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Route To O-Season 2020: Day 20

Today’s leg in Route to O-Season 2020 takes us back to WOC 2017 in Estonia. The tip comes from Markus Puusepp who notes that legs from the WOC 2017 women’s course have not been featured in Route to Christmas, and would therefore be a good fit for Route to O-Season 2020.

In Puusepp’s own words:

My personal favourite is the leg to the first control with very nice spread and some unbelievable deviations even outside of the map. There’s no exceptional story behind this leg as it was with WOC 2006, but of course we had to spend some time to negotiate with the owner of the farm straight after the start. It was somewhat strange talk if I can recall and we didn’t understand what the issue was until the owner told he was afraid that his small dogs would be scared. So, nothing special and it took only half an hour or so together with the chairman of the local municipality, but in the end the leg was great.

Thanks a lot for the tip and the backstory, Markus! And even if I know many of World of O’s readers still have the solution to this leg in the back of their head, it is still an interesting leg to look back at. 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. I looked at the WOC 2017 analysis, and I haven’t got much to add there for this leg (a long night of work to make that analysis, as I recall) – so I just paste it in below for you to reread.

The first leg in the women’s course looks easier than the first long leg in the men’s course on first sight because you have clearer options to use paths/road. Especially the route to the right following paths around 90% of the time is a “gift package” if you see it and decide at once that this is your choice. However, just as for the men’s class the women spread out onto many different main routechoices, and many changed their mind during the leg and “jumped” from one main routechoice alternative to another. Also, there were several “micro routechoices” along each main routechoice alternative – we discuss the details further down. But first a look at the routes of most runners (the slowest have been removed for clarity):


Clearly running to the right and exploiting the path network there is the fastest main option, although there are several alternatives within that route as well. We can identify the following 4 main alternatives; right, straight and two left options; here the fastest athlete on each alternative is shown. The reason for right being the fastest here is that it is only 200 meter longer than the direct alternative, but has a lot more path running. It is quite risky to dare to run straight to the first control in this type of terrain when there is an option around on path which is not much longer, especially in the women’s class. Some did try it, and Helena Jansson does a very good job at it and looses only a minute to Alexandersson.

Running all the way to the left is 200 meters longer, and you have a longer stretch you have to run through the rough terrain (the first part of the leg). You could start to the right along the green alternative and then cross over to the red alternative like Natalia Gemperle does, but then you have to run another 200 meter longer. You can cut the left alternative towards the end (drawn in orange below, Emma Johansson’s route), but that will only gain you some seconds – it is still longer than going to the right, and you then need to go even more through the tough terrain.


Below you see the routes of the Top 10 in the competition + Helena Jansson and the Top 6 on this leg (this type of illustration is used throughout this analysis). Here you clearly see that the top runners divide quite evenly between left, straight and right – many loosing significant time. At lot of time could be gained by making the right choice out from the start.


Probably nobody has run the fastest routechoice on this leg. It looks like going around on the last part of Alexandersson’s route was even better, when comparing with Anastasia Denisova’s route (click to see larger):

Density map

See below for a density map of some of the ones who have drawn their routes so far (available during the day when some readers have drawn their route).

Additional information

You find the complete map in omaps.worldofo.com at this location.

Route to O-Season 2020 series

Route Choice Challenges while waiting for the real action: With the upcoming orienteering season indefinitely on hold in large parts of the the world due to COVID-19, regular orienteering route choice challenges may be one way to make sure those orienteering skills don’t get completely rusty. I’ll try to keep these coming daily, but need help from all of you out there to keep them coming and to keep up a certain quality.

Tips on good route choice challenges – either from races/trainings (even cancelled ones) or theoretical ones with accompanying analysis – are very welcome (please e-mail to jan@kocbach.net).

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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  1. Helena Grennberg

    Great to see a W leg! There must be, at least from recent years, as many interesting W legs as there are M legs, doubling the opportunities for followers in this very special pre season

    • @Helena: I’d definitely be very happy to publish more legs from women’s courses. I have published all suggestions for women’s legs I’ve received, so just use the opportunity and suggest some nice legs:) BTW: Nearly all suggestions come from men, so I also encourage women to come up with tips for Route To O-Season.

  2. Terje Wiig Mathisen

    Did you do a proper discussion of the long women’s leg in Trondheim 2010? That one is interesting because the women can run further around in order to avoid climb.