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Route To Christmas: Day 23 2023

Today’s leg in Route to Christmas 2023 is leg 19 from the French Championships long distance.

I got some help with the analysis from one of the runners – Matthieu Puech. He had the following tip about the terrain when considering where to run on this leg:

Light green was pretty fast (good runnability) but already with quite reduced visibility, and green 2 was pretty slow with low visibility.

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 – you can see the percent behind on the leg compared to the percent behind overall in the legend.

As you can see, there are relatively few runners featured, but the conclusion is still quite clear – right is faster. Here are the routes colored according to variant:

And here are the comments from our expert (who took the fastest route to the right, but with a non-optimal start):

The best was to run full speed downhill to the path, and i was more zigzaging down to the field, so my time on the leg could (should) have been better (at least 45-60″). I took way too much time to decide myself and the first part of the leg was sub-obtimal, as I was still not fully decided. And of course i’m much slower than the elite guys.

The choice to the left is maybe tempting at first because of the path running on the first 50% of the leg, but the last part of the route is not fast and secure enough. So probably the ones taking other routes than the right one were just not taking enough time to see all the options and got trapped by the path out of control 18.

The route of Mathieu is much better, fast all the way… first, downhill in open forest and then, path (almost) all the way, (almost) without climb. I’m a bit surprised Mathieu was the only one of the good guys to take that choice. We were discussing it with Thierry who was thinking that this right route was a pretty obvious one in his opinion.

Thanks a lot to Matthieu for help with the analysis!

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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