Today’s leg in Route to Christmas 2023 is leg 7 in the women’s class of the MOC Championships Long distance 2023. Thanks a lot to Riccardo Scalet for the tip!
This is tricky Karst-type terrain – which may feel a lot more challenging in the terrain than what you see on the map from your favourite arm-chair. Here is Riccardo’s thoughts about how to solve routechoice challenges in this terrain:
I was the course setter of this event, I love this forest, and I have therefore trained quite much there already. I feel this terrain is tricky, but only until you understand its game. It is all about finding the right elements to trust, using the most flat and runnable areas (paths and ridges between holes), and avoiding getting stuck in really steep hills/holes and/or stony areas.
I particularly like this forest “Foresta Umbra” as it really has several different terrains in the same area; from extremely slow and stony parts, suddenly you find yourself in white open forest where you can push fast again; also, the northern part of the road changes completely. It is a natural reserve preservation area, so there are no forestry works, meaning that (apart from the bigger tracks) there are no human signs at all, and in some areas you can really navigate 10-20 minutes without crossing any artificial path… Something I enjoy very much and I am not finding so often. For 2024, with my Italian Club, we have set over 140 permanent controls in this forest for open Winter training possibilities.
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. Below the leg you find Riccardo’s analysis.
In the suggested leg, it is clear in the beginning that you need to either take left or right on the path, however where this leg gets a lot more interesting is when you leave the path and you approach the control. There you need to have a plan and KNOW where you leave the path and later absolutely know where to go, as the area is very green and the contours are somehow more diffuse.
Ending up in the wrong hole can cost a lot of time, and relocating can become difficult as well.
This is also something you have to take into account when choosing between left and right. Where do you get the best attackpoint, where are the risks highest, and where is the runnability low? In this case it looks like taking the shorter variant to the left can be run faster, but you have to be really careful into the control. The reason why left works so well is probably that the part where you run without paths towards the control is in quite fast forest, i.e. not the stony/karst type forest.
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).
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!