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Route To O-Season 2020: Day 43

Today’s leg in Route to O-Season 2020 is another historical WOC long distance route choice leg – this time from WOC 2013 in Finland. The chosen leg is the 11th leg from the women’s class. 

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.

Here is the analysis from World of O from back in 2013:

The 2 km long leg from 10 to 11 was the decisive leg in the women’s race. Eliasson wins the leg with 40 seconds – and there is more than 2 minutes down to number 10 on the leg (Tone Wigemyr).

  • Left (3000 meters): Eliasson along with only three other runners chooses the long route around to the left on the road. Compared to the rest of their races, all three going around on the road gain time on this leg (Eliasson, Alison Crocker – 4th best on the leg, Helen Palmer would have gained time, except for her making a mistake into the control). This is also a route choice which is easier to execute than the alternatives.
  • Direct (2200 meters): Mari Fasting has the second best split time on the leg going direct. Fasting is stronger in the forest than on the road, and might not have managed to run faster by going around on the road. Kauppi also goes direct, but looses time in the middle part of the leg – in total 41 seconds to Fasting on the same route choice. Still Kauppi has the third best split on the leg. Fincke also goes direct, but with very bad execution on the middle part of the leg – and also a mistake into the control – in total loosing 2:24.
  • Right (2700-2900 meters): There are several alternatives to the right – none are optimal. All route choices to the right will loose you at least 40-50 seconds – and execution is also more difficult. The main reason is that it is nearly as long as going all the way around on the road to the left, but you loose the advantage of running on the path most of the leg.  Niggli, Ryabkina and Alexandersson all run different alternatives to the right and loose between 1:30 and 2:30 to Eliasson.

Observe how Niggli’s lead to Eliasson is reduced from more than 1:30 and down to 3 seconds.

The mapmaker comments that the idea here was that different runners should use the route which suited their abilities best – for good road runners the long left variant should be the best.

Looking at the different options going to the right, you can observe in the illustrations below that Niggli’s route on the first part of the leg looses her 30 seconds compared to Ryabkina.

Comparing Niggli and Fasting, you can see that Niggli looses nearly half a minute to Fasting after entering the marsh just ahead of the river crossing. Thus going slightly right and combining Riabkina’s first part of the leg with Niggli’s second part with good execution should be just as fast as direct – the problem is to go far right on the path the first third of the leg.

Comparing Ryabkina with Alexandersson, you see that Ryabkina looses more than half a minute at the last part of the leg. Thus it is possible to run Riabkina’s route in around 14 minutes – but still significantly slower than the direct route.  The reason for it being slower is that it is 500 meter longer without significant parts with a lot better runnability.

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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