Home / Orienteering News / Course of the Year 2021: Submit your suggestions!

Course of the Year 2021: Submit your suggestions!


What was the best orienteering course of 2021? The Norwegian World Champs selection race long distance won in 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 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 2021?

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 2021, and state the reason why you think this course deserves to be “The course of the Year 2021″. 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 2021″. 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.

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

More than 4500 6000 Euro worth of prizes for YOU

Update December 10th: Three new sponsors are added in the sponsor section (not in the top image) – Aguiar da Beira “O” Meeting 2022, JWOC Tour 2022 and NAOM 2022 – more to choose from!

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 4500 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 2021 yourself!
  2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.
  3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2021

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 2021!

Starting point

Due to COVID-19, there were fewer races on the calendar this year than we are used to, but there have still been lots of interesting courses. To provide you with a starting point, I’ve included some of the legs featured in Route to Christmas so far this year. Do any of these courses deserve a nomination for Orienteering Course of 2021?



The following rules are given for “The course of the Year 2021″.

  • The course must have been run in competition or training in 2021 (an exception for courses in December 2020 as they were not covered in last year’s contest)
  • Suggestions are submitted as a comment to this post – including link to the map (this is important!) 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 2021″ (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 2021″. 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 2021″, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. All prizes are transferable to other persons (you don’t have to travel yourself). Note that in those cases where prizes are race entries, the race organizers may decide to withdraw prizes or transfer prizes to another competition/year if races are canceled due to COVID-19.

Event sponsor: 5 Days PWT Italia – Domina Coral Bay  – Sharm El Sheikh – Week 44, 2022

  • Prize offered: Competition and hotel package for two persons: Entry for two  person at the 5 Days PWT Italia Domina Coral Bay in Sharm El Sheikh, including accommodation. Value about 1.140 EUR. Transferrable to other persons.
  • You are welcome to Domina Coral Bay in Sharm El Sheikh! A great week of orienteering in the hearth of the Sinai desert; enjoy free diving in the coral reef, orienteering stages in the desert, tricky sprint courses in Domina’s bazar, and the warm Egyptian hospitality. Follow the Sun! Read more on www.orienteering.it and www.facebook.com/PWTOrienteering


Event sponsor: 54th Kainuu Orienteering Week (KOW), July 3rd-8th 2022 (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 2022. Total value up to 800 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Kainuu Orienteering Week is the Finlands’s biggest orienteering week and the world’s second oldest orienteering week, as it has been held annually since the year 1966. Kainuu O-Week is held in the Kainuu region of Finland and traditionally the event is held in the beginning of July the week 27. In 2022 the event will be held in Puolanka and Luhtakangas competition area. We offer perfect pine forest terrain of Luhtakangas and challenging Äikänvaara hill area with magnificent sceneries! NEW IN 2022! The 1st official Kainuu MTB-O Week 3.-8.7.2022 in Puolanka. Come and enjoy the best MTB-O terrains and great landscapes of Kainuu. The following entry steps are: 28th Feb 2022 / 31st May 2022 / 13th June 2022. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.


Event sponsor: JWOC TOUR 2022 (spectators’ race). July 10th– 16th (Portugal)

  • Prize offered: JWOC TOUR (spectators’ races): 3 Competition packages for 2 persons each including: full entries to the event (2 Sprint, 1 Long distance and 3 Middle distance), official JWOC t-shirt (offered by SIGN SPORT), 2 training maps and free access to the camping site. Value about 840 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Description: Travel to Aguiar da Beira for cheering the World’s best Juniors and join our spectators’ race (JWOC TOUR). From the 6 stages, 5 will take place on the very same competitions maps used by JWOC runners. Amazing terrain, tasty gastronomy and wonderful landscapes are waiting for you. Come and build with us a stunning and breathtaking atmosphere during Junior World Orienteering Championships week. We need your help to record this competition in athletes’ memories forever! More info about JWOC TOUR 2022 at: https://tour.jwoc2022.pt/. If you want to have a training camp in Aguiar da Beira, check out our official training partner at: https://www.o-portugal.pt/jwoc2022


Event sponsor: Aguiar da Beira “O” Meeting 2022 (JWOC test races) – May 28th– 29th  (Portugal)

  • Prize offered: Aguiar da Beira “O” Meeting 2022 (JWOC test races) Competition Package for 2 persons including: full entries to the event (Model Event, Long distance and Middle distance WRE), 6 night accommodation with breakfast and access to the JWOC 2022 Official Training Camp 2 (consisting on 9 training maps, including two sessions with SPORTident). Value about 600 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Description: After the huge success of Orienteering in the County of Aguiar da Beira since 2014, we took a step forward and will organize Junior World Orienteering Championships 2022. ABOM 2022 is the place to be if you were born in 2002 or later, as this will work as JWOC test races. Very relevant terrain and map making is waiting for you! More info about ABOM 2022 at: http://abom2022.ori-estarreja.pt. If you want to have a training camp in Aguiar da Beira, check out our official training partner O-Portugal.pt at: https://www.o-portugal.pt/jwoc2022/


Event sponsor: WOC 2022 spectator races – June 25th – 30th (Denmark)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each consisting of Entry fee for 2 people for all six WOC Tour races. Total value 450+ EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • We welcome you to the first ever Sprint WOC, which will take place in the Triangle Area of Denmark. As a spectator, we invite you to cheer at the WOC arenas and compete in the WOC Tour public race yourself. The Tour consists of six high quality races: three sprint races on the same maps used for the WOC competitions and three forest races in challenging terrains and on maps drawn by the WOC mapper.
  • Be a tourist too. Take the children to Legoland or visit Southern Jutland’s fantastic UNESCO sites or beautiful beaches. Or you may stay a bit longer and watch the Tour de France depart from Vejle on July 3rd.
  • For more information, please visit www.woc2022.dk


Event sponsor: OOCup – July 17th – 21st 2022

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the complete 5 days OOCup competition. Total value up to 400 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • In 2022 OOcup goes Nordic. So far OOcup has been all about karst, but in 2022 it’s time for full Nordic experience. The five stages of OOcup/2022 will take place in the finest terrain that can be found around Umeå in Västerbotten county, Sweden. We feel privileged and thrilled to have a chance to organize OOcup in these areas and to bring YOU here! It is going to be GREAT! More at oocup.com


Event sponsor: Croatia Open 2022 – July 31st – August 5th 2022 (Croatia)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each consisting of Entry fee for 2 people + gift from the organizers . Total value about 400 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • The orienteering competition Croatia Open began in Jastrebarsko in 1997 and since 2000, the members of the orienteering club “Ris” from Delnice are in charge of the competition. Over the years, we have tried to show you all the beauties of the green karst that abounds the forests of Gorski Kotar and also challenging locations in the coastal region and on the Island of Krk that give this competition a taste of the Mediterranean. Through the combination of mountains and sea, we have become one of the most desirable orienteering destinations. We offer the opportunity for an active vacation to all orienteers looking for an exciting summer competition and – it’s tailored to all generations. In the end, we have no choice but to invite you to our anniversary, the 25th Croatia Open, which takes place from 31st of July to 5th of August 2022. Let it be the most beautiful part of your summer vacation in Croatia, yet again. Read more here.


Event sponsor: Sun-O, your training camps in Spain, February 11th-13th 2022++

  • Prize offered: Accommodation for 2 people at the apartments Playa Barbate (2 nights) and free registration for 2 people at Sun-O Barbate Cup (11th-13th February 2022 in “La Breña” Barbate). Also included two full training packages of the Barbate Sun-O Camp, which consists of 25 challenging trainings to be used whenever you wish. Total value 400 euros
  •  Enjoy the nice and sunny weather of Andalusia, in the South of Spain, and have a lot of fun in our wonderful terrains and picturesque urban sprints.


Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 3-year license

  • Prize offered: One 3-year licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering″.  Value about 370 EUR. Transferable to other person (before activation).
  • More information: OCAD 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 https://www.ocad.com.


Event sponsor: NAOM 2022. February 18th – 20th 2022

  • Prize offered:  1 package for 2 people – consisting of 2 nights in hotel with breakfast, entry for NAOM 2022 and two trainings. Value about 280 euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Orievents / GD4C’s Training Camps “Alto Alentejo” are an excellent training opportunity for Orienteering of good quality during the winter. Start the new season in training camps in Alto Alentejo, Portugal! More at www.naom.pt


Event sponsor: Lipica Open 2022. March 12th – 16th 2022

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of entry to complete 5 Day Lipica Open competition. Value about 260 euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Lipica Open is a popular season starter in the Kras region of Slovenia. Enjoy Slovenian karst terrain already in March. Please note that there are good training camp possibilities in SW part of Slovenia and feel free to contact us regarding that at any time. More at www.lipicaopen.com


Event sponsor: Kapa 2022 – Jule 1st to 3rd (Latvia)

  • Prize offered: Two family entry packages to Kapa 3days, where each package includes entry for two adults and one child, space for a tent at the event camping and a car parking voucher. Total value around 250 EUR. Transferable to other person.
  • More information: Kapa 3-days is the largest orienteering event in Baltics with 2000 participants from around 20 countries. It is a nice, long o-weekend for families – from Friday to Sunday. The best new maps and terrains are available, kindergarten at the event centre, fantastic prizes and great atmosphere, including live music Saturday evening. Just come with your family and enjoy the beautiful forests and beaches of Latvia! This year’s event page: 2022.kapa.lv. Facebook page: facebook.com/Kapa3days


Event sponsor: Wawel Spring Cup 2022 + CEYOC – April 1st – 3rd 2022 (Poland)

  • Prize offered: Entry + hard-floor accommodation + training + t-shirt package for 3 people. Value about 240 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • 3 days of unforgettable orienteering on Jura (Olkusz, Ogrodzieniec). We will organize sprint distance and two middle races for the beginning of orienteering season in Poland. Wawel Spring Cup means public races for CEYOC, so you will have a chance to support the best Youths in Central Europe. Training possibilities also will be provided. Website – http://wawelcup.pl/


Event sponsor: Wawel Cup 2022 – July 6th – 10th 2022 (Poland)

  • Prize offered: Entry + hard-floor accommodation + training + t-shirt package for 2 people. Value about 200 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • 5 days of unforgettable orienteering on Jura in Poland. Złoty Potok, Olsztyn Castle and Częstochowa will deliver you a lot of emotions and demanding orienteering possibilities. Training will be provided. Together we will create a real celebration of Polish Orienteering! Website – http://wawelcup.pl/



About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

Check Also


WOC 2023 Long: LIVE from 09:20 – TV from 12:00 CET

WOC Long Race & Favourites Preview: The Swiss Alps are expected to deliver a spectacular ...


  1. Norwegian Champs Middle distance (M21)
    Good course with a nice combination of tricky slope controls and “easier” controls in the flatter area on top. Many courses gets heavily affected by the arena passage, not too much of a bad influence on the course here.
    Prize: SunO

  2. “The World Orienteering Championships (WOC) Sprint 2021 was a very special sprint in an old fortress area, with high walls, tunnels and tricky orienteering from start until finish.” Wrote by Jan Kocbach.
    For me, and for the rest of the Israeli team, running through the streets of the city of Terezin evoked mixed feelings.
    Terezín is not just an orienteering map, but a city with a very complicated history for many.
    Terezín was assigned by Nazi Germany as a ghetto and a concentration camp, and held more than 150,000 Jews during WW2. About 33,000 died in the ghetto, and about 88,000 were deported to Auschwitz and the other extermination camps. At the end of the war, there were only 17,247 survivors.
    One of the survivors is one of our team mates’ grandfather.
    While and after the competition, We were filled with pride that we can run and represent Israel in a place with such a difficult history for our people.
    And now, to the business:
    This competition provided something new, something we have not seen until then in international competitions.
    The map was renewed, and hundreds of meters of artificial fences were added. The teams could not prepare and know what to expect on the map and course. The course planner and mapper created an insane maze that included an insane number of levels, underground passages and legs that required runners to think outside the box, plan and execute at the highest level and speed.
    The course started with a number of legs in a park full of closures and in a city that separated within the top ten in many seconds between the leaders “and the chasers”.
    From the analysis of World Of O it can be seen that results on the fifth control are completely different from the final results, which indicates the drama that took place in the second half of the course.
    The move into the “maze” in the old fortress preyed on the cards. Pre-preparation of many teams “went down the drain” when they discovered the many fences and passages that were opened or closed.
    The map was only relevant to this competition, for better or worse.
    On the one hand this way you can produce amazing competition everywhere, but on the other hand the increased use of blockages, opening aisles and closing aisles produces a game that individuals can claim is not fair.
    In my opinion, this is the fairest thing that can happen, because every team has an equal opportunity regardless of preparation in advance.
    The shortest legs were also the most tricky, because even if the controls seemed very close, they were separated by walls tens of meters high. They forced the runners to run a long way around, which made the runners feel confused and did not give them any moment to plan their way to the next control.
    The track provided amazing competition, and here comes the place to say thanks to the organizers also on the crazy broadcast of this competition that provided an accurate snapshot at every moment, and made use of new and exciting technologies.
    If my course suggest will win’ i will be happy to win the “Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 3-year license”

    • Thanks, nice to see a long reasoning behind your choice! And good to also have some sprint courses nominated.

  3. Hi!
    I think that World Cup Final Middle in Italy was a real challenge in one of the most difficult terrains in the country. It was a mixture of short and longer legs in a terrain full of sinkholes and stony ground.
    Prize SunO

  4. Stage 2 – 5 Days of Spain 2021 – Muela de Marojales (Cuenca)


    The terrain combines 3 or 4 types of terrain: continental slope, shrubby vegetation with big depressions and low vissibility, more “aggresive” karst with rock corridors and big boulders and a little bit of micro relief. A real challenge.

    Prize: OCAD

  5. The WOC Long:
    Very nice route choices, impressive terrain.

    Prize: 5 Days PWT

  6. Even if i didnt do many races this year, IFK GBG’s long distance test at Idala is one of the most fun course i ran 2021. https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Idala-langdistans-/IFK-Lang-1?classId=362720

    A proper long distance in shifting terrain and a lot of tricky legs. The terrain was very demanding but at the same time beautiful to run in. The course setter did a good job and managed to get a lot of routchoices that were all used.

    Definetly coming back to this terrain again! But hopefully with some more energy than last time ;)
    Prize: Suprise me!

    • Thanks, another nice course which I haven’t noticed. Could also be a good alternative for Route to Christmas!

  7. Jukola leg 3 was really impressive to run (+ it was my first Jukola), with long leg being crown of the race. Nice terrain, impressive setup for whole race and nice course was everything we needed for that weekend.

    And I can’t leave my comment without saying, WOC Middle. Probably toughest middle so far at WOCs with really challenging terrain, course that didn’t leave anyone without mistakes and that made you pay for every insecurity that you had. For those reasons, some didn’t like it, but I really respect it and think it should be included: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210706M/

    Prize: OCAD

  8. I really liked the WMOC Middle Final in Hungary: http://rg.mtfsz.hu/rg2/index.php#1233
    A granite hill, not too high relief, but lots of subtle features and tricky, irregular patches of bushes and thickets. In the meanwhile, if you have time to look around, a wonderful panorama on the nearby lake.
    Prize: OOCup

  9. Obygdshelgen middle distance 2021 in Råndalen, Sweden, W21E course

    A masterpiece of a course set by Thierry Gueorgiou and won by Tove Alexandersson, Obygdshelgen middle distance really was something extraordinary.

    Set on a brand new map in the middle of nowhere in the Swedish mountains, the area holds a completely unique terrain offering world class technical orienteering. Thierry used the area in an optimal way to set extremely demanding yet fair courses which required 100% focus and top level orienteering skills. The winner of W21E Tove Alexandersson certainly got these skills and mastered the course in incredible 35:20, leaving some world stars such as Karolin Ohlsson, Simona Aebersold and Lina Strand well behind.

    As proofed by the following opinions, this course really was at the heart of a super fun technical middle distance:

    ”It’s pure joy” – Thierry Gueorgiou
    “May be the best course I have ever ran – 10/10″ – Tove Alexandersson

    • Thanks, Joakim. That’s also one of my favourites – will have another look at it now as you brought it up.

  10. Did not run that many competitions this year.

    Swiss-O-Week Day4 – HE (also selection race for the Swiss Team)

    Some good routechoices and also some tricky parts in the forest areas most eastern on the map. Very nice nature. The only downside on this course was maybe the more or less only physical end part (after Control 22). Impressive result by M.Kyburz.
    As bonus: good weather (exception this summer in Central Europe), taking the cable car to the start, which is always fun


    Prize: OO-Cup

    • That does actually look like a really interesting course, will have to study that and see if I can find something for Route for Christmas. Although Routegadget makes it a bit tricky to get out the data in a format I can easily use.

  11. World Orienteering Championships (WOC) Sprint -Finale.

    Very tricky race in the unique environment of the old fortress. Start in a maze-like park, then a few quick but insidious legs in the city, return to the park and then between the walls of the fortress itself. The fortress section full of high walls, tunnels and artificial fences created an amazing end of the race. I really enjoyed this race as a spectator on the spot.


    Prize: WOC 2022 spectator races

    • Thanks, Lukas. Already suggested by Rotem all the way at the top, but definitely an interesting course!

  12. Saltenkarusell 17.august, 2021, Tverlandet IL, Bodø, Norway


    This is a small weekly race – and has what orienteers love:
    – New map and terrain where nobody ever did run orienteering before, very seldom these days, especially for those not taking part in international championships.
    – Technical terrain with bedrock of marble and intrusions of granite and mix of open and green
    – Technical from start to last control
    – The last control is in area where they have found evidence of people living there 9000 years ago
    – A spectacular panorama towards alpine mountains, fjords, and islands
    – Small local events like these are the cornerstone for many orienteers – especially in the times of corona when it is more difficult to travel to big events
    – After the race you can go fishing in Saltstraumen – the world’s strongest current 5 minutes away

    • Would love to try that one out, thanks for bringing up some of the “everyday” courses here as well!

  13. WC long Italy
    Extremely technical start, then some difficult routechoices.

  14. Hello!
    This year we had problems with crossing the border, so all my suggetions are Russian maps. I chose courses from my home region.
    1. The course which in your opinion is the best course you run in 2021 yourself!
    Competition Vyborgskaya troyka. Night orienteering on Velichka map. It is a map, which is difficult to understand in a daylight. There are too many small details in the terrain.

    2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.
    I would like to suggest corridor in traning camp before Karelian Isthmus Cup.
    You should thoroughly read the map and use compass for this course.

    3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2021
    Karelian Isthmus Cup 1st day middle
    Interesting course in beautiful forest with good runnability for this terrain, but control picking isn’t easy.

    prize: 5 Days PWT Italia – Domina Coral Bay – Sharm El Sheikh – Week 44, 2022

    • Great to see some Russian courses, Tatiana – thanks! I’ll definitely take a close look at these ones (and also check if any of them are a fit for Route to Christmas).

  15. Swiss night champs 2021, in Bettmeralp. Unique setting, as a night competition in alpine terrain is uncommon. The terrain wasn’t technically difficult, but since you were in a sort of amphitheater, you could see from a distance all the lights of the headlamps, creating a poetic athmosphere.
    Prize: WOC 2022 spectator races

  16. Sommer Cup, stage 2: https://www.olc-graz.at/doma/show_map.php?user=wilfried.renner&map=292
    A small regional race in Austria, unfortunately with very few participants, nevertheless a tough middle distance in beautiful alpine area.
    Prize: Croatia Open 20211 package

  17. The Swedish Champs middle distance: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210828SMmedelH21/
    looks like a really tough technical challenge. The course setter seemed to succeed in making the competitors race at the very edge of their ability. The GPS tracking shows everyone made significant mistakes, Bergman, who made least, won. 2 different terrain types separated by a good route choice leg. Exactly what a good middle distance course should be.

  18. Perhaps I’m a bit influenced by my good result on that day, but I would like to suggest the World Cup middle in Idre as Course of the Year: http://media.idrefjallveckan.se/OWC_Idre_Middle_men.png

    I guess we had all prepared for the section between 4-9 to be the really tricky part. But the course setter managed to trick some runners already in the start with an easy first control which triggered some speed and then quite dense forest around controls 2-3. After the tricky part in really cool slope terrain at 4-9 two controls in semi-open slopes followed, which is a typical place for mistakes in nordic fjäll-terrain. However, the really smart thing with this course is what happened after that. Some really high speed-orienteering on the top where runners seemed to have relaxed a bit because they had already fulfilled the tricky part, followed by some controls which looks rather simple but are really tricky because of the changes in forest which are typical for these areas. The course setter of course used them to make a demanding course and many mistakes were made in the end.

    All in all, there are not many courses where every control is a real challenge and a risk to make a mistake. Often you get some few controls where all mistakes are made but on this course there were mistakes on almost every control, even by top elite runners. I can also count at least 4-5 different types of terrain/forest (open, semi-open, marshy, denser forest, open forest, etc.) so it gave a big variation in fantastic nature.

    Prize: PWT, ABOM or SunO

    • Finally someone suggesting this one! Great course, really challenging the competitors due to the variation in terrain.

  19. The Finnish championships middle https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2021smkeskiH/

    Tricky very technical and challenging course in a great “cliff maze” terrain. The course keeps an orienteer on their toes throughout the whole course with surprising route choices even on the shortest legs.

  20. my nomination is the final course of this year’s Budapest KO sprint (course setting by Marton Scultety and myself):
    No combinations, just a number of routechoice legs. And the last part of the course was in really spectacular venue: an amphitheater from the ancient Roman times. There are some good shots in this video (the final is covered from 4:14): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_kgfXkKj48

  21. I would like to suggest Euromeeting Middle distance in Bettmeralp: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210925_EUmeet_M21/

    Apart from the very nice terrain and landscape, I think that the course had a lot of interesting elements with varying challenges. Short-middle legs in tricky open area, some easier controls at high speed in the open area before changing to short controls in the forest with less visibility, and finally, there was a longer decisive leg, on the map it didn’t seem to give so big differences on the routes, but finally there were quite big gaps. The race was also very tight even if the course had the right mix of challenges, which means that it was well balanced to not have too big “unfair traps”.

    Prize: OOcup

    • Thanks, another course suggested on Bettmeralp – I think this course looks more interesting than the night champs course..?

  22. For me was my this year best course Eyoc M16 long.
    It was so good race, even though some guy caught me. We were running really fast and i enjoyed myself out there. So i really liked it, even I mispunched :(.

    Prize: Ocad

  23. For me the best course I ran this year was a French Long National Course, the day before Middle Championships.
    A mountain terrain in La Plagne, very beautiful landscape with a view on The Mont Blanc, and an alternation of very special tricky legs and long legs with differents choices.
    I was not good on this race but lot of pleasure !


    Prize : Ocad

    • Great suggestion, Pierre, I hadn’t seen this one. I wonder if there are enough GPS-routes to make some analysis of the long legs here?

  24. Source text
    I consider World cup middle Idre while best course of the year. I think I saw many errors from top runners both men and women and I consider are good news. I enjoyed a lot watching on TV! Different type of terrains, so much slopes, diferent skills to apply, great, amazing and suspense hasta el final


    Prize: ABOM2022

  25. Hello,
    my suggestion comes from Czech sandstones, but it isn’t WOC related, as one may expect.
    One week before WOC, a little 2-day 4-stages event called Sudety open was held in Ostrov u Tisé. It is basically on German borders and this valley, surrounded by magnificent sandstone towers lies almost separated from the rest of the country. Due to area protection, event was open for 350 participants only and was organized by no more than 10 people.
    Stage 3 on Sunday morning is the one, I liked the most.
    Area, selected for this stage was flatter, so well needed after hard Saturday, and really tricky with detailed sandstone labyrinths and really high fern in between, which reduced runnability and sometimes even visibility (8-9, 11, 15-16). But the greatest course setter’s challenge was switching between flat, fast legs and detailed control circles in last part of the course, where concentration tend to fade away (cp 20, after fast 18-20 legs and cp 25 after even faster 22-25). For me, it was even harder as I was caught by Baptiste Rollier in that part and tried to hold on with him :)
    Sun-O as a prize.

  26. I would like to suggest the Hungarian Middle Championships:

    It was the most challenging course, which I ran this year. Due to the dense vegetation it was hard to navigate between the lots of small valley in the middle part of the map. And for me the faster middle part of the course made it more interesting. Also the battle for the medal positions were interesting.

    Prize: OCAD

  27. A nice combinatiaton tricky , making everyting usefull.

    I did not ran this race but was nice to watch and follow on the gps. I think this was a very demanding race in a great area. The nice different route choices in the end with the tunnels make it very special/tricky. Even in the beginning you have to take the good route choices. Some took the bad ones and lost very important seconds. I really liked the nice way to make the small park interesting for the sprint. A lot of things that they used had one goal.. make it interesting. I think that is very important in orienteering, make a challenge for the runners.

    oo cup , croatian open pwt


    • Thanks! Already suggested, and surely one of the favourites for Sprint course of the 2021, maybe even for course of the year overall?

  28. Craziest course of the year – The Legoland sprint knockout 🤪

    On October, there was a woc training camp in Denmark. This woc will be the first sprint woc ever what opens the opportunity for sprinters to shine.

    We have seen many good trainings and interesting maps from this camp, but one “compe-training” caught everyone’s eyes!

    This semi final knockout was the most photogenic orienteering this year and the map, which was really hard to imagine how will it be readable was just great.

    For conclusion, that was great map and great course out of complicated area for orienteering.


  29. Hello Jan,

    1. the best course of 2021 I ran by myself was WOC 2021 middle final – http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210706M/ – I ran this course as a pre-runner and it was one of the best courses I have ever run. So hard terrain, it was hard to walk there, moreover to run. And navigation through this terrain is very hard and challenging.
    2. This year I didnt set any course, but I was main judge at few races in Czech republic.
    3. I think that my suggestion above is the best I´ve heard this year :)

    Prize: I´ll be glad for OCAD (or WAWEL Cup)

    • Thanks, with this all the WOC disciplines have been suggested – definitely a great championships!

      • Yeah, I think so – runners were satisfied, we ( as organizers and volunteers) did a great job;)

  30. wouter van muysen

    1. Best map/course I ran in 2021: a oro-hydro race in Hechtel-Eksel (Belgium).
    2. A sprint race at Hasselt University Campus in Belgium on a map I made myself. Nice to get good comments of Yannick Michiels and Øystein Kvaal Østerbø on map drawing.
    3 I nomitate the WOC sprint Final in the Terezin Bastion as cours of the year (https://woc2021.cz/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Sprint-Final-Men.pdf). I was great fun to follow it via Live Orienteering and astonishing to see the split-second decisions needed to get a win (or a loss…).

    Prize: NAOM2022

  31. Best course I ran and my suggestion for the course of the year: Lakeuden viesti 1.leg: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2021lakeusH1/ TV-broadcast: https://youtu.be/X8-Dxog5ePE
    One of most difficult and technical terrain in Finland. Excellent really generalized map which allowed map reading in full speed. Warm mid summer evening, mass start, good forking and extremely technical courses. Could you even wish anything more? And almost every runner did some mistakes…

    Best course I set as a course setter: WRE sprint in Kerava: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2021keravaM/
    Not so many difficult routechoices (but an interesting leg to the second last control) but required full-time concentration on map and finding the smoothest running lines as the area has lots of details. I’m pretty satisfied with course even I had to do many compromises as for example 2 construction sites suddenly appeared in terrain in the last week prior to the race… TV-broadcast: https://youtu.be/8qMWj-9E5A4

    Prize: Sun-O

  32. The best course that I’ve ran this year was of course the EYOC M18 Long distance.
    The competition was held in the area of Vilnius, Lithuania. The terrain consists of a typical and tricky morain type in the beginning of the course, which includes lots of depressions and small hills. On the other hand the terrain also includes a part of steep slopes with re-entrants and erosion gulleys. If that’s not enough, the forest has limited runnability and visibility which makes everything much more complicated.

    For the course, I think that it was well planned. starting with an interesting long leg to the 2nd control, followed by some really tricky orienteering between controls 2-9. It might look easy, but the low runnability and especially the low visibility make it far more difficult than you think, when you almost can’t see ahead of you so you have to be really accurate with the compass and feel the contours with your legs. From the GPS you can see that nearly nobody managed to go through this section without any mistakes.

    Then again there is an interesting long leg to the 10th control with some nice routechoices. After that you might think that the last part of the course is boring and not that interesting, but actually there were some decisives legs there. For example the leg to control 15, it was extremely hard to keep the direction there between the deep gulleys in the dense forest. As you can see from the split times, almost everyone made mistakes there. Ilya Malygin, who won this leg, managed to move from the overall 10th place to secure a place in the top6 (!).

    In conclusion, I think that this course isn’t only the best course that I ran this year, indeed it is also the best course of the year:)

    Link to the map: https://i0.wp.com/eyoc2021.wpcomstaging.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/08/M18_Long.jpg?ssl=1
    Link to the GPS: https://otracker.lt/events/942d0456-3078-4b3e-ba45-9a0d497e4708

    Prize: ABOM

    • Thanks, Peleg. EYOC M16 Long was already suggested earlier, so I think we’ll keep the M16-course on the list even if there are some additional challenges in the M18 course.

  33. At first I figured I won’t nominate a course this year as I didn’t race a lot and the courses I ran were not as memorable as I like, for them to be nominated.
    Still I think I gained a lot of great emotions by following Estonian champs night distance on GPS.
    The area had parts of quite low visibility and the marshes were slow. Average speed was very high though which made it more challenging in the micro-reljef parts.
    A lot of mistakes were made.

    Prize: ABOM

  34. Arttu Syrjäläinen

    My suggestion for the course of the year:
    Finnish champs relay M21 – http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2021smviestiH1/

    Olli-Markus Taivainen did amazing job as a coursesetter when he did very untypical courses to Tornimäki terrain. Plenty of controls and short legs in tricky areas. Terrain was quite slow and shitty in some parts but the course made it a perfect competition!

    Prize: 5 Days PWT Italia – Domina Coral Bay – Sharm El Sheikh – Week 44, 2022

    • Thanks, Arttu. Interesting with the leg from 8-9 also, with KR running straight as first team and everybody else around (at least according to the GPS)

  35. Personally, I like all courses prepared for WOC21 even with selection/training ones. However, probably all of these courses have been already suggested so I´m going to choose something, hopefully, less known – Slovak middle champs – http://rg.orienteering.sk/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=270&kieli= .
    As usual, I would choose M21E, but a lot of courses are really nice. Unfortunately, I didn´t participate but what I heard from the others, this middle was one of the best in Slovakia during last years. Technically quite challenging terrain with only a few paths and a bigger part as a downhill. Physically really hard to run with a lot of stones under the competitor´s legs.

    Preferable prize: Croatia open 2022

    • This looks like a very interesting terrain – and also a nice middle distance course, thanks for making us aware of this one, Pavel!

  36. Slovak Champs in Middle distance 2021 – super tough physically and mentally, rocky terrain with rocks scattered on the hills, very uncommon terrain for Slovakia. There was a “rock town” as we like to call it, where rocks formed a kind of a labyrinth with very difficult navigation. M21 course

    Routegadget: http://rg.orienteering.sk/cgi-bin/reitti.cgi?act=map&id=270

    Prize: Croatia Open 2022

  37. I’d like to suggest the middle distance in the Norwegian Championships. Tricky from the start (Andrine Benjaminsen lost a couple of minutes on the short first leg), a lot of speed adjustment needed, great use of the different parts of the terrain AND it was a good course for TV!

  38. Hi Jan,
    I’d like to nominate Stage 2 of the 2021 Luxembourg Orienteering Weekend a.k.a 2 Days of Luxembourg, an epic 15.2K urban race across the lovely city of, well, Luxembourg, from the spectacular old town to a old fortress area across the valley and back. Why? 1/ Tricky course setting coupled with an intricate map. The course was universally praised by all the runners 2/ The overall circumstances: it took several years and an enormous effort to secure authorization for this race in a country where orienteering is virtually unknown among the general public and orienteers are still few and far between.


    • Thanks for an interesting story about the race. These long urban races are not really embraced by the IOF, but can offer many interesting challenges.

  39. As my top choice for this years course, the Finnish Relay champs, was already suggested I would like to suggest a another relay course from Finland.

    I think that Aaro Aho did make very good courses in the Hämeen rastiviesti (https://tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2021hrvM1/ ) in Valkeakoski which is part of the Finnish relay cup. As the area consists of a lot of tracks and areas of “boring” orienteering I was not expecting much of the competition but the courses were very tricky with both difficult orienteering and interesting route choices (maybe some of the route-choices would qualify for the Route to Christmas analysis). Even multiple top-runners did big mistakes.

    Prize: Any of the prizes, except Kainuu Orienteering week, Ocad and Wavel spring cup.

    • I could add that the most preferred prize is the SUN-O training camp.

    • Thanks, Caj! This looks like a very interesting relay course with nice use of forking. I checked it out for Route to Christmas, but the interesting route choices are made partly through the forking, and the only non-forked longer leg seems quite obvious. But definitely a very nice relay course.

  40. Hi Jan, I very much enjoyed my course on Arisaig – Day3 of Scottish 6 Days. Magnificent views, technical terrain, a superb map and an epic long leg to the fist control – the latter is a rare sight for the older age classes and had everyone excitedly report upon return to the car park.

    Prize: OOcup

    • Thanks, Anne. The Scottish 6-days disappeared from my radar this year, thanks for pointing this one out!

  41. Abdulkadir Köseoğlu

    Hello from Turkey

    My favorite course is JWOC 2021 Middle Final which was fantastic with 3 various technical shifts in a competition. Forest part was with depressions, second part was green and the last part was totally runnable with spectator point.


    My favorite prize is JWOC 2022 Tour.

  42. I did like world cup idre long distance how best course of the year.
    Nice, special and demanding terrain, differents types of terrains spread about the course both physically and technical. Pace changes for progrees accros the map…really amazing. I thought it was a contour level training! ;-)

    Prize: PWT

  43. Hi,
    I want to nominate the WOC relay course(s) (women and men) as it seems, that nobody has yet done this.

    The relay was held in an amazing sandstone terrain (probably in the most amazing of the whole WOC (=best part the long/relay area)) with amazing courses, where every single control was tricky and almost every leg was a route choice. The lead changed quite often at least in the mens race and also the other places changed continuously. In the end two of the very best orienteers this year, Sara Hagström and Gustav Bergman, decided the races.
    By the way: the long leg at approximately 2/3 of the courses would be also a good candidate for Route to Chrismas. The top runners have solved it quite different and often decided the fight for the final places here.

    Price: still unsure, but maybe OOCup or Lipica Open.

    • Thanks, Joris. I thought all WOC courses had been nominated, but this one was indeed missing. Great courses and great competition!

  44. Michał Garbacik

    Wawel Cup Hit the Pit – Man Final

    Incredible pit fun in the Olkusz forest – https://www.facebook.com/WawelCup/photos/a.1616423815212850/1616423478546217

    Prize – Ocad

  45. Hi,

    I would like to nominate Polish Champs middle in Szydłowiec. Gorgeous and virgin terrain nearby the natrue reserve. Unique experience with astonishing number of lakes and pods. Post mining.
    Prize ocad

  46. I would like to suggest the World Cup Final Middle in Italy.
    Extremely technical terrain, for me the most difficult and technical terrain in Italy.
    The route didn’t leave much time to plan route choices because of the technical difficulty combined with a very high running speed in that forest.

    Prize: WOC 2022 spectator races

  47. Italian WRE middle championships Men. The WC middle in Italy with a similar terrain was challenging and a fun course to run but I think the WRE middle in a very beside terrain was even more brilliant. The terrain contains more obsticles and small dense green parts so you had to plan your route more carefully and you got bigger feedback and penalty by choosing wrong. The course was diverse with shorter and longer legs and intensive orienteering was needed all the way without any hesitations since there was no “easy” legs.

    Prize -OCAD

  48. Never build a list without a course on the French Larzac !
    This year, we hold the French Night championship on the Larzac: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Championnat-de-France-de-nuit-2021/A?classId=430002

  49. Gdańsk City Race 2021 – main stage: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Gdansk-City-Race-2021-Stage-3/ELITE-M?classId=416211
    First edition and biggest area mapped in the main city with a perspective for even more.
    Basic idea of main stage was to see along the course the most iconic places from Gdańsk – Neptune’s fountain, Long Lane & Long Market, Krantor Crane or the most famous St Mary’s Church. Despite of pressure on showing touristic places, technicality of the route wasn’t diminished – mutliple route choices were available in each part of the long course thanks to the experience and great work of course setter Michal Olejnik (Polish National Team).

    Prize – WOC Tour

  50. Revenger Dalberg


    WOC 2021 Long Men course had everything. Long demanding legs with several equel options combined with shorter legs where there were difficult orientering and many micro choces. And to this, the coursesetter had really managed to use the competition-area to maximum, with a nice Arena-passage in the end for the spectators. I guess that quite many runners newer knew for sure that their choice was the best on quite many legs. And in my opion, that is what describe a master piece of course setting!

    54th Kainuu Orienteering Week (KOW), July 3rd-8th 2022 (Finland)

  51. Hello Jan. I think one of the WOC courses definitely deserve to win the course of the year. The Czech organizers did a real good job to offer challenging courses for the runners, and good entertainment for the spectators. I would choose the relay, but of course the suggestion has been made already. Another suggestion would be the EOC KO sprint in Switzerland. I’m a bit surprised that nobody suggested it already. I found it really cool to watch on TV. The format is still very young which makes the courses very challenging tactically for the runners, and exciting for the viewers.

    Prize : OoCup

    • Thanks, Matthieu, good to hear from you (you were next on my list for a separate interview/article as I know you follow international orienteering closely). The KO Sprint in Switzerland is definitely an interesting choice which I’m happy to add to the list!

  52. Frederik Erskov Krogh

    Danish Long Distance Champs
    M21 great utilization of the terrain
    I wasnt able to complete the course but it has great variety of Long and short legs. Its a gold terrain http://3drerun.worldofo.com/2d/?server=o-track.dk&eventid=40960&liveid=1

  53. I cannot see the Australian 3-days among the nominated courses. When I look at the list of tracked events at GPS Seuranta’s website, this course (LD on the day 2): https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210404a3dd2m21e/ is the one which I would like to run the most. I have not experienced this terrain yet. It looks nice, rather technical and wild, and the course is well set with some variation and a few longer route-choice legs.

    I have not run many orienteering courses this year, but I set quite a few ones (and put many controls). Often for various training camps, but perhaps the most important one was for the final WOC preparation of French national team (the last training with map, SI etc on home ground before going to Czech republic). This course: https://www.dropbox.com/s/db3yow9s3jnixhv/MD%20Final.Men.jpg?dl=0 is supposed to simulate WOC MD finale. The place is called Mas de la Barque and it is located in Cévennes national park. It perhaps doesn’t look very spectacular (and also the relevance for WOC can be questioned), but the forest is beautiful, with mostly beech trees and a lot of animals. The map was made last year and only very few orienteers have used it so far. There will probably never be a race organised on it, because the rules of the national park do not allow it.

    Prize – OCAD

    • Thanks, Eva! I also found the AUS 3-days to be one of the most interesting places to run when I searched for legs for Route to Christmas, and the course also had a leg interesting enough to be included in Route to Christmas – I think this is a good choice which could get well within the Top-10 this year! The Middle also looks interesting, and at least from looking at the map you get some of the WOC Middle feeling …

  54. A great competition in an incredible terrain
    The elite men’s competition was a high-quality race on complex terrain.


    Aguiar da Beira “O” Meeting 2022

  55. Bert o’Docherty

    Might have missed it, but I’m surprised nobody has suggested the WOC test race long distance. I thought it looked a better course than the actual WOC, with a good balanced between shorter legs in the rocks and tricky route choice. https://events.loggator.com/WOC21_Test_LDM

    • Thanks, Bert! Actually Tim Robertson suggested it in the interview published earlier today – definitely a good choice! I agree that these had even more interesting route choice options than WOC itself at first sight, but I guess there might be more to the WOC-courses than meets the eye … :)

  56. I nominate the Danish Sprint Championships, DTU 5/6-21
    A very demanding sprint course where the course passed through 4 different terraintypes along the way building up to a very decisive route choice at the end.

    • Thanks, Mads! A pity there are so few on the tracking, there could have been some interesting options for Route to Christmas there..

  57. And I choose Aguiar da Beira “O” Meeting 2022