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Route to Christmas: Day 22 2022

Today’s leg in Route to Christmas 2022 is from the European Championships Middle distance in Estonia this summer. This was a very interesting race, with many mistakes being done in the dense, tricky forest. Thanks again to Arild Andersen for the tip!

The chosen leg is the 6th leg in the men’s course. I first planned to use the women’s leg, but in my opionion the men’s leg is even more interesting as it gives some additional options and interpretations. 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.

As you can see, running around to the left is clearly faster, but still quite a few runners chose to run more straight or slightly to the right – it may actually look tempting when looking at the map. This is what I wrote in my analysis of the leg right after the race:

Definitely the most decisive leg on the course. You lost at least a minute by not running around to the left – many runners lost even more by going through the dense forest either straight or to the right. Of the medalists only Bergman did not run left.

The women’s leg was similar (see below), but I think going right or straight looks less tempting here when looking at the map. Of course, here it was just as important (or even more important) to run to the left. See below for the analysis illustrations – here is the text from the analysis article:

The women’s long leg to control 5 had the same challenge as the men’s long leg – and here it was even more important to run around to the left, as typically is the case in the women’s course. The top three on the leg actually finished top 4 in the race, with gold medalist Aebersold ahead of silver medalist Kaasiku.

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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  1. Do you know what percentage of route to Christmas legs come from men’s courses vs women’s courses?

    I feel like the vast majority are from men’s courses and it would be great to see more from women’s courses.

    • Hi Jeff. There is more GPS-data available for men’s courses, which means I can do better analysis. Also, most of the tips I get is for men’s courses. It is unfortunate, but I always try hard to find women’s. I really encourage women to upload their GPS-data!

  2. This leg reminds me what Theirry wrote about leg 18 in the WOC middle distance 2015.
    I think it is difficult to say from the map what is the fastest route, the map doesn’t give you all the require information. And I don’t think it should be such a decisive leg in an international event middle distance.
    I’m not talking about route choices in general, but about route choices crossing green sections

    • Yes. The route choice was decisive and I found that less than satisfactory. In middle distance I feel the presumption should be that going more or less straight will be competitive as long as you spike the control. Here you cannot know exactly how much slower the green(s) will be.

      • While I agree that it was maybe difficult to understand that straight was that much slower on this leg, I strongly disagree that you should always be fine by running straight in any Middle race, route choice should be important there as well, at least for one longer leg..

        • Fair enough. I agree RC has a role in middle-distance. I would have used the path, though the time losses for not doing so were bigger than might have been expected.