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Route To O-Season 2020: Day 36

Today’s leg in Route to O-Season is another epic long route choice leg from a World Orienteering Championships – this time we travel to Scotland for the 2015 WOC in real wilderness! 

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 (from the WOC 2015 analysis article). Here is the text from the analysis article:

Thierry Gueorgiou kept the lead for 3 controls – but at the longest leg in the course to control 13 he was one of the runners who did not see that the route choice to the left was definitely faster. Daniel Hubmann saw the best route, executed the route well, and pushed hard. With this he took over the lead. Gueorgiou lost 1:16 at this leg. Matthias Kyburz and Fabian Hertner also took the wrong route choice – both losing more than a minute. Olav Lundanes lost half a minute on the same route as Hubmann, losing time on the middle part of the leg (in the uphill).

This could very well have decided the race. The “armchair orienteers” in the media tent in the arena were very certain that left was fastest when getting the map in the morning of the long distance, thinking that this was a too easy leg without real route choices – left (Hubmann’s choice) was the only real option. The runners out there had a different opinion – spreading out on many, many different routes as you can see below.


Women’s control 5: Similar routechoice challenge

The leg to control 5 may look easy while sitting in front of your computer studying the map, but the women struggled a lot; both taking the correct route and executing the leg gave significant problems. Tove Alexandersson is fastest on the leg – a few seconds ahead of Ida Bobach. It is clearly fastest to run left, but many top runners failed to see this and lost the race here. In separate illustrations below it is shown how Vinogradova loses 1:40 by hitting the lake and needing to take an extra curve, Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg loses nearly 5 minutes by first taking a wrong micro-routechoice on the middle of the leg and later missing the control, Annika Billstam and Cat Taylor loose 3 minutes by taking straight options, Emma Johansson loses 5 minutes by going all the way to the right and Merja Rantanen loses 6 minute by going to far to the left.

Speaking to the course setter about this leg, the idea was to put the control so far to the left that the rightmost option would not be chosen; due to bad runnability in that part. Still a few runners chose to run left in the women’s race – and even more in the men’s race.

img_3_s img_4_s


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. Knut Wiig Mathisen

    Interesting, classic long route-choice leg indeed. Remember I was surprised by the extremely large time loss of Rantanen. From the course-setter comment it seems clear that the map is very bad and misleading, the hill-side Rantanen fought through towards the control should have been marked with green stripes as the runnability here must have been terrible. Even though Rantanen made clear route-choice mistake on this leg, she should not have been punished more than ca 1-2 minutes from looking at the map with all white forest in the hill-side!

  2. Terje Wiig Mathisen

    I still clearly remember watching the live gps tracking when my club mate Anne Margrethe Hausken Nordberg was running down the final hillside towards the control: She made a classic parallel mistake and I sat there visualizing exactly what she was thinking and could see how everything was fitting so nicely that she would not notice any problems. It was still devastating to see how much time she lost, particularly since she was matching Ida Bobach’s running speed all the way to the end.

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