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Course of the Year 2023: Submit your suggestions!


What was the best orienteering course of 2023? Pomeranian Sprint Cup won in 2022, WOC Long distance won in 2021, the Norwegian World Champs selection race long distance won in 2019, the World Cup Final Middle in Czech Republic won in 2018 and the World Champs middle distance in Estonia won in 2017. 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 2023?

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 2023, and state the reason why you think this course deserves to be “The course of the Year 2023″. 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 2023″. 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.

Suggestions are submitted as a comment to this post – including link to the map (this is important – I am doubly happy if the link goes to omaps.worldofo.com) 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 (check them out!) if you win (please do check out the sponsor prizes and choose one, it is much nicer to win something you really want!).

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

More than 5500 Euro worth of prizes for YOU

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 5500 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 2023 yourself!
  2. The best course you set this year as a course-setter.
  3. The overall best course you have seen/heard about in 2023

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 2023!

Starting point

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 2023?



The following rules are given for “The course of the Year 2023″.

  • The course must have been run in competition or training in 2023 (an exception for courses in December 2021 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 2023″ (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 2023″. 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 2023″, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. All prizes are transferable to other persons (you don’t have to travel yourself).

Event sponsor: SEE(M)OC & III. PERGAMON O-WEEK 2024 August 28th – September 1st 2024 (Turkiye)

  • Prize offered: 3 packages, each consisting of 2 free participations for 5 stages in any class (competition classes or open courses), 2 free accommodation and 2 free transportation from Event Center to competition arenas at SEE(M)OC & Pergamon O- Week 2024. Total value up to 1560 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information:  3 competitions in one event. 12th South-East European Orienteering Championship (SEEOC)2024, 13th South-East European Masters Orienteering Championship (SEEMOC) 2024 & III. Pergamon Orienteering Week (POW)2024.  Foot orienteering 5 days events opened for everybody, the orienteering courses for individual categories are the same as matching SEEOC/SEEMOC categories. Kozak has a unique geographical structure consisting mostly of pine nut forest at an average altitude of 700-800 meters above sea level. The terrain shows detailed contours features and makes it important to use orienteering techniques. For more information see https://seeoc2024.org & https://anatolia-o-group.com/en/


Event sponsor: 56th Kainuu Orienteering Week (KOW), June 30th – July 5th (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 2024. Total value up to 920 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Open and International Orienteering Week in Finland, city of Kajaani and Joutenlampi competition terrain (EOC and WUOC qualification races in stages 1-3)
  • More information: Kainuu Orienteering Week is the Finland’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 (week 27). Welcome to Kajaani to enjoy orienteering and holiday week in the amazing orienteering terrain of Joutenlampi. Joutenlampi is most well-known for its pine forest moor terrain where runnability is mostly very good. KOW2024’s orienteering map and terrain area is definitely one of the best in Kainuu. Experience a memorable orienteering week in Kajaani! Note also the 3rd official Kainuu MTBO Week 30 June – 5 July in Kajaani – come and enjoy the best MTBO terrains and great landscapes of Kainuu and Kajaani. The following entry steps are: 29th Feb 2024 / 31st May 2024 / 10th June 2024. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.


Event sponsor: 5 Days Dolomiti Paganella, July 1st – 6th 2024 (Italy)

  • Price offered: 2 packages, each consisting of 2 free entries to the complete 5 Days Colomiti Paganella. Total value of the package is approximately 480 euro.
  • More information: Every year 5 Days brings you to Italy to discover wonderful locations where you can practice orienteering, and in 2024 it will be Trentino‘s moment to welcome you to its Paganella Dolomites. From July 1 to 6, a corner of paradise, including Molveno, Andalo, Fai della Paganella, Cavedago, Spormaggiore, San Lorenzo Dorsino, and Piana Rotaliana, will host your vacation, which will allow the whole family to spend pleasant days of sports but not only.There are numerous proposals aimed at adults and children, so don’t waste time: you have until December 31 to register for 5 Days Dolomiti Paganella at a discounted price.  Webpage: https://www.5daysitaly.it/


Event sponsor: 5+5 Italy, 30th September to 4th October and 7th October to 11th October 2024

  • Price offered: 2 packages, each consisting of 2 free entries to the complete 5+5 Lignano in October 2024. Total value of the package is approximately 480 euro.
  • More information: PWT Italia will organize the traditional 5+5 days next October among the forests and cities around Venice and Trieste. Event centre on the beach. Information and Bulletin will be available at https://www.orienteering.it shortly


Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 3-year single user license

  • Prize offered: One 3-year runtime single user licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering”.  Value about 400 EUR. Transferable to other person (before activation).
  • More information: OCAD 2018 Orienteering – Perfect to Produce Orienteering Maps. Course Setting Module included! Read more at https://www.ocad.com/en/.


Event sponsor: OOCup 2024, July 16th – 20th 2024 (France)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the complete 5 days OOCup competition. Total value around 400 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • In 2024 we are going back to AIN department, France. We will use areas close to ones from 2018 and 2020 but with plenty of newly mapped terrain! Some fabulous karst forests are waiting for you at OOcup/2024. It is going to be GREAT! More at oocup.com


Event sponsor: Lipica Open 2024, March 9th – 13th 2024 (Slovenia)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 people – consisting of entry to complete 5 Day Lipica Open competition. Value up to about 330 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: Tenerife O Camp 2024 Edition

  • Prize offered: A package for 2 people consisting of complete Tenerife O Camp 2024 Edition with 10 forest and 15 sprint trainings with omaps.io print & home delivered. Value up to 328 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: In 2021, Tenerife O Camp was born out of the ambition of three Finnish mapmakers and course setters, who envisioned turning Tenerife into the best hotspot for winter orienteering. Already, this vision has come to fruition, attracting the world’s leading orienteers and national teams, as well as tourists who wish to explore the island through orienteering. The camp offers technical orienteering in various terrain types from the slopes of volcanoes to the detailed subtropical pine forests, all with unforgettable scenery. The combination of labyrinthine old towns, beach boulevards, and cozy fishing villages all around the island makes TOC ideal for sprint orienteering. Tenerife has earned its nickname “The Island of Eternal Spring,” as it nearly always enjoys temperatures above +20°C and over eight hours of sunshine daily throughout the year. With a wide range of accommodations and services, Tenerife O Camp provides an ideal setting for an exceptional orienteering experience. Read more at https://tenerifeocamp.com/


Event sponsor: Kapa 2024 – June 28th – 30th (Latvia)

  • Prize offered: Two “family entry packages” to Kapa 3days, where each package includes an entry for two adults and one child, space for a tent at the event camping and a car parking voucher. Total value is around 250 EUR. Transferable to other person.
  • More information: Kapa 3-days is the leading orienteering event in the Baltics, the 37th edition! We have hosted participants from around 20 countries, annually 1500 to 2000 orienteers. It is a long o-weekend for families – from Friday to Sunday 28th to 30th of June. This year we are entering a new terrain near Daugavpils, in the eastern part of Latvia.
  • Kindergarten will be available at the event centre, great atmosphere guaranteed, live music at the evening and a sprint relay at the event centre on day 2. Come with your family and enjoy the Baltic summer and the beautiful nature in Latvia! This year’s event page: https://2024.kapa.lv. Facebook page: https://facebook.com/Kapa3days.


Event sponsor: Pomorze Spint Cup 2024, May 24th – 26th 2024

  • Prize offered: 1 free entry package for 2 people for the Pomorze Sprint Cup 2024 to be held on 24-26 May 2024 in Kwidzyn. The package includes the entry fee and accommodation for 2 nights for 2 people. The value of the package is approximately EUR 230.
  • More information: We have already run around the medieval castles in Malbork and Gniew and the castle ruins in Dzierzgoń. We ran routes around the Bishop’s Gardens in Pelplin and through the historic streets of Grudziądz and Tczew. We also ran a route around the amazing Grudziadz Citadel, which was chosen as the “Course of the Year of 2022” . Each time we take you to interesting and surprising places in northern Poland. This time we will move to where it all began in 2019 and return to Kwidzyn after 5 years. Two stages will be organised in the historic center of the city. 2 of them are to count towards the World Ranking Event and one will have a Knock Out Sprint formula. Competitors in the other categories in all 4 stages will start in such a way that they can also cheer on the elite at all times. See you in Pomerania! More information will be available at the webpage http://www.umkskwidzyn.pl/aktualnosci-psc-2024


Event sponsor: NAOM 2024, February 16th – 18th 2024

  • Prize offered: Competition package for two persons for NAOM 2024 + complete package for GD4C training camps in Alto Alentejo. Value of 200 EUR.
  • Between the 16th and 18th of February 2024, NAOM welcomes you to Alto Alentejo. NAOM 2024 will offer two new forest maps in terrains with many rock details in fast Alentejo terrain. The sprint will equally offer a high challenge in the old town of Portalegre.
  • More information: From January until march GD4C training camps will offer over 15 trainings in the region of Portalegre and Castelo de Vide with many interesting training opportunities. Website: https://gd4caminhos.com/naom/en/


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. I would suggest Woc middle distance https://news.worldofo.com/2023/07/15/woc-middle-2023-maps-and-results/, really tricky orienteering and so nice to follow on tv! A real middle distance challenge.

    • Thanks – the most tricky course I ran this year, really enjoyable (doing a lot of mistakes). You didn’t specify if you nominated the men’s or women’s course? Since I liked the women’s course better, I chose that one, but let me know if I should change to the men’s. (Note that I have generally only included one course for each race in the voting, as it wouldn’t be good in the voting process to have two courses from the same race)

      • Hi! Sorry I didnt see the reply. Women’s course is fine! I also forgot to mention the price, kainuun rastiviikko :)

  2. The best course of the year is Bohemia orienteering – stage 4 (Novy Bor – Czechia, July 29, 2023). Tove Alexandersson running women elite 2,5 km in 26:23. Tomas Krivda 1st in men elite. Exclusive sandstone terrain! https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Bohemia-orienteering-2023-E4/H21E?classId=636229&tab=player

    • Thanks, looks very enjoyable! I couldn’t find the H21E course as a map-file (in Livelox downloading was disabled), so I added the W21E course here as well. Hope that is OK as you mentioned both men and women.

  3. I suggest the World Cup Long distance in Czech republic https://news.worldofo.com/2023/08/06/world-cup-czechia-2023-long-maps-results-and-analysis/
    Many route choice legs, nice terrain and innovative use of drones for the TV production.
    Also the other courses from this World Cup stage were interesting, but if I have to choose one, I go for the LD.
    Prize: OOCup

  4. For the Course of the Zear 2023, I recommend the course in the women’s category of the 2023 Finnish Long Distance Championship on September 3rd.
    The course is 11 kilometers and features just 9 Controls , making it a genuine orienteering classic. Participants won’t find easy routes on this challenging course, with very few trails suitable for running!

    Preserving the traditions of classic courses, now referred to as Long Courses, is crucial. It is in these challenging courses that the genuine spirit of our sport shines through — individual navigation through unfamiliar and demanding terrain

    • Thanks, Aleksandr – also one of the courses/races I have looked at this autumn when looking for legs for Route to Christmas. Some really nice long legs there!

  5. I suggest Tiomila 2023 in Skellefteå, especially the Women relay, always really fun to follow live in TV.

    Nice terrain (and rather different from usual), good courses, entertaining TV coverage, historical result from IFK. I would not be surprised to have a WOC or EOC course as course of the year, but this year Tiomila definitely deserves a nomination too.

    • Thanks, Matthieu – the first leg for the women was actually really nice, with the route choice around the ski hill. I guess they couldn’t use the same concept for many legs, so I would also choose the women’s first leg.

  6. First stage of Latvian indoor orienteering cup 2023 was organised inside former prison building and prison yard. You don’t usually have an opportunity tu do orienteering inside prison.
    Link to map https://telpuorientesanas.lv/wp-content/uploads/2023/10/2023_1p_A_B.pdf
    Date of competition 29.10.2023 — https://telpuorientesanas.lv/posmi-2019/

    Prize: Kāpa 3days

  7. I would like to nominate Spanish middle distance championships, ME.
    Link: https://events.loggator.com/M_Ib9A

    Sadly I couldn’t participate self but having trained in the neighbouring terrain there in the spring, I can well understand what the course offers for the orienteers. And I think it can’t get much more exciting then that. With high speed ground, some technically very demanding sections, changes in speed and good necessity for routeplanning – it is definately the kind of fun I as an orienteer live for.

    Prize: Pergamon O week

  8. Veselina Zhelyazkova

    Danish sprint championship.Tricky, demanding,fast and fun.
    Here’s the M21E course: http://3drerun.worldofo.com/2d/?server=o-track.dk&eventid=62604&liveid=1
    And the W21 course: http://3drerun.worldofo.com/2d/?server=o-track.dk&eventid=62605&liveid=1

    The sprint races in Denmark never disappoint ;)

    Prize: Tenerife O Camp 2024 Edition

  9. Two suggestions from me:
    1) Orienteering Orange cup in Slovenia – Stage 3
    Torovo-Vodice map
    Super nice new map in Slovenia. Quite flat terrain, fast but really tricky. Definitely one of the highlights of the season and recommendation to everyone for next season: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Orange-Cup-2023-stage-3/M21E?classId=583484&tab=player

    2) Italian championship (and Alpe Adria cup) in Sprint relay
    Livigno map
    Such a nice feeling to run there between all those ski houses. Course and map were much better than we expected as there was almost no private areas, what offered some nice route-choices. Fun sprint-relay: https://events.loggator.com/livigno-sprint-relay

    Prize: OCAD (SEEOC and Tenerife are also okay)

  10. I make recommendations from the events I took part.

    In foot-o, I really enjoyed Kapa3 middle distance WRE: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Kapa-3-Days-Day-2/M21E?classId=626342&tab=player

    In MTBO, EMTBOC sprint was an epic map reading task: https://events.loggator.com/1YhOAA

    Interested in: Kapa3

    • Thanks a lot for the suggestions, Marek – especially the Kapa course looks nice (as I don’t know that much about MTBO-courses)!

  11. Two suggestions from me:
    First I suggest the World Cup Long distance in Czech republic https://news.worldofo.com/2023/08/06/world-cup-czechia-2023-long-maps-results-and-analysis/
    Many route choice legs, nice terrain and innovative use of drones for the TV production.
    I would like suggest too Spanish middle distance championships, ME.
    Link: https://events.loggator.com/M_Ib9A

    Prize: 5 Days Dolomiti

    • Thanks a lot, Francesc! The World Cup Long was already suggested by Eva above, and the Spanish middle distance course by Uku-Laur Tali. Both definitely are good candidates!

  12. I think my favorite course I’ve ran this year is the Long distance at the Swiss National event in Thun (6. Nationaler OL) in september:

    A proper long distance course with very tricky routechoices and also with some nasty controls where you needed to be precise with the navigation. One of these proper long distance courses where you are suffering so badly physically but still find a lot of joy in the technical challenge in finding the next route choice.

    Also an honorable mention to the Swiss Selection race for the World Cup in Norway, the 4. Nationaler OL in Olten: https://tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20230402_TLII_HE/
    This was a brutal course with a lot of technical slope orienteering mixed with tricky route choices.

    Prize: OOCup

    • Thanks, Ivar – both are definitely nice courses! In the Olten one I also found a good leg for Route to Christmas!

  13. I suggest Primiero O Week 2nd Stage at Col Margherita: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/POW-2-Col-Margherita/M-Elite?classId=628381&tab=player

    It was a very tricky and challenging terrain in an unique location. In addition the course was extremely technical and had many varied orienteering challenges.

  14. Hi,
    I suggest the Czech national relay championship, men´s category. Nice terrain with variable runability and difficult thicket parts. And quite interesting forkings.


    I was the national controller for this race and I have to say that it was spoken of as one of the best Czech O-races of this year

    Prize: I will be pleased with Lipica open (OCAD license is also OK)

  15. I think SM medel was held in a really challenging and demanding scandinavian terrain where you had to stay focused from the start to the very last control to do a clean race. Map: http://omaps.worldofo.com/?id=343067 .

    Prize: Tenerife O camp :)

  16. I suggest the 1st stage of Italian Coppa Italia 2023.

    Map: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/MOC-Championships-Long-Stage-2-Coppa-ITA-Long/WE?classId=573758&tab=player

    Reason: it offers a tricky course, with a combination of short (where the details were important) and long legs (with many possibile route choices). It was important to find the right balance between running fast and not making mistakes in the detailed areas.

    Prize: Tenerife O Camp 2024 Edition

  17. I would like to suggest a sprint-race from germany. The race took place in Hamburg at the end of august. You can find the map here:
    (unfortunately the quality is not that good)

    It was a phantastic sprint-race with everything this format should offer. There are short routechoices to decide between only two options as well as longer ones with several options to consider. The area is quite tricky and the course demands high concentration as well as technical navigation, with many possibilities of errors to be made due to vegetation between the paths restricting to look ahead (e.g. parallel mistakes at 13 or 16/17, getting turned wrongly at 12, etc.). In between there are passages to speed up, before orienteering gets tricky once again.

  18. I suggest the French club championship.

    2000 spectators on an arena where we could see the battles in all divisions. A spectacle passage and a clearly visible arrival for everyone. A view of Mont Blanc. Hot speakers and everything… on the grounds of the last two editions of the Oocup. What else?

    Prize: OOCup 2024


  19. Austris Krastins

    I nominate the Latvian Championship Middle distance (M21E). The terrain was very detailed coastal forest with wet marshes in between. The main thing was to stay very focused all through the course. Map with the course: https://lof.lv/uploads/news/2023/3697/1693835501_blobid1.jpg

    Prize: Kāpa 3-days

  20. I would like to suggest day 2 sprint-race competition from Finland, fin5 orienteering week H21E/M21E, a very interesting race with some good route choices and multilevel sections to make a fantastic orienteering challenge.

    Prize: 5 Days Dolomiti Paganella, July 1st – 6th 2024 (Italy)

  21. Björn Johansson

    I suggest the D21-course from Swedish long champs in Örnsköldsvik 20 august 2023. A demanding course in the most beatiful terrain with various legs, both technically and with route choises.

    The winner Tove Alexandersson was delighted: “I had high expectations for the weekend and I was not disappointed! What courses and what terrain, long distance at its best”.

    Prize: OCAD-license

    • Thanks, Björn – the men’s course was already featured in Route to Christmas as you know :)

  22. I suggest the sprint OWC in Ceska Lipa. the route presents very interesting long choises and very intricate short choices with multilevels, that have put even the strongest elite in the world in trouble .
    here the man course:

    Prize: Tenerife O Camp 2024 Edition :)

  23. I suggest Long Distance Final WMOC 2023 M35 in carst terrain. The organizers around Jozef Pollak and Stefan Maj did a great job all the week in Kosice and course planning at all races was great. This course has variety of short and long legs, just great.Unforgetable the run in of Peo Bengtson winning gold on his 90th birthday and he was welcomed with champaign in finish.

  24. My suggestion is Finnish Champs middle and specially womens course https://tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2023smkeskiD21/
    Good set of route choices for a middle distance, but also tricky short legs in the slopes. Great use of pretty limited terrain.
    Men, which I run, had pretty similar course but the extra loop went to the slope were mapping of the green wasn’t maybe the most clear – at least for some runners, me included. Otherwise mapping was close the perfection. Therefore womens course seems to be even better than men had!

  25. I would suggest OO-Cup Stage 4. really challenging terrain for the ultimate classes (f.ex M21 ULT):

  26. My suggestion for the course of the year is the 4th leg of the men class of Night Hawk relays https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Night-Hawk-Relay/Men-4-4/4?classId=648410&relayLeg=4&tab=player .

  27. I suggest day3 of 5 Days of Italy in Valgrande – Padola. Tricky but fast terrain,lot of rocks;even the easy leg on the road was difficult due too high speed.


  28. Stanislav Mokrý

    Hello, I’d like to suggest this year’s Czech long distance championship, course for Men A-final.
    GPS tracking is available here: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20230611H21A/
    Split times are here: https://oris.orientacnisporty.cz/Mezicasy?compid=7083&classid=175399
    I am a course setter for this race. The terrain is very typical continental near a big city (south-east part of Czech republic) – there is a lot of thickets, blackberries, nettles, roads and paths, and forrest works. On the other hand, there are some really nice parts of clear beech forrest, especially in north-west part of the map.
    All of this, combined with a hilly relief, gave me many opportunities for long legs with important route choices. The long legs are alternated with parts of shorter legs, to change the rythm and create the course more varied and entertaining.
    My main goal was to set a funniest possible course in a not so nice terrain, and to check every part of orienteering skills of runners – mapping on shorter legs, route choice on longer legs, and both mental and physical strenght up to the very end of the race. According to feedback after the race, all of this worked quite well.
    I think some of the legs are also suitable for “Route to Christmas”.
    Preferred prizes: 5 days Dolomiti, Tenerife O Camp

    • Thanks a lot, I hadn’t seen this course. I will definitely check it out for Route to Christmas as well!

  29. I would like to suggest the Men Final Course at Czech KO sprint champs in Pisek https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20230928H21F/ by Daniel Wolf, because it has shown a very important thing about knock-out sprint: The “granularity” of the competition area of KO sprint must be really high to ensure that it is “better orienteering” that decides the race, not a pure athletics. Moreover, running multiple times through the same area tests the runners, whether they can learn a lesson from previous legs and improve their routechoices during the race.
    An interesting video from the race is at YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2PMfzhXa59c&t=906s .
    My preference for the prize is Lipica Open.

  30. In my opinion, the most shocking achievements this year from a course setting perspective are the EOC final courses in Verona:
    I mean, this was the course for the highest ranked individual sprint competion this year… Truly amazing.
    (And yet, with all the circumstances, the podium offered very few surprises…)

  31. I will mention courses in all three categories:

    1. Probably the best course I have run this year was H21A category 4th stage of Orienteering Adventure in Špindlerův Mlýn, Czech Republic. It was really tough and complex mountain middle distance containing extremely technical parts in green areas and also very chalanging downhill parts. It was pure joy that show, who is really good runner https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/O-Adventure-E4/H21A?classId=637350&tab=player

    2. I was setting the qualification of Czech middle distance championship took place in Blatky, Czech Republic this year. I have to confirm that final race was much more interesting and better in all ways especially because of better terain. So “my” qualification is definitely not candidate to overall win of course of the year 2023, but I consider course of heat D21D as the best one that I have setted in 2023: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Mistrovstvi-Ceske-republiky-na-kratke-trati-kvalifikace/D21D?classId=667651&tab=player

    3. I thing that great courses are not only at big events. There was one very interesting local sprint competition in Czech Republic this year, that I unfortunately missed myself organized in Bohuliby by OK Kamenice. Every forest sprint is extremely interesting in my point of view, if the forest is interesting itself. So check this contour hell in full sprint speed and detailed map in H21L category: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Oblastni-zebricek/H21L?classId=678455&tab=player

    Prize: Pergamon, but every prize is welcome, especially in countries where I had no opportunity to compete yet (Latvia, Portugal)

    • Thanks for all three suggestions, Jiri. It is definitely interesting to see courses which are not on the internatonal level as well!

  32. Best sprint course I watched this year was NM sprint D 21:

    The area was perfect used and the course was not as easy as it perhaps looks.
    It gave the runners a really nice challenge.

    prize: ocad

  33. Christoph Salzmann

    I really like to suggest the longest men course (HAL) of the 54th Emmentaler OL, Switzerland. It took place on 23th September, a beautiful autumn day in stunning classic hilly Emmental terrain. Map only available as pdf directly sent to Jan.
    It is a gemstone of pristine orienteering! Exactly, how we do orienteering in Switzerland: Approx. 500 participians, long way to start point by foot (no extra-transport), good but simple organisation and some small but really beautiful and demanding forest spots.
    Moreover, the course planner did a great job (with a rather poorly mapped map in some parts , but that is how it is in reality). Maybe, he set out a very high number of controls, but it was worth the effort. No butterfly, no phi-loop on a nice long tricky course with challenging controls hidden behind the objects in beautifiul mossy terrain. Surplus, I had a very demanding race with some guys in the end I managed to catch up. A Sunday full of pure, pristine orienteering joy! What do you want more?

  34. Because most suggestions are either long distance or sprint, I would like to suggest a tricky middle distance. It was the Swiss middle selection race for JWOC in Romania. It was held in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland on the same map where in 2018 a dramatic European Champs Middledistance took place.

    To navigate through the tricky slopes with bad visibility, you had to be ahead with your orienteering and precise with the direction. If you got lazy with that it could happen very quickly that you end up in a wrong gully, too high or too low in the slope and then a big parallel mistake is not far away. There where some longer legs with a route choice, where the good execution was as important as the route choice itself. Probably most difficult were the diagonally downhill controlls. A very good course to test if the young athletes are good enough physically and tecnically to compete for Switzerland.

    link to the M20 course: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Testlauf-Middle-20-5-2023/H20?classId=603250&tab=player

    P.S: talking about the selection races in southern Switzerland, the long distance selection race has some tricky route choices. Maybe interesting for Route to Christmas in comparison with the similar routechoice 5 years ago at the EOC longdistance in the same terrain.

    link to M20 course: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Testlauf-Long-21-Mai-2023/H20?classId=603473&tab=player
    link to Men Elite course in 2018: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20180513_L_M/

    prize: OCAD

  35. i suggest the Long Japan Orienteering championships.
    tricky forest with many valleys, I chose it as the best route of the year given the very interesting choices to take straight or on the paths.

    Riccardo Scalet (one of the best orienteers in the world) placed second, proof of a tough race .
    here the map:

    not a usual forest where you run..

    • Thanks, this looks really cool! Unfortunately the organizer has disabled download of the map, so I can’t use it for Route to Christmas, and I can’t get a map image for Course of the Year. Do you know where I can find the map in good enough quality to add it?

  36. Swiss O Week terrain and courses are often exceptional. This year a particularly interesting one was Day 3 (The Cool day). It was at a high altitude close to a glacier and all of the runnning was on rocky terrain. Location: Flims-Laax, Switzerland. Date: 18/07/2023. As a women I nominate DE distance. I could not find it on World of O Maps. Here it is on Livelox:

    Preferred prize: Kāpa 3-days

  37. I have some suggestions:
    1.- Spanish Sprint Championship, Hoyo de Pinares
    Discipline: Sprint ME
    Map: https://events.loggator.com/5KnZsA
    Course Setter: Raúl Ferra
    This competition took part 2 weeks after EOC. I was running at EOC where the maps were quite easy but very flat and fast. Coming home, and running this champ just 2 weeks after was very challenging. It was completely different, tricky, climbs and an old village. The course alternates between short legs with 2 route choices and some longer ones but plenty of route choices like control, 4, 8, 15, 21, and 23.
    Prize: OOCup

    2.- Penamacor International Orienteering Meeting
    Discipline: Sprint, ME
    Map: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/PIOM-CIMO-2023-SPRINT/HE?classId=607157&tab=player / https://eventos.coc.pt/archive/piom2023/maps/sprint/
    Course Setter: Tomas Lima
    I think this is the trickiest sprint I’ve ever run. I love Portugal and its small villages but this exceeded my expectations. Narrow streets and corners. You had to decide very fast the route you wanted to take because there was no time to anticipate.
    Prize: Tenerife O Camp

    3.- Trofeo Pinares Spain, Molinos de Duero
    Discipline: Middle, ME
    Map: http://3drerun.worldofo.com/2d/?server=o-track.dk&eventid=60457&liveid=194842
    Soria is one of the best areas to do forest orienteering in Spain. This course had some interesting challenges: long legs going uphill to maintain the direction while pushing hard, long legs downhill so you had to make sure to not overshoot the control, tricky loops in rocky areas…
    Course Setter: Eduardo Gil
    Prize: OCAD

    4.- Costa Calida Spain, Coto de las Maravillas
    Discipline: Long, MSE
    Map: https://www.edtek.se/kartor/show_map.php?user=oskar&map=1398
    Course Setter: Jose A García Murcia
    I have only found the ME map online. But the MSE course was very similar. This competition is very known and this year they used the great map “Coto de las Maravillas”. A lot of foreign athletes took part and it was won by Timo Sild with a time of 1:32:18. It had some very challenging and long route choices like control 2, 6, 10, 19. But it had also some loops in tricky areas where you had to slow down like 2-6, 7-9, or 10-16.
    Prize: OOCup

  38. Kateryna Tsepurdey

    In my opinion, the race on the 2nd day of the 5 Days Italy Orienteering was really nice. The alpine terrain was really nice, and there were different route choices. I also ran there, and I have great memories from these competitions. I truly recommend participating in it next year!
    Livelox: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Stage-2-5-Days-Italy-2023/M21-Elite?classId=628726&tab=player
    Prize: 5+5 Italy

  39. Władysław Cepurdej

    I decided to nominate the long-distance course of JWOC 2023. It is a mountainous area with lots of small details. Moreover, the course requires constant concentration because there are lots of various variants.
    Map: https://events.loggator.com/2023JWOClongM
    Prize: Pomorze Spint Cup 2024

  40. I would like to nominate this event in the men’s elite category: https://events.loggator.com/M_Ib9A

    The main qualities for which I highlight this map and route are its degree of technical and physical demand, combining with great perfection the use of the compass, map reading and demands on the terrain.
    I had the opportunity to participate in this race and I found the navigation required by the tracker to be amazing, where I could apply changes of pace, go with direction or rely on the environment.
    The organization and the great participation that the event had made it more special.

  41. Hi Jan,
    as you know, it´s a little “my baby”. But I think that it´s one of the best course ever from Radek Novotny. Very challenge, a lot of small route choices, nice terrain, …
    World Cup Czechia – Middle, men class: https://wcup.cz/wp-content/uploads/2023/Maps/MIDDLE_MEN.pdf

    Price: Tenerife O Camp 2024 Edition

    Thank you!

  42. I like this race because on a map of a town with seemingly few possibilities, a remarkable and high-quality race was achieved that turned out to be very technical. It was the sprint race of the Aragon Orienteering Trophy, which was part of the Spanish league. There was a large participation, which complicated the design of the race by having to distribute the controls among all the participants and categories and avoid overcrowding in the sections

  43. https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/Trofeo-Aragon-de-Orientacion-etapa-2-carrera-media-distancia/ME?classId=699891&tab=player

    A middle-distance race within the Spanish league, on a rocky hill. The race starts and finishes at the bottom, so it was difficult for the participants to overcome the slope without compromising the speed of the race. The final part was surprising, because we had to be very careful since the desire to finish, with the finish line almost in sight, led many runners to make mistakes.

  44. For me the course of the year was definitely world orienteering championships long distance. I think especially the men’s course was exactly how long distance course should be, with mixture of decisive routechoice legs and shorter legs requiring more precise orienteering. I also think that the butterfly forking (which in my opinion should be mandatory for any top level long distance race) was perfectly executed and thus we saw basically no trains. The course was also very good from spectator point of view as the two long routechoice legs after the map exchange made sure that the excitement was on until last minutes of the race.

  45. I nominate the sprint of the Aragon Orienteering Trophy 2023 as the best race of the year.
    Grey day, light rain, cobbled ground and tricky zones. All the race concentrated on the map at maximum speed telling yourself not to make a mistake in the street. What a good sprint should be. Continuous decision making simple but fast and without failing in the execution.
    Prize: Pomorze Spint Cup 2024.

  46. There has been a lot of debate whether a straight course in KO-sprint can be meaningful. My nomination is a fine example where the answer is yes: the semi-finals of the Hungarian Sprint League Finals:
    great choice of terrain, real and tricky routechoice legs. Course setting by the Forrai brothers, Gábor and Miklós.

  47. I’ve thought of three options for the Course of the Year, sprint TAO in Spain, WMOC long in Slovakia and WOC long distance in Switzerland… but I definitely think WOC Long distance was amazing, combining long and micro route choices, needed to have good physical and technical performance, making good work about height climb and making and especial last part of the course, which was decisive for the results. Of course I think course setter did a great job!



  48. This was a really fun course just last weekend at the Lakeland Warrior WRE Middle in the Lake District, UK. Haverthwaite is one the most technical areas in the UK and Martin Bagness made full use of the small area, planning a nice technical course with almost no let up mentally. This is the Men’s course which I have selected as it had a few more legs than the Women’s, but the Women essentially did the same, just cutting some controls. A great middle distance requiring full concentration all the way.

    Also WOC Middle but that has already been nominated :)

  49. This year I had two courses which came to mind and I couldn’t really choose which one I enjoyed the most, so instead of nominating one I will nominate two.

    SM Medel, kval
    Here H21C: https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/SM-medel-Swedish-League-9-kval/H21C?classId=653696&tab=player
    The organisers gave us a real intense challenge for the qualification at SM, unfortunately saving a less technical area for the final. When looking at this course, note that the Sundsvall terrain offers slightly worse visibility than many other northern Swedish terrains, making this really demanding. Also, the ground is broken and you need to also put focus on your running. The course setting for this H21C-course offers two long legs in slopes with few distinct details. Long legs on a middle distance course makes the risk for mistakes bigger, something which is sometimes forgotten in course setting. A really well set course in a very challenging terrain!

    Jukola, leg 3
    For leg 3 at Jukola the course setters wanted to set a challenging course. They were not afraid to use the rough areas to create a challenge, something I really encourage, as today’s top orienteers are often good enough technically to do very few mistakes in open terrain. They then mixed this up with some better runnability in some parts. An extra challenge for the third leg runners is to see the tracks and runners from earlier legs and never knowing when they have the same or not, adding an extra challenge. A few route challenges were offered too, even if some of the longer legs do not offer really many route choice options, some of the shorter legs also offer route choice difficulties. A really nice night orienteering experience, getting out the toughest from the runners!

    Possible prize: Any

    • Thanks, Simon – always excellent suggestions from you, and good to get thorough reasoning behind the nominations! For SM medel kval I could not download the map from Livelox and could not find the map posted by anyone – do you know where I can find it? Jukola was definitely a great one, already featured in Route to Christmas this year.

  50. There were good route choices on this course. I ran here and enjoyed it so much. Despite the difficult weather conditions, a quality race took place.

    Street closures on the map do not appear in livelox. Contact Ugur Ustundag for the original image.

  51. Terje Wiig Mathisen

    I set a lot of courses this year, the one I liked the most was probably M35 in Blodslitet:

    Of all the sprint courses I ran this year, the PWT race in St Martin was the most interesting.
    Elias Jonsson ran very fast in the longest course here:

    • Thanks, Terje – two very different courses! I put up the M21E course from Blodslitet if that is OK for you, if not I can try to download the M35 course and replace it?

  52. For me it was the best race of the year: it was a night sprint, but it not a sprint!! Above 11km of night Venezia with a lamp, between narrow streets and many peoples who walking in town – the best feels!!
    Prize: OOcup

    • Thanks, Artem – always nice to run in Venice – it looks like they put up a nice course this year!

  53. I would like to suggest Moscow Long Mass-Start Championships.
    The competition took place in an abandoned quarry with extremely dense and detailed landscape (the equidistance here is 2.5m). If you got lost there (which isn’s a hard thing to do), finding yourself again without going to the path on the outer part of the map would be close to impossible. From what I’ve heared from people who ran there, this was one of the hardest terrains they have ever run on, and switching from the dense part to the the flat part and back again was also a great challenge.
    Prize: OOCup

  54. Hi Jan, the best race for me this year was definitely the first stage of the Sudety Open. It was challenging, hard, extreme – and in the sandstones – simply the best!”


    Prize: Ocad

  55. Definitely the best distance of the year – long distance WOC in Czech Republic: https://news.worldofo.com/2023/08/06/world-cup-czechia-2023-long-maps-results-and-analysis .
    Very difficult, difficult and varied distances and the best TV crew. The most beautiful video broadcasts among huge boulders and rocks!!!

  56. I would like to propose World Cup Round 2 course Long men (but World Cup Round 2 course Long women I also could propose). First of all this is a marvelous place I knew from my youth – magic forests and incredible sandstones. The main reason to propose this course is was extremely technical and had many varied orienteering challenges. And the third, but not last reason is the use of drones for TV production.
    Prize: OOCup, but every prize is welcome. ;)

    • Thanks, Petya! Already suggested by Eva above! And I think we keep it at one course per race as usual, if not people will not know if they should vote for the men’s or women’s course and both will lose….

  57. The Czech World Cup has already been mentioned several times here. So I would like to nominate the race I personally enjoyed the most this year – the long distance at this year’s SAXBO on the border of Czechia and Germany. https://vagval.snattringesk.se/show_map.php?user=Vojta&map=1357 I ran the H21L course but I couldn’t find it, so here is the elite one. It was a beautiful and fresh spring day and the race had a bit of everything. Some easier legs, some route choices, a tricky section in a steep slope full of boulders with low visibility between C4 and C10, a green section and a sandstone maze (with an enlarged cutout) in the end which required all the focus that was left after some 90 minutes of running. Maybe not the most appealing terrain at first glance but a great fun overall.

    Prize: 5 days Italy (Dolomiti)

    • Thanks, Matej, definitely a nice course – I already looked at this one earlier and saw that it looked really enjoyable!

  58. Hello!
    On September 15, championship of Ukraine in Kyiv. Long sprint. Course planner: Anton Kupriiets

    Link: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qNzyrPtvlZl4kezMt_ePNdwZhkk6GQ5j/view?usp=sharing

    Prize: 5 Days Dolomiti Paganella, July 1st – 6th 2024 (Italy)

  59. I’m not first, who suggesting this, but i really like this route, women leg, woc middle. It’s too much of details, i think it so hard to not make a mistakes. https://news.worldofo.com/2023/07/15/woc-middle-2023-maps-and-results/

    And one more, where i take a part is a long mass-start in Spain. It’s a winter, but it a +20 degrees, and unusual terrain for me:https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/XII-Pr-D-ORIENTACIO-COM-VALENCIANA-VILA-D-ONIL-WRE-Larga/M-E?classId=560737&tab=player
    Prize: OOcup France 2024

  60. Hello,
    I would like to nominate the middle distance Men Elite category of Pergamon O Week 2023 Stage 4.

    Surely, all the athletes who participated to this course, had great fun during the entire course. The terrain is located in a very beautiful forest, 700 meters above the city, under stone pine. Runnability is perfect to good. Its detailed contour features structure and large and small rocky areas make the map interesting.

    For Long Distance I nominate Jwoc 2023 Romania Men Long Distance..
    I was the coach of nat. team. I followed the competition from arena. It was perfect TV production with using lots of drone on the other hand very challenging long legs and great course planning.

    And for the sprint I suggest Penamacor International Orienteering I see the map

    Prize : OOCup

    • Thanks a lot! The first one was not nominated yet and looks like a cool middle distance course! The second and third were already nominated.

  61. I would like to suggest that the best Middle distance: WOC 2023 Women
    Link: http://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20230715_WOC23_MW/

    and the best Long distance: World Cup 2023 Raund2 Women
    Link: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20230806W/

    the best Sprint distance: JWOC 2023 Women
    Link: https://events.loggator.com/2023JWOCsprintW

    Prize: OOCup

    • Thanks a lot, Özge! The two first competitions have already been suggested, and although the long distance is the men’s courses we will only put up one category for each competition to not make a competition compete with itself. But very good suggestions, indeed! The JWOC Sprint is now added

  62. Hi Jan!
    The Czech World Cup has already been mentioned above. So I would like to nominate the race I personally enjoyed the most this year – Kwak Czech O-Tour 2023 – Kokořínsko, E3, middle. Perfect race for me – very interesting course in very demanding terrain and not very nice weather condtion and finally, of course being the spectator during the WC weekend.

    My preference for the prize is Lipica Open or Ocad.

    • Thanks Marek, I enjoyed that one a lot myself as well (and found myself a bit down on the results from that day – I was really challenged and made some big mistakes ….)

  63. Even though I don’t have any nice memories from my performance in this event, I suggest the Finnish Championships Relay at Hälvälä for a candidate for the title of “Course of the Year 2023.” I think that the course was really well planned. The legendary Hälvälä terrain with many depressions, and interesting and efficient forking system, created an environment where mistakes were common. The rhythm in the course, featuring routechoice legs, shorter legs with many depressions and forkings in the most challenging parts, and an opportunity for a decisive physical push at the end, made it a great relay course in my opinion.

    Link: https://www.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/2023smviestiH3/

    Price: Ocad

    • Thanks, Antti, this looks like a very interesting course indeed, and one that I hadn’t seen before. Thanks a lot for the nomination!

  64. I’ like to suggest https://www.ist5days.com/ specially stage 5 (Supersprint Grand Bazaar). Running in the Grand Bazaar is amazing and a great way to explore its historical streets. Istanbul 5 days orienteering is organized in the first day of November each year in Istanbul. If I win I’d like to have the prize of SEE(M)OC & III. PERGAMON O-WEEK 2024.

  65. I would nominate a special type of orienteering race in the urban of Hong Kong on 31 December 2022.

    Link: https://postimg.cc/WtMVw9m1

    Tak Tin is a local residential area east of Kowloon and is located in Keung Tong District. The map consists of mainly two parts: the steep Lam Tin Park under the mountain of Black Hill and Tak Tin Estate with both Y-shape and rectangular residential buildings. In the middle of the map is a car road Pik Wan Road divides the area into east and west. Only two places are allowed to cross the road.

    The course is in an interesting format – team orienteering by single orienteer (Harris Method). Players need to punch the “compulsory control points” with the assigned order and they may visit the “free control points” at any time. The winner is the one who finishes in the shortest time with all control punches.

    Hence, multiple route choices are provided on the map. You may stop here to determine all your routes in your brain from start to finish.

    Would you punch all the controls at the east of the car roads prior to the other side? If do so, after punching “40, 41 & 52”, would you choose to punch “33” or “49 & 50” first? Instead, you may cross the roads after reaching “38” and punch “50” & “49”, then cross the road again to punch “39” & “48”?

    There are still many minor route choices that have not yet been discussed. One big issue is someone runs to “42 & 38” first before “47”, then runs straightforwardly to “48”, then “39”. While more people may not notice “48” is inaccessible in the location of the tree, but located in the upper jogging path in the early stage. After punching “38”, they may reach “39”, then “48”, and run back to “32”.

    Discussing the multi-route and sequence you select after your race is very interesting. Nearly no one takes the same route actually. Discovering the best route after analysis makes people so pleased.

    My preference for the prize is Ocad.

  66. I would like to nominate my pick for the best British Orienteering course this year, for which there are a few candidates but the standout for me is course 41 at the Scottish 6 Days, specifically Day 4 on Culbin (Day 2 was the WRE, but I felt that course to be less challenging than Day 4). A tricky course on wooded sand dunes with a variety of challenges, which I enjoyed slightly more than Jukola leg 2. Though I doubt it will win!

    Two places to find the map. The route gadget link is slightly higher quality. If I win I would like Pergamon O week!



  67. I’d like to suggest Autumn Spartacus Cup middle distance W21 from Hungary. It was in an EOC2024 relevant area with a solid international starting field. The course offered some longer legs with more route alternatives, tricky short legs in the slopes between, where you had to deal well with the fatigue as well in the steep slopes.
    Prize: Lipica

    • Thanks, Zsofia! The last nomination for this year’s edition, a bit on overtime, but just in time :)