is the Oceania Long distance course which was presented the first day in “Route to Christmas” this year. Just the map name – Kangaroo Crossing – makes you want to try out orienteering in this area. When looking at the course with some intriguing longer legs, it makes an orienteers’ heart beat a little faster… Check out Route to Christmas to get some hands-on feeling with one of the legs.


I am sure you have a lot of better suggestions than the one I gave above – this is just a starting point to see the wide variety of candidates there are out there. Submit your suggestions now! And remember to check out which sponsor prize you would like to win, and state it along with your suggestion.


The following rules are given for “The course of the Year 2019″.

  • The course must have been run in competition or training in 2019 (an exeption for courses in December 2018 as they were not covered in last year’s contest)
  • Suggestions are submitted as a comment to this post – including link to the map with course in a quality which is good enough for the readers to understand the course and the challenges involved. Please add information about location/date if that is not clear from the link provided. Also include which sponsor prize you are interested in if you win (please do check out the sponsor prizes and choose one, it is much nicer to win something you really want!).
  • You must give a reason for why you think this course deserves to be named “The course of the Year 2019″ (or why it is the best course you run/set this year). All reasons are valid. Examples can for example be “varied orienteering challenges”, “extremely technical orienteering”, “high fun-factor”, “fantastic map”, “spectacular orienteering”, “fantastic nature” – a combination of these – or a totally different reason. To get all the way to the top you should probably have a combination of reasons…
  • The course may be any foot-orienteering discipline – e.g. a long distance, a middle distance, a sprint distance. It may also be a technical training course – like e.g. a corridor orienteering exercise.
  • There will be a voting process among the readers of “World of O” in order to name “The course of the year 2019″. This is your second chance to win sponsor prizes!

Prizes from our Sponsors

Prizes from our Sponsors always makes it more fun! There will be a prize for the first one suggesting the course which ends up becoming “The course of the Year 2019″, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. All prizes are transferable to other persons (you don’t have to travel yourself).

Event sponsor: Five Days of Italy 2020 – June 28th – July 3rd (Italy)

  • Prize offered: BIG competition and hotel package for two persons, consisting of competition fee and hotel accommodation for 7 nights, half board. Value 1.520 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • You are welcome in the Dolomites to  5 days Italy 2020 in Paganella Mountain, Fai della Paganella and beautiful “Dolomiti di Brenta”, amazing Trentino landscape. Read more at www.5daysitaly.it


Event sponsor: 53rd Kainuu Orienteering Week Finland (KOW), June 28th – July 3rd 2020 (Finland)

  • Prize offered: 4 packages, each consisting of 2 free participations for the whole week in any class (competition classes or open courses) at Kainuu Orienteering Week 2020. Total value up to 800 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Kainuu O-Week is the biggest Finnish orienteering week, and it has been held annually since 1966 in Kainuu, Finland.  The 2020 event will gather 5000-6000 participants from all around the world. The 2020 competition terrain is very suitable for all categories and perfect for running and orienteering – the orienteers will be running in the fast and beautiful pine forest terrain of Haverinen, consisting almost exclusively of pine forest of varying ages, in certain areas the contours are with small features. The visibility is mostly excellent, in some seedling areas slightly poorer. The ground is solid and clean; it is not stony. One river (Varisjoki), a few mires and ponds bring their own contribution to the orienteering tasks and landscape. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.


Event sponsor: Andalucia O Meeting – February 8th – 9th (Spain)

  • Prize offered: Competition and Training Package with accommodation for 4 persons. The package includes entry to AndaluciaOMeeting 2020 for 4 persons, 3 nights accommodation in 4p Apartment Leo Deluxe and Training Package if you want to stay longer. Total value 650 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Fun organized (Sportident) trainings and competitions in surprising Huelva! More info at https://sun-o.com/en/event/andalucia-o-meeting-2020/ & https://sun-o.com/en/camp/huelva-organized-camp/


Event Sponsor: EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020, May 20 – 24, 2019 (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 free entries for the entire Swiss 5 Days Orienteering 2020 and spectator access to the 3 World Cup races. Total value 600 EUR, transferable to other persons.
  • More information to these exciting races under: www.swiss5days2020.chNeuchâtel, the place to discover!


Event sponsor: Hungaria Cup – August 19th – 23rd 2020 (Hungary)

  • Prize offered: 3 entry + accommodation packages, each for 2 persons. Each package consists of 2 free entries for all 5 days in any class at Hungaria Cup 2020 + accommodation. Total value up to 500 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Hungaria Cup is Hungary’s biggest orienteering competition, held annually since the year 1967. This year we set camp at lake Velence close to Budapest. Terrains will include tricky open areas, mixed forests and a botanical garden. Those interested in more special orienteering challenges can try Paddle-O, Biathlon-O, Mobile-O and Beer-O. Come to enjoy orienteering and all kinds of leisure activities. Did we mention that we also have great wines? For more information see http://hungariakupa.tajfutas.hu/en


Event sponsor: Bergen Sprint Camp 2020 – March 20th-22nd (Norway)

  • Prize offered: 2 full packages, each for 2 people. A package consists of 3 high quality sprint races, 2 sprint trainings and 1 dinner + presentation for 2 persons. Total value around 375 EUR.  Transferable to other persons.
  • The BSC organizing team warmly welcomes you to the 9th edition of Bergen Sprint Camp. This time as a World Ranking Event, as well as opening of the Norwegian Sprintliga 2020. Friday is the training day, followed by races in the weekend. All race maps will be updated to the new international sprint map standard. We always try our best to make maps, courses and the overall event as good and interesting as possible for every runner, from beginners to elite. All info at bergensprintcamp.com.



Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 3-year license

  • Prize offered: One 3-year licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering″.  Value about 350 EUR. Transferable to other person (before activation).
  • More information: OCAD 2019 Orienteering – Perfect to Produce Orienteering Maps. This edition is dedicated for orienteering map making with a step-by-step wizard for analyzing of LiDAR data, mobile geodata capturing, smart editing and drawing tools, generalization tools, desktop publishing, course setting and much more. Read more at ocad.com.


Event sponsor: OOCup 2020 – July 28th-August 1st (France)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the complete 5 days OOCup competition plus OOCup 2020 T-shirt for each competitor. Total value around 325 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • In 2020 OOcup goes back to France again – repeating the great success from 2018 in new and interesting terrains! There is good reason for that: Tricky terrain like what we found in the South Jura Mountains (AIN) in France is what OOcup always tries to deliver; ultimate orienteering challenge in beautiful natural surroundings. More at oocup.com.


Event sponsor: WOC 2020 spectator races – July 6th – 11th (Denmark)

  • Prize offered: A spectator & race package for two persons for entry for the complete WOC 2020 Tour – including 3 forest races and 3 sprint races.  Add to that a free WOC running top for each. Value about 260 EUR. Transferable to another person.
  • Description: Use this unique opportunity to watch the World’s best orienteers in the first ever sprint World Orienteering Championships while enjoying orienteering in great terrains – both forest and urban. For the three sprint races, the WOC2020 arenas will be within walking distance or shared with the spectator race arenas. The forest races will be staged in varied terrain ranging from open heathland, inland dunes and coniferous forest to hilly beech forest. All maps are drawn by the WOC2020 mapper. More information at woc2020.dk/woc-tour/.


Event sponsor: Kapa 3-days 2020 – June 26th-28th (Latvia)

  • Prize offered: Two family entry packages including camping & parking. Each family entry package includes an entry for two adults and two children, space for a tent at the event camping and a car parking voucher. Value 250 EUR. Transferable to another person.
  • Kapa 3-days is the largest orienteering event in Baltics with 2000 participants from around 20 countries. It’s a special o-weekend Friday to Sunday 26th to 28th of June 2020 in Latvia. The terrains of 2020 have not been used for orienteering ever and are mainly pine forests with different runnability and a lot of special relief forms. As always – a great atmosphere and even live music in the evening at the main Baltic orienteering festival!



Event sponsor: Wawel Cup – July 8th – 12th 2020 (Poland)

  • Prize offered: Entry + accommodation package for 2 people. The package consists of entry to full Wawel Cup 39th edition (competition + additional indoor race + training maps) + accommodation on camping/hard-floor + Wawel Cup O-shirt. Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Wawel Cup 2020 is about the return to Jura Krakowsko- -Czestochowska; to the place which is unambiguously associated with Orienteering. We will start the competition with the mass start on Błędów Desert and for the next four days we will face interesting and diverse terrains with lots of rocks. Loads of attractions, additional contests, handicap, emotions, medieval castles, rocks and foremost… good fun – this mixture will let every competitor remember Wawel Cup for long!


Event sponsor: Portugal O-meeting 2020 – February 22th – 25th (Portugal)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 persons – consisting of full entry fee for Portugal O-meeting 2020 (2 model events, 4 forest stages, 2 sprint races and Trail-O). Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Portugal O’ Meeting is already a well-known established international event, perfect for a season start. It’s common to see POM Super Elite winners on the podium of the following international events. The 2020 Edition will be held in Santiago do Cacém and Sines, the southwest coast of Portugal. Terrains are typical Mediterranean forests on all stages. More info at www.pom.pt.


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. World Cup China – individual sprint (M): http://news.worldofo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/map_men_sprint_crop.png
    Each WoO reader have seen it, and some Elite runners should suggest it. But even if the terrain offers a good basis, the course was really interesting. It would have been tempting to set a pure “labyrinth” race, but this course doesn’t forget to include some complex route choices, and some faster parts, with a good balance and alternating. This combination offered a big challenge to athletes, maybe the biggest they ever encountered for an official sprint considering all mistakes done. And again, it was not only because of the narrow streets, but due to changing challenges thanks to the course.
    Price: Italy 5 Days

  2. I nominate the Octavian Droobers UKUL race in Coventry, Definitely the best UK urban of the year – excellent map and planning!


    Prize – Wawel Cup or Hungaria Cup!

  3. Hi,
    I suggest the french championship middle distance (Vosges – Gerardmer).
    On a map of woc1987, we ran a great race under the snow, between marsh, forest and cross-country ski trail. A memorable race …

  4. Hi!
    I would like to suggest the WOC long distance.
    Map: https://woc2019.no/files/maps/WOC2019_Long_Men.pdf
    A truly amazing long distance which inclueded two very long legs with several different options. The course setter varied the long legs with the shorter ones perfectly.
    The battle for the medals and podium places were also increadible, how strong is Kasper Fosser in the begining and to see how Lundanes increased his pace at the end and get away from the others.
    Prize: Five Days of Italy 2020

  5. I nominate the Swiss World Cup Knock-Out Sprint Semi-Final courses. It was an excellent showcase of why this new competition format can be so fascinating. The (easy to understand) runners’ choice forking in the beginning produced an initial order of the runners and from then on, you had to be aggressive in your orienteering to overtake and progress into the final. The second part of the course offered the necessary small route choices, where the not so obvious variants were 1-2 seconds faster – just enough to overtake and reward individual orienteering. The route choice to the last control worked especially well with several changes of position due to route choice – the first men’s semi-final being the prime example. It’s worth mentioning the course planners: Rahel Rüedlinger and Kilian Imhof.

    Prize: Portugal O-Meeting.

  6. I suggest French LD championship.
    A technical challenge in an intricate terrain; a brand new map near “la féclaz”, WOC 2011 world famous terrains.
    Some variations between ski tracks, technical forest and open areas on the top of the map offers nice challenge.

    Prize : OOcup in France

  7. I suggest Obygdshelgen, long distance, H21-1 (https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Obygdshelgen-dag-2/H21-1?classId=220506).
    The race was held in a remote area of northern Sweden with no previous maps or clubs, chosen and mapped just because of the amazing terrain. The terrain is truly unique, extremely technically demanding and with stunning views of the Scandinavian wilderness.
    The course, planned by Thierry Gueorgiou, takes advantage of the large varieties of the area. It’s a challenging and variated course, including both route choices and intense map-reading towards controls. And most of all, the competition is one of very few where terrain-map-course setting had 100% priority, leaving everything else secondary.

  8. I am suggesting the norvegian ultra long champs.
    This is probably the longest course of the year, 23,5 km of pure orienteering and a winning time over 130 mins.
    Prize: Andalucia O Meeting

    • Thanks, Tibor – definitely a course many would have loved to run (or at least try to run, really a tough one!)

  9. Hello!
    This year I didn’t had the opportunity to run in bigger international events to suggest a wonderful course known to a wider audience. Also there aren’t many orienteering events this year in my home country that come to mind when I seek for ‘course of the year’. Therefore I decided to suggest a course that I planned myself for a regular o-event in my hometown (although I am not keen on elevating my own work).
    The map and course can be seen here: http://seiklushunt.ee/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Hiinailinn_Rada1_fin.jpg
    The course was an elongated sprint course.
    The reasons for the suggestion are based mostly on the very interesting and varied terrain. There are very fast areas of park and residential area but also areas of big garage blocks with many closed-end passages and finally an interesting rural area with small (agricultural) gardens mixed with bushy wasteland. This meant that the course offers pace changes, different landscape elements and tricky route choices.
    When composing the route I tried to avoid the closed-ending passages to reduce simple in-out runnings which also makes some of the route choices a bit more simpler but adds the need to keep constant mapreading.
    Also the positive feedback from the runners was definitely stronger than usually.

  10. My suggestion is ME course at the Austrian Long Distance Championship “Zirbenland Open”. The course was mostly above the “tree border” (up to about 2000 m above sea level) in a very detailled and difficult-to-run alpine terrain, and the last part was an “as usual” course in the forest. Demanding and much variety: long and short routes, differing ground and vegetation and control locations.
    It can be found here: http://www.oefol.at/cgi-bin/gadget/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=206 (ME with route of Gernot Ymsén, who won the championship)

    If I’d be rewarded a price I’ll chose 5 Days of Italy.

  11. I nominate the Finnish long distace championships. Same terrain as in the first ever World Champioships. Very technical terrain and forest in very good condition with barely any big forestwork done recently. Elite courses were good combination of long legs with routechoices and more technical sections. There were even some of the WOC 1966 controlpoints used for some of the courses, at least in qualification race.

    I had the pleasure to run in these terrains as test runner for the organizing club and I have to say the terrain is probably top 10 in Finland both in enjoyability and technicality.

    Men final: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2019smpH21/
    Women final: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2019smpD21/

    The old 1966 map: https://sm-pitka2019.blogspot.com/p/vanhat-kartat.html

  12. I´m suggesting the W21E course from 5th day of O-ringen.

    The course contains everything. Very interesting both short and long routechoice legs and lots of technical legs in demanding terrain. A real complete course.

    Specially the leg to the 2nd control can be suitable for Route to Christmas.

  13. Price: 5 Days of Italy

  14. If I may, I’d like to nominate two courses: Czech middle and long championship finals. Those were true highlights of this season. Technical, stony terrains (especially the middle terrain is one of a kind) – both WOC 2021 relevant. Even the biggest favourites made some big mistakes. Moreover, the long distance was one of the toughest competitions in recent years – courses were REALLY long and competitors had trouble with the winning times :D
    MIDDLE: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20190623H21/
    LONG: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20190922KLH21/

    Prize: Five Days of Italy

  15. My suggestion is the ME course of the Hungarian Sprint Nationals in Kaposvár. You can take a look at the map here:
    The course features various route choises which combined with some tricky control placement made it more challenging than an avarage sprint course. The terrain wasn’t really challenging but you had to pay close attention to have a perfect leg.
    Prize: 5 Days of Italy

  16. I would suggest the Longdistance of the swiss selection races in spring: http://karten.guedels.ch/show_map.php?user=pascal&map=2355
    Difficult french terrain wich some might remember from WOC in that area. Good mixture of longer and shorter controls (I wouldnt say its the best “Longdistance” course, but it seems like a nice course in nice terrain wich uses the most intersting areas pretty well). A terrain wich i think would be fun to run myself

    Prize: EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020

  17. I suggest :

    Stage 3 of O’France in Vars.
    Scenic mountain view. New map, new terrain and start at “Col de Vars”
    Map Ex : http://www.orientabonito.fr/doma/show_map.php?user=helene&map=3119

    French LD championship.
    Hard ground surface, beautiful moutain at the top, new map

    Prize : 5 Days of Italy

    • Thanks! Views must have been spectacular in Vars! French LD champs was already suggested above, definitely a nice one…

  18. Hello,

    I would like to suggest the Portuguese National Championship of Middle Distance (Men Elite), that took place in Celorico da Beira. The terrain and course were very very challenging, with a mix between physicall and technical difficulties. The course went through very different zones, from technical and clean ones, to very physicall and technical areas, which demanded a total focus from the runners.

    The Map is available on the following link:

  19. http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20190915SMlangH21/

    Interesting route choices which tricky controls
    Prize: Any

  20. I nominate the course of the Austrian Mixed Sprint Relay Championships on “Schmelz”, held in a small urban area with forest parts closeby. Some artifical fences and the various forking options led to a really exciting race. In short, there were some urban fast route choices, some technical controls on slopes and route choices in the forest to solve in just around 12min running time.
    Here you find the map: https://www.olc-graz.at/doma/show_map.php?user=wilfried.renner&map=237

    Prize preference: Hungaria Kupa or Bergen!

  21. I would like to suggest the OOcup 1ºday.
    Map: https://www.oocup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/OOCup_2019_DAY1.M21E.jpg
    A middle distance in an amazing terrain, with good progression and lots of small details.
    Prize: Bergen Sprint Camp 2020 – March 20th-22nd (Norway)

  22. I suggest French Champs LD in Savoie at Margériaz, a ski station
    Really tough terrain for a very technical race (specially for a LD), with a view on Mont-Blanc
    Here my map: http://doma.pop24.fr/show_map.php?user=Greg&map=517

    Prize: Portugal O Meeting

  23. Suggestion: o’france E1 Mont Dauphin:
    … interesting maze-/labyrinth-orienteering, impressive place, special scenery

    Price: EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020, or OCAD

  24. I suggest French Championship of Clubs.
    It’s a national event with more than 2000 french orienteers with one goal: to shine their relay so that it reaches the upper division
    The reason why I call this race like this one of the year is simple: Mass-start with 160 orienteers under 5cm of snow. In May, the surprise did not come from the technicality of the map but from the snowy landscape that the organization proposed to us
    Here you find the map : http://www.go78.org/doma/show_map.php?user=Axel.Pannier&map=2074

    Prize preference: OOcup or Bergen!

  25. Being a team leader at JWOC, I really enjoyed running sprint course after competition. Really nice piece of terrain, not big, but enough to make good course with map-change. Challenging course, you had to be focused whole time and it was hard to reach full speed as everything was coming fast:

    Another terrain I enjoyed is Zaloski stol, from 3rd stage of OOcup. I might be a bit biased as I’m part of organizing team, but I’m really glad that Ivan (main org.) found this piece of terrain. Again got opportunity to run it after competition and already during the run I said it’s my new favorite terrain in Slovenia. Generally flat and fast south part of the map with depressions, combined with really tricky technical part on slope and good course going from fast to tricky and back to fast for the end. Pure happiness for me!

    • Thanks a lot for the suggestions, Matija. Both are courses I have enjoyed looking at this year, so definitely good suggestions!

  26. I suggest the Middle terrain in WMOC in Riga- Bumbukalns.
    A nice hilly and detail terrain offerring fast runabillty and many small conturs object which making you changing speed all the time.

    Best terrain for orienteering in Riga region- reccoment!


    Price: KAPA 3-days 2020

  27. Thanks for the suggestion – interesting course and terrain in Latvia there!

  28. Second stage of the Primiero O-Week at Passo Valles. Open area in altitude about 2300 m. Demanding mountain terrain.


  29. Norwegian Champs long distance: http://tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20190912H21/
    Great mix of long legs with interesting routechoices and tricky slope controls.
    Price: OCAD

  30. I submit the course I ran myself in my home country, Belarus. This crazy terrain is located in Brest city and we had a sprint competition there. Nearly 40 small lakes on one map, a lot of fences and small paths and low trees make it almost impossible to use a “long sight” while running, so you have to count turns, count amount of lakes you passed and search for any additional feature you can use to make sure you’re still on the right path.

    So in my opinion this is the ideal combination of terrain and short legs with changing direction and long leg with a routechoice.

    Link to RouteGadget is http://rg.obelarus.net/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=316&kieli=, please, search for the course Ж21Е (meaning W21E in Russian).

  31. Lipica Open 4th stage: http://3drerun.worldofo.com/index.php?id=-546782&type=info
    Simply lipica-terrain with a challenging course: technically demanding both on orienteering and running part.
    Prize: 5 days of Italy

  32. http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=265589
    I nominate the Men’s Elite course of the Hungarian National Sprint Champs. It was a tricky course with great route choices, while also requiring full concentration to execute the legs perfectly and making it possible to run at maximum speed.
    Prize: 5 Days of Italy

  33. The EYOC m18 long distance: http://event.trackcourse.com/view/eyoc-2019-long-m18/en
    Due to difficult technical terrain and routechoices the lead changed many times during the race, which made the race fun to follow from home. The race was decided on a routechoice to the second last control.

    Prize: Bergen

  34. I would also nominate Lipica Open, but 2nd stage (http://www.lipicaopen.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/Day2_Divaska_jama_long1.M21E.jpg). The terrain was very challenging and routechoices complex and not clearly visible (at least as far as I can judge). Stony areas were hardly runable and paths almost never ran in the direction you needed. Great mix of big slopes and areas with abundant contour details.
    Prize: Hungaria Open

    • Thanks, Martin. I helped out a bit setting a course for Lipica Open in this area a few years ago, and it is definitely fun terrain. And even if it looks easy to set a good course here, you really have to work to put together the challenges to a good “package”.

  35. Tio Mila 2019 very loooong leg!


    I ran this and it was very long and very interesting long legs, even candidate for route to chritsmas serie.

    Prize: Hungária cup

  36. Thanks, Sebastian. Will also consider for Route to Christmas!

  37. I would also nominate USA 2019 West Point BLUE course:
    The terrain was very tough and challenging with tricky controls. Several very interesting controls like #1; #2, #4, #5, #10
    Prize: POM

  38. Hello!
    I would like to suggest the long distance of Karelian Isthmus Cup (Russia) because of difficult runability, few roads and interesting terrain. I ran WE course, but I think that ME routechoices are more interesting:

    Prize: OOCup

  39. My suggestion is Finnish champs middle in northern Finland, Taivalkoski. A very special terrain with technical areas and very good runnability all the time. Courses were very challenging, great mix of shorter and longer legs. End of the races were pretty hard in denser slope. One of the best terrains in Finland in the middle of nowhere. It is untouched wilderness area, where I would like to run over and over again!


    Prize: KOW

    • Thanks, AA! Looks like a very nice course with a mix of different orienteering challenges!

  40. Last stage from traditional czech summer multidays called Nice Holidays.


    Not far away from last year Course of the year winner. But this terrain is not so much hilly and physically demanding and this playful course was an ideal ending after previous stages with many steep climbs.

    • Andalusia O-Meeting as a prize, please.

      • “Nice Holidays” is definitely a highlight on the orienteering calendar which I always wanted to visit – this looks like a great course there!

  41. I nominate Slovak middle distance champs in perfectly mapped steep and rocky terrain with really tricky beginning and nice mixture of long and short legs later on. This terrain was used for orienteering after more than 15 years. Course setter is Slovak national team runner Jakub Chupek.


    Prize: Andalucia O Meeting

  42. Ingunn Egeberg Vári

    I will nominate the longest course (14km) of the event “Karolinerspretten” in Norway.


    The event was really special, due to several reasons, not only because of the good course and the outstanding terrain. Firstly, no field-work done in the making of the map. Aerial and LIDAR-survey were used, and the quality of the map was good. As the event was situated in the Sylane Protected Landscape Area, the terrain and the surroundings were extraordinary as well. The participants were urged to show consideration regarding grazing raindeers, and not use shoes with metal studded soles.

    The event was a memorial race, based on the 300 year anniversary of the retreat of the Swedish army from Trondheim. The retreat took place in January, and the winter months in the Norwegian mountains is known to be strenuous. More than a half of the army died during a severe snowstorm.

    Sadly, I did not participate in the race, but I really hope I will get the opportunity to enjoy the course some day.

    (My prize preference is the Five Days of Italy.)

    • Thanks, Ingunn! Excellent suggestion – both map, course and background story! Looking forward to lots of these LIDAR-only races when “Mapant” for Norway surfaces some time in the future.

  43. For me, the best course I’ve run this year was a local course in the Maurienne – Savoie (France) :
    After one hour hiking, we reached the top of the mountain with beautiful view on Mont Blanc. The course was very technical with lots of rocks and relief details in a wild open area.
    Prize : EGK Swiss 5 Days

    • Thanks, looks incredible to be up there (although the course is probably not among the very, very best of the year?).

  44. https://ibb.co/CK0dW9K
    One of most tricky sprint map and distance in Moldova, with some long routechoice legs and small tricky area where you need to navigate very carefull

  45. I would like to nominate (if it is possible) two courses of Primiero O Week 2019 multi-day event which was held last July in Italy.

    First is the M Elite course of the second prologue in Val Venegia. This map was already used in 2017 for the first race of Dolomites 3 Days.
    It is a coniferous forest with good visibility, some very detailed areas and other one with better runnability. The race was a middle distance with tricky and frequents changes of direction.
    Here is the link to the map with course: http://3drerun.worldofo.com/2d/index.php?idmult%5B%5D=-634602

    The second one is the M Elite of Dolomites 3 Days’ first competition in Passo Valles. This map was realized in 2018 and it has never been used before Primiero O Week. The map is located in a ski area and is a typical high altitude map (between 2000 and 2300 meters above sea level) mostly without forest and with a very detailed morphology. The course was very challenging where good skills with compass and in morphological objects simplification were a must.
    Here is the link to the map with course: http://3drerun.worldofo.com/2d/index.php?idmult%5B%5D=-634601

    Prize: EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020

    • Thanks! Both nice courses and areas! The course from the first day of the Primiery O-week the day before on the same map was already suggested (http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=265649); one of them probably has to go out before voting starts, we’ll see… I’ll also have to consider the other course due to two courses from the same multi-day event, but let’s see!

  46. First day of Mocpa Memorial Orienteering Competition “Pece Atanasoski“.
    Competing in the terrain around the the Marko’s Towers near Prilep in Nort Macedonia was really challenging needing continuos fine map reading all the time
    Prize: KOW

    • Thanks, Giorgio – the terrain looks really exciting, have been looking at that race for some time…

    • Michael Van Baelen

      Thank you for nominating a course from our event Giorgio and thanks Jan for putting it up there among the others! We’re glad our work is appreciated and always welcome on our next edition (11-13/04/2020).

  47. Arttu Syrjäläinen

    Second day of Euromeeting in Vitipalu,Estonia, mens elite class:
    GPS-tracking http://sportrec.eu/ui/#1encp92

    Pursuit race with a very technical course and crazy terrain (same as WOC middle 2017). One of the best terrains where I have ever been and at the same time very challenging course!

    Prize: 5 days of Italy

    • Thanks, Arttu! I really enjoyed that terrain at WOC middle. Looks nice as an individual-start middle distance, but not too many routechoices there, so I’m curious about how well it worked as a chasing start? Did the dense forest help enough, even without longer legs with routechoice options?

  48. I was course setter and mapper for the Vienna O Challenge. Stage 3 was held in the new-built campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business. The area is very special, with multilevel parts/rooftops, stairs and various building structures. It’s worth visiting just to see the architecture. On the map it might look easy, but we had to generalize and take away some extra levels to make the map easy to read. At some route choices the shortest route was 80% longer than the straight line distance. Still, a lot of runners were very surprised when they got the map and ended up on a wrong level. I think the Women’s Elite course was the best – and Alice Leake made a great performance on the day (14:41, estimated winning time was 15 min).

    Map: https://voc.ol-sport.at/2019/voc-wu-WE.png
    Route choices: https://www.facebook.com/pg/viennaochallenge/photos/?tab=album&album_id=667835477054928
    Results: https://voc.ol-sport.at/

    Prize: 5 days of Italy

  49. I nominate WC middle distance in Finland, which I got chance to run myself.
    Good variaty of legs in different length, a lot of changes in direction, excellent terrain. There was all kind of forest – from really good to really bad and it was possible to avoid these really bad areas by making micro choices, which was the tricky part. Had to use many different o-skills to pass the course.

    Price: Five Days of Italy 2020

  50. I’d like to nominate the ME sprint course of the Iberian Championships held in Portugal in September. I was the course setter for this event and was quite happy with the final result, after all the time I spent thinking on it and all the sketches done and thrown out. It was also my first course-setting experience. At the end I got a really positive impression from the athletes who ran the course.
    The area is a typical village from the center of Portugal, with a lot of narrow stoned streets and some steep climbs and stairs. This makes the race to be very intensive, with a lot of technical routechoices, being full-time contact with the map a must to do a good result. There was a map exchange at control 13 near arena (actually a map flip because the map was printed on both sides). The map is pretty small, so it was a challenge to find space to fit all controls and have a decent distance for elite class, but I think it was achieved since the best time was 14’34”.
    There are also some really interesting legs that could be used for ‘Route to Christmas': 2-3; 9-10; 14-15…
    Here are the links for map parts 1 and 2:
    1 – http://eventos.coc.pt/piom2019cim/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2019/09/Sprint-HE-Part-1.jpg
    2 – http://eventos.coc.pt/piom2019cim/wp-content/uploads/sites/15/2019/09/Sprint-HE-Part-2.jpg
    Prize: OCAD

  51. Hi, Jan!
    I nominate the indoor orienteering course at the Sigulda Bobsleigh track, Latvia.
    The course was super interesting and included all 8 floors of the main start building, 2 floors of women start building and the bobsleigh track in between + outdoor area around.
    It was a great mix of sprint and indoor orienteering and extra difficulty was made by closing some of doors inside.
    Have a look at the map and you will see yourself: https://siguldastakas.files.wordpress.com/2019/05/sbt-v4-final-final-1.distance.pdf
    Everybody had to run two distances of similar length, but different courses.

    Prize – Hungaria Cup 2020 would be great!

  52. I would like to nominate a non classic course, I would nominate a Rogaine, the World Rogaine Championship 2019. It was in La Molina (Catalonia) my country, it was very special for me. It was a big challenge, and the meteo was hard. A very good map, with a lot of controls and of course the strategy was the key.


    Prize: Five Days of Italy

    • Thanks, Francesc. Nice for “normal orienteers” to see this kind of challenges, although I don’t think we’ll see it as a winner course here….

  53. Many interesting proposals have been given already. It is always interesting to study those courses and maps. Thank you for organizing the contest again, Jan!

    I would like to nominate a course from a competition which I ran in September. It is called La 84, and has an unusual format – ultra control picking. http://csp-azimut.ouvaton.org/images/La84/2019/La84.gif

    The figure 84 stands for the number of the French department 84 (Vaucluse) where the race was held. So logically the course had 84 controls, but also several shortcuts were indicated on the map for those who were not able to run the whole thing. It took me over 3 hours but I was enjoying every moment of it. The terrain is special with many gullies, some quite deep, and also sometimes the vegetation can get dense, but the course was set in a sensible way, requiring a great deal of technical skills. There were only few moments to let the brain rest. This is one the best forest terrains and maps in south-east France. It was a small local race with about 200 participants, but the organisation by C.S.Pertuis (with course setter Pierre Sciora) was perfect.

    There are in total 101 departments in France and I have seen at least one more organizing the same kind of race.

    Prize: OOCup

  54. Fryderyk Pryjma

    I would like to nominate course from Polish Championship in Long Distance 2019. The competition took place on map called Cicha Dolina close to Jagniątków, Poland. It is especially interesting place because of strong tradition among all Polish orienteers and runners as well going for winter conditioning camps into the Mountains there. The course itself started from long and challenging leg that was followed by several slope style legs. The course varied with orienteering challenges provided and also was constantly changing the running speed among the runners. It was extremely steep and epic long distance with high quality map provided by the best polish mappers – Morawski and Dwojak. Course was set by local orienteering coach Damian Dutkiewicz who grew up in this area and knows terrain and its challenges best.
    map and course – http://biegnaorientacje.pl/doma/show_map.php?user=Karol&map=1688
    For prize Italy 5 days.

    • Thanks a lot for the suggestion, looks like there are a lot of interesting challenges here!

  55. Jwoc 2019 – sprint distance

    This year Jwoc was totally dominated by Kasper Fosser, but even for him this sprint was a bit to much(:

    The special terrain offered a crazy (!) route choices combined with super technical short legs.

    The course setters – Søren Bobach (Woc sprint champion) and Søren Schwartz (8. Place in jwoc sprint 2010) did a really good job by adding “extra fences” which made the course even more technical and took it to another level of thinking skill while running as fast as you can.

    Aston Key, the winner, took it with extra ordinary running, leaving behind the fast runners who just couldn’t handle their speed and at the same time to orienteer without mistake.

    This competition showed two important things:
    1)The junior categories needs to be challenged, and at this sprint they have been extra challenged!
    2) the sprint is an integral part of our sport, and he is getting better fast.

    This jwoc sprint course was a great little glimpse from Denmark can offer for the orienteering sport – I can’t wait to see Woc 2020 courses!!!!!

  56. I was course setter and co-mapper for the Bobbejaanland Sprint Race. The race was held in a theme park. The area is very special, with a lot off big attraction. On the map it might look easy, but we had to change the scale to make it easy to read for all classes. A lot of runners were starting to fast and losing a lot off time already in the first part of the race. This was a sprint where map reading was more important than fast running. At the end everybody was happy that they participated in this sprint. Even the forest runners ;-)


    If you want to see how it was for real look at the movie.


    prize: OCAD Orienteering 3-year Single User License.

    • Thanks, Dirk! Already looked a lot at this as Yannik suggested it in the interview. Looks fun!

  57. https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Collegiale-team-ITA-3-Rerun-1-giro/WE?classId=245748
    I suggest this map because it has been one of my last trainings. It has been a re run training. The whater hasn’t been too much friendly: it was rainy and really windy and it was very freezing. However it has been a funny run with my national team.

    Prize: Hungaria Cup

  58. Raso de la Nava, E4 the 5 days of Spain 2019 , map ME

    Prize: Hungaria Cup

  59. I suggest Finnish night orienteering champs M21 final.
    Very demanding and nice terrain. This course also got me and I didnt succeed as I was hoping for. I have love-hate relationship to this course!

    Prize: Five Days of Italy 2020

  60. Hi!

    I would like to suggest the ME middle distance of Aguiar da Beira “O” Meeting 2019, held in Portugal in the end of January.
    High technical Orienteering and tight fight between Olav and Gustav, with a small advantage for the Swede. Here you can find the courses – also Long and Sprint were nice ones, but the WRE Middle with start at the arena was my favorite – http://abom2019.ori-estarreja.pt/?p=1027&lang=pt

    I also suggest the longer leg 13-14 to Route to Christmas. In the website you can find the GPS tracking for analysis.

    Important to mention that Aguiar da Beira will host JWOC 2021. It’s a very special place and you need a lot of time here to understand the terrain and the mappers way of drawing it.

  61. Hi,

    I would like to nominate a sprint course from Hungary: the 1st stage of Mecsek Open (M21E). The course offered great route-choices, and great awareness: it started at a pretty fast area with blockhouses, where one basically just had to run. But after the first 10 controls, which were quite easy, one had to be prepared because there was a really tricky route choice where you could easily lose time up to 30-40s. There were some artificial fences built here, which made this leg really difficult.
    And then the second half of the course was simply awesome. This area used to be a china factory for centuries. The buildings were recently renovated, and nowadays they serve as a park for the publicity with lovely gardens, sport facilities, museums and restaurants. The area demanded extremely intense map reading because of the narrow passages, stairs and tiny gardens. It was practically impossible to reach full speed here, because you had to be fully aware to be able to follow your route. A map exchange made it easier to read the map, which sadly can’t be seen in RouteGadget.
    All in all, the major reasons for the nomination are the various “faces” of the terrain which meant that you ran really fast at the beginning and arrived to the tricky area with barely any oxygen left in your body, the long route choice leg (10-11, where actually quite a few runners got disqualified for violating the artificial barriers) and the amazing last part of the course.


    At the same time I think, that the leg 10-11 could also be featured in the Route to Christmas articles ;)

    Prize: Hungaria Cup

    • Thanks – this is actually the third sprint course suggested from Hungary. The course looks nice and interesting indeed! (but not so nice that the artificial barriers where not clear enough in the terrain to avoid disqualifications)

  62. Laura Escolà Ferran

    Is not easy vote for my 2019 favourite Race, but after remembering the last year I vote for 5 days of Spain. Trofeo Pinares, the fourth day we run on Valonsadero. A diferent park near Soria. This offers races too fast and tecnecaly for rocks formations. And also this Race os social because on the zones there are ruprest pictures.
    5 days aren’t only races, this days you can discover this territory, make new friends, the tipycal food zone. And you can enjoy the fantàstic races that organization make a lot of pasion for the runners at the end finishing with a smile!

    Prize 5days Italy

    • Thanks, Laura! Already suggested by Magi Llaveria above, but without any explanation. Good to get some reasoning behind it!

  63. Hi, I would like to suggest these courses:

    1. Best I ran this year: AGH Indoor sprint as a extra part of Wawel cup 2019. The most tricky indoor sprint I have ever run. Real maze at AGH university in Krakow. Semi-final was at adjacent building and it was easier, but still very nice and tricky.
    Link to map: shorturl.at/uxDT0 (picture on facebook of organizers)

    2. My best course: I set this course as training course for kids (about 15 years) on orienteering camp https://imgur.com/a/pGwmH6Y – I don’t nominate it – it’s just for fun ;)

    3. The overall best course I´ve seen this year: I have two candidates – controversial final world cup sprint in China (http://news.worldofo.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/map_men_sprint_crop.png) – very nice ad tricky course with bad smell of possible unfair behavior, the second one is Czech Long distance Championship – very tough course, with lot of routechoices in hard terrain in Jizerske mountains – I luckily ran only B-final :-D link: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20190922KLH21/

    Prize: OCAD or Wawel

  64. Csongor Horváth


    My suggestion is the 5th stage of OOCup:

    I found this run very challanging, because even if it didn’t seen too hard from the map, actually it was challanging to navigate in this nice karst terrain when you ran at sprint competition speed. And on top of all this, the weather was not too nice, as it was raining and fog, which made orienteering an even more challenging task.

    Prize: OCAD

    • Thanks, Csongor – this is the fourth(!) stage from OOCup 2019 which has been suggested, so this definitely was a stage-race which many enjoyed!

  65. Hi
    I would like to suggest the sprint in WC final China:http://news.worldofo.com/wp-content/uploads/c2019/wcchina.jpg
    First time for top event(World Cup) to China and it’s no doubt that the unique and tricky terrain is a big challenge for European elite runners. Even the invincible queen of 2019 , Tove Alexandersson who won every individual races in top event in 2019, and the favor of winner in man, Gustav Bergman, made several significant mistakes during the race. Not only them but also other runners from various nations felt interesting and hard in Song Tang Village.
    Besides, I want to show the most interesting map I ran in 2019 and the course I set in 2019.2019 O-Ringen is my first time go orienteering not in my country. I ran the best result in stage 2 (long distance) even I took nearly two hours. I fell in love in this terrain in Sweden and I’m looking forward to join it again in the future. Here is the map:https://www.livelox.com/Classes/MapImage?classIds=216679
    The next is the course I set in 2019 summer. A multiple days training camp in ZhaoQing University, Guangdong,China. In the last day of it I made a Knock-Out Sprint in campus. I will show the final round and if you guys are interesting in qualification and semifinal,contact me withe e-mail ( lwybmx@icloud.com ) .
    Here is the course in final round :https://sm.ms/image/J2BT5MoPvwkZOSu
    Prize : OCAD
    Thank you for your reading

    • Thanks, Liu! The World Cup sprint has been suggested several times – definitely a great course (a pity with the controversies and discussions which have taken the attention away from a great course).

      For the O-Ringen course, I chose to add the Men 21Elite course instead (http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=257486), as I think that was also a very nice course with some similar elements, and in addition further interesting legs/elements.

      Thanks also for the KO-sprint from China!

      • M21E is more interesting and challenging for runners but I can’t involve that group because this is my first out of China, it is very strange for me. In spite of that , I hope I can join the M21E in 2021 O-Ringen in Åre after some training camps in European forest the next year.

  66. Ingunn Egeberg Vári

    Another suggestion from me, and again a course I haven’t run. Seems like I have to run more races…

    This time it is the regional champs for Nordland in Norway: http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=260580

    The first time I saw the course and the map/terrain, I was instantly intrigued. The combination of long and short legs, a lot of both macro- and micro routechoices and both easier and more difficult controls looks really fun. In addition, this semi-mountain terrain was said to be really fast, with little heather and ling to limit running speed.

    I think this course is a perfect example of a course that may be just as enjoyable for both elite and more “recreational” focused runners. I imagine myself running on the Norwegian mountain marshes and on bare rock areas, appreciating the beautiful views, then suddenly having to lower the speed after entering a hillside with denser forest and more diffuse features.

    • Thanks for another great suggestion, Ingunn. Terrain looks incredible, and course also looks very nice indeed.

  67. Hi!

    I would like to suggest a course from Winter league, which was held close to Olomouc, Czech republic. Due to really small area, the course is divided into two parts. Maps for both parts were also slightly modified to make competiton even more interesting and funny – first map is without paths and second part are contours only with some stones and clifs.

    The area cannot be used for other type of competition because of nature protection. It was allowed to prepare competion only for few people (approx. 300) and in the late autumn/winter, when all protected flovers are outgrowth.

    First part: http://www.adam-chromy.cz/map-archive/show_map.php?user=osin&map=2203
    Second part: http://www.adam-chromy.cz/map-archive/show_map.php?user=osin&map=2205

    Prefered prize: Wawel cup or Hungaria cup

  68. I would like to nominate the map that is chosen for Route to Christmas today 8/12; the Fisksatra Sprint. Swedish League was held here in May with female and male courses equally good. Particularly interesting is the part round the control at the parking lot, with a number of route choices using a multiple of stairs. Think a maximum of 10 % used the ultimate route choice.

    If winning, I would prefer the Hungary Cup as a summer challenge.

    • Thanks, Jörgen, I took a good look at that course already, and it is already nominated based on Gustav’s suggestion. But nice to get another confirmation.

  69. From e-mail submission:

    It is difficult to pick only one specific course out of a long and exciting road to WOC. I could pick the relay training set by Thierry Gueorgiou in Våler Varde, for the quality of the course and terrain, and the impressive starting field.

    WOC Relay training SWE team (course setter : TG)

    If i had to pick one course i ran myself, i would pick the MD from ABOM in Portugal in January.
    Terrain has already been picked up for Course of the Year previously. But it’s worth nominating it again.
    Really fun terrain and course with nice starting field (Olav, Gustav, Magne, Albin…) and start on the arena added some excitement without lowering the quality of the course. Plus great sunny weather in January. Nice.

    ABOM2019 Day3 Men Elite WRE MD (Course setters : Bruno Nazário and Rafael Miguel)

    [Finally] a mass-start (or chasing-start) putting out stripes and collecting the ones set by the other guy in head to head fight.

    Duel pose-dépose aux Escarcets

  70. I would like to nominate the Finnish Night-O Championships http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2019smyoH21/. The reason I nominate this course is because the course required some serious night orienteering skills. When running the course I got the feeling that during there was good sight most of the time but always when I was near an control the white forest became a lot more dense (not enough to be green but enough to make the orienteering hard). There were also a lot of decisive long legs and some very tricky orienteering, so that you needed all the time to change your orienteering style to avoid mistakes. There are not many this good night-O courses I have done.

    Prize: Any, exept the Ocad and WOC2020 spectator races

  71. Hello,
    I would like to nominated the french national “South east” at Bollene :

    Since the start in an old troglotidic village with a beautiful view of the rhone, to the end, it was always a challenging and strategic course with many type of orinteering to set. We were in some part in karstic labyrinth and other part, in more traditional mediteran ravines. Very cool and variated course !

    Prize : EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020, May 20 – 24, 2019 (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

  72. I’d go for OOCup 2019 stage 3: https://www.oocup.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/OOCup_2019_DAY3_33852.M21E.jpg

    Situated on a nice karst plateau. It was more tricky than it may look like. From the start, you had to zigzag between those depressions. The plateau was flat and fast so it was a nice surprise when threw you down to the steep slope around full of boulders of various size. At that moment you had to completely change your approach from high speed to careful map reading. And after some fun in stones back to high speed. The second part of “high speed” was much more tricky because it was really hot (around 30 °C) a and you were already tired from the steep slope so it was hard to stay concentrated among the holes.
    Definitely the best course I ran this year.

    Prize: Hungaria cup

    • Thanks, MatH! This one has already been suggested earlier (like all OOCup stages except one), but definitely a good choice.

      • Alright then it would be very fresh Tour de Prague 2019: http://tour-de-prague.cz/wp-content/uploads/2019/12/praha14-trate.A.jpg

        I ran it yesterday. Not even a real race, more likely a public training. Nothing difficult, more of a scenic course. Not a sprint but a city long. My GPS watches showed 19,8 km. Map composed of 5 other maps of various age and type. The course put you through hidden gems, beautiful views and hobo lairs of eastern Prague. Really nice experience.

  73. If it’s not too late, I’d like to nominate the Men’s Open course from this year’s Tim Watkins Trophy on Silver Howe. The TWT is a gaffled mass-start race, and this year the gaffling was a big, asymmetric triple phi-loop. Fantastic technical orienteering on lighting-fast open moorland (white is open on this map – there are no trees!), with some big routechoice legs. Brilliant head-to-head racing, and some of the most enjoyable orienteering I have ever done.

    Because it was gaffled, you need to go into the results tab and tick the box to the left of a runner’s name to get the lines to appear. I can email you a photo of my (slightly muddy) map if that would be easier!

    Prize: WOC

  74. I would like to nominate course from Polish Night Orienteering Championships (18/05/2019):

    It was really demanding course in tough and unique terrain in Northern Poland with lots of marshes and streams. The new map by Morawski and Dwojak was excellent.

    I also nominate AGH Indoor orienteering additional race offered during Wawel Cup 2019, suggested also above by luho. The map and courses by P. Pietroń were perfectly prepared.

    Prize: OOCup 2020

    • Thanks, Marek! I didn’t know that you had that kind of terrains in Poland, looks very interesting.

  75. I suggest the JWOC Sprint
    It was a really interesting course where you needed to be 110% focused all the way.

    Price: OOCup 2020 or WOC 2020

  76. I would like to nominate the men20 middle distance qualifications course at jwoc2019 in Silkeborg Danmark this year. http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=256575
    The course was in a great terrain and use it verry good although the terrain is very small. I ran this course and it was very nice.
    Prize: EGK Swiss 5 days.

    • Thanks, Sela! Not too many routechoice challenges there, but with the short winning time at the JWOC middle qual that’s how it has to be, I guess.

  77. I would like to nominate Stockholm Indoor Cup, both days where amazing. This is at least for me orienteering on a whole new level. Fast legs are good, but if you dont have the mental strenght, it doesnt matter how fast you are.

    I didnt run this course, being a “lady” myself, but I did run and I did/do looooove it.

    PS: Qpoolen Indoor is this weekend, I have a feeling that might very well be the best course of the year. Even harder- ;)

    If I win, I would love to take my husband to Bergen Sprint Camp.

  78. It was one of your suggestions in the article above, but I would like to formally nominate the Men’s Elite course from the 2019 Oceania Orienteering Championships in Long Distance, held at Kangaroo Crossing, Australia. Courses were set by Australian orienteering legend Warren Key and event organised by Melbourne Forest Racers.
    Map: http://omaps.worldofo.com/?id=262982
    Location: https://www.google.com/maps/place/36%C2%B020'21.0%22S+146%C2%B033'41.2%22E/@-36.0203974,146.3271982,7.83z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x0:0x0!8m2!3d-36.3391785!4d146.5614451?hl=en-GB

    I ran the M45 course and I can tell you that the forest was extremely challenging. You had to read the map carefully all the way in the complex granite terrain, and the green vegetation provided low visibility which made keeping direction very difficult. I had some good route choice legs, but the best legs were saved for the Men’s Elite course with a long leg which split competitors from the far north, to far south and multiple options over the hills in between. Competitors were spread across the whole map on just one leg. On top of that the green forest was physically demanding, so careful routes that used the most of the white eucalyptus forest were rewarded.

    But don’t take it from me. Here from the greatest of all time, Thierry Gueorgiou at: https://youtu.be/qyXUHhJ-5aM?t=394

    Prize preference WOC 2020

    • Michael Warlters

      Here are links to the GPS tracking from the M21E and W21E races.


      As well as the leg you’ve already featured in the Route to Christmas (to control 4), other fantastic route choice problems on M21E included control 12 and control 25.

      Control 25 was shared with a lot of other courses, and different routes seemed to work better for different classes.
      * In the top elite men tended to go fairly straight, either up and over the hill (eg Aston Key), or contouring through the rock to the right of the line (eg Matt Crane) .
      * In the women, the fastest went wide to the right, going to the white below the rocks, close to the arena, and then running up the road to attack the control from behind (Ingham and Natasha Key).
      * Another common route was to go low and to the right, but then about half-way through follow the track up the hill and attack the control down the hill through the white (eg Grace Crane);
      * and finally, there was a route wide and to the left mostly following tracks. This last route seems to have been the slowest.

      Control 12 was a classic. The straight line distance was about 2km, and the left-most and right-most routes were separated by about 2 km across. You’ve already hinted you’re saving this one for the Route to Christmas.

      This was orienteering at its best. A real adventure.

  79. I would like to nominate the Oceania Long Champs 2019 in Australia, set by Orienteering legend Warren Key, as you have used in the Route to Christmas Day 1 and displayed above with the Kangaroo Crossing map.


    All the courses that day were brutal and it was hot! Thus the elite men truly did run the toughest course of the day. Over 1000 competitors from all courses were very tired and there was many comments heard in the finish area that all the courses were so tough!

    Well done to Brody Nankervis on his win. JWOC Sprint Champion for 2019, Aston Key, was also in contention for much of the race.

    Here also is a brief highlights package of the day.


    Keep up the good work!

  80. I would like to nominee Obygdshelgen. A masterpiece in organizing an orienteering event where the focus was on delivering good courses and amazing terrain. Therefore the event was in one of the most remote places in Sweden and one of few areas that got 10/10 from Joakim Svensk on his instagram. The courses was set by Thierry Gueorgiou and the locals served burgers based on meat from the cows in the area :) Especially the middle distance was truly amazing, super technical and stunning views over the swedish “fjälls”. This was a middle distance in it’s true format where speed and technical skills had to be on top to get a good result. Just the fact that there’s only ONE path on the entire map sums it up pretty much!

    Link to the map: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Obygdshelgen-dag-1/H21-1?classId=220481

    Prize: Italy 5-days

    • Thanks, Erik – definitely one of the highlights of the season for those present. Day 2 was already suggested, but I added day 1 to the suggestions as well. I think we’ll have to take out one of the eventually, let’s see which we keep..

  81. I suggest the fourth stage of Bohemia Orienteering 2019 in Czech Republic (27/07/19). Quite “usual “czech sandstones terrain but on a very high level. I really think the course setter did an amazing job by doing (micro) routechoices on almost every leg, and of course technically&physically very challenging ! so a kind of terrain that we have already seen (worldcups, .. even if it’s exotic for a Belgian) but with a very good course setting and mapping.

    here is routegadget : http://www.obpostupy.cz/scripts/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=1539&kieli=
    and a doma (sorry i can’t find a ME course) : https://okkamenice.cz/mapy/show_map.php?user=KAM9403&map=517

    Prize : bergen sprint camp

  82. Marie Krejčíková

    For me the best race of the year is the last stage of the Wawel Cup in Krakow.
    It took place in the city forest around the Kopiec Kosciuszki near the city center. Forest with lots of roads and terrain details that are always difficult to navigate at full speed and so fun. In addition, the race ended with a sprint part, which confused the head of many competitors, because there was also a trail-o built there.
    But the best thing was the weather. Storm. But the course was not canceled. Even with the sudden poor visibility and with regard to safety of the runners. The suburban forest instantly became suburban waterfalls. The way to the start was suddenly unmarked, and through the flushing of the water could not be seen. And in the woods, one big slide from control to control.
    That’s how an ordinary sprint has become an extraordinary experience and that is the best thing in races :)

  83. Hello,

    1. The course which in your opinion is the best course you run in 2019 yourself!
    Finnish national champs at H35 final in Taivalkoski. -> https://routegadget.tulospalvelu.fi/2014/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=156
    The route was quite tricky. I lost myself already at first leg=)

    2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.
    I set only one course in last season. So I should say that was the best. -> https://www.rastit.fi/10143/
    The route was set for our team’s “iltarastit”. I tried to make some route choice legs and as diffucult control points as possible.

    3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2019
    The best one was the Finnish selection race in middle distance. Tricky and hilly. -> https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2019mmkatskH/

    My favorite prize would be EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020, May 20 – 24, 2019 (Neuchâtel, Switzerland).

    • Thanks Olli for contributing with your suggestions! I took the M21E course for the Finnish Champs Middle as I couldn’t find a JPG og the M35 course, and the M21E course also looked good!
      As for point 2 – very nice to see the tool you use here, I haven’t seen it before. The course itself looks like a nice training course, but I think I still won’t include it in the nominations. And finally: The Finnish WOC selection race middle was definitely a nice one, already nominated by Miika Kirmula, and also included in Route to Christmas.

  84. I would like to give for considaration 3rd stage of Orienteering Adventure – H21A class. Course was unususal in many ways:
    1. Poor runnability and visibility. Poor pathnetwork.
    2. It was the highest located course (over 1000 m) in Czech Republic that year. Vegatation on that level is unique.
    3. Start and finish was held near cable station (top station), from which runners could admire beautiful landmarks of Karkonosze.
    4. Very well mapped “green” and well hidden controls. You could miss control if you slightly lost direction.

    Map with course available here: https://okkamenice.cz/mapy/show_map.php?user=KAM9403&map=522
    Price: Five Days of Italy 2020

    • Thanks Wojtek for an interesting suggestion. Some may think the map is drawn too detailed, but I think I would have enjoyed this type of course and map – definitely looks interesting on the screen, at least!

  85. Hi!
    I would like to suggest the Sprint Final of MOC Camp 2019 in Roccadaspide.
    Very tricky orienteering in a special and challenging terrain.
    I send you a pdf of the course via email.
    Prize: Hungaria Cup

  86. My choice is the sprint of the Easter4 at Izola (SLO).
    Especially in the first part of the orienteering season I managed to see some interesting and, to me, new places. The race in Izola was the one I enjoyed most to run, given a combination of the course, the terrain and the scenery.
    Map: http://omaps.worldofo.com/index.php?id=251501. I run the M21A course, same as W21E. M21E should surely be worth a nomination as well.
    Prize: EGK Swiss 5 Days.
    Thanks! Massimo