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Route To Christmas: Day 1 2023

The 17th edition of the traditional Route to Christmas here at World of O starts with a long leg from the Finnish Long Distance Orienteering Championships. 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.

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. Another plug: If you are interested in sponsoring “Course of the Year 2023″ – another pre-Christmas tradition at WorldofO.com – please let me know by December 2nd!

Today’s leg: Day 1 2023

Here is a terrain description: The largest elevation difference in the terrain is about 160 m. The area is diverse; the forest varies from pine heaths to deep spruce forests and from young tree plantations to old forest conservation areas. Similarly, the level of detail varies from empty slopes to sharply defined rocky areas.

The leg (from control 8 to control 9) 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, taking one of the straight alternatives (with a slight curve to the left) is the fastest option here.


However, even if straight has been run faster, going around on the road to the left, nearly 1.2 km longer at around 4.8 kilometers, is only slightly slower. Therefore, the difference between straight and around to the left might be more about who took which routechoice, and personal skills in different types of terrain, rather than a real time difference.

As you can see below where the variants takes are shown in different colors, straight versus left looks quite even when taking away Kirmula who was more than a minute faster than the second fastest on this leg. Adding to this, with so many different micro-routechoices straight, the risk of taking a wrong route here is significant, so for many runners going around to the left might actually be the best choice here (although it surely is boring to run nearly 5 km on the road…). If you tried to draw your route straight, you probably saw that you have to make some tough choices about where to run here …?

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 2023-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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