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Route to Christmas: Day 1 2022

The 16th edition of the traditional Route to Christmas here at World of O starts with a long leg from this year’s Junior World Championships (JWOC) in Portugal. Enjoy the challenges – just like the competitors!

Your job in Route to Christmas is to take a good look at the day’s leg, decide which route you would have chosen, and finally draw your chosen route. And optionally add a route comment (which is very helpful for the other participants). Below the route-drawing a small analysis of the leg is provided – which you are very welcome to comment on in the article comments.

Today’s leg: Day 1

Today’s chosen leg is the 15th leg in the men’s long distance course from this year’s JWOC (we include the women’s long leg at the end of the page as a bonus asa well). The terrain was described in the following way ahead of the race:

The area has moderate to high climbs and large areas of bare rock can be found. A lot of rock details are present in most of the areas, both boulders and cliffs. Some undergrowth and dense vegetation can be frequently found, especially in the deepest valleys. Darker vegetation is typically impassable, consisting mostly of blackberry bushes (Rubus fruticosus). Genista (Genista cinerascens) is also very common in the region.

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. And please let me know if you know about any legs which would be interesting for Route to Christmas. My slate is clean – any suggestions are welcome. Use either the comments or an e-mail to jan@kocbach.net.

As you can see, the majority of the runners chose to run to the left, even if you had to cross some less advantageous terrain at the start of the leg when running to the left. Running to the left was also clearly faster. Some good athletes chose to run to the right, though, and lost significant time there. This was even clearer in the women’s class (shown further down on the page) where some of the very best runners, including the winner, chose a route to the right on a very similar leg.

The illustration below shows all with a similar route with the same color – clearly blue is fastest with some red ones inbetween.

The women’s leg was a bit shorter, and it was maybe more tempting to go left, although you had to go back up the hill to go up to the road:

Here we had a similar picture, but with some of the top runners choosing to go right, as written above.

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 Christmas series

The Route to Christmas series is a pre-Christmas tradition at World of O – giving the readers the opportunity to do one Route Choice Challenge each day from December 1st until December 24th. If you have got any good legs in GPSSeuranta, 3DRerun or Livelox from 2022-competitions, or old forgotten ones which are still interesting, please email me the link at Jan@Kocbach.net, and I’ll consider including it in Route to Christmas if it looks good. Route to Christmas will not be interesting if YOU don’t contribute.

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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