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Route to Christmas: Day 11 2020

Today’s leg in Route to Christmas 2020 is the first leg from the final of the legendary night orienteering cup “Harry Lagerts Nattcup” in Oslo – a race which has been featured several times earlier in Route to Christmas.

Thanks a lot to Søren Jonsson for the tip, and for course setter Kenneth Buch for pointing out the starting leg as one of his favourites. We might very well visit this course later again in Route to Christmas 2020 as this is a very interesting course (and as there are still several slots left).

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, there are two clear variants – either going straight on a good path for 2/3 of the leg, and then running high speed “into the dark unknown” – a tricky, stony slope where even the best can have trouble at night. The other clear variant is running high speed on the track/road around to the right, and finishing with a climb up the the control. Many runners have chosen a variant further to the left which is definitely too long, but gives you a somewhat easier way into the control, using the marsh above the control. It is clearly slower than the other alternatives, though. To understand more about the leg, we have to look further into the details (see below).

Looking at a view where all routes are colored by alternative, it is clear that it is possible to run faster straight if you are a very, very good orienteer (or lucky, but this isn’t the place where you usually have lots of luck if you haven’t deserved it) – only three runners are faster straight than many runners running to the right, but the gap is of more than a minute.  There are however many runners running straight who lose a lot of time.


Looking at an in-depth comparison of straight versus right, you can see how the running on the route to the right is definitely running fast, with pace between 3:05 and 3:30 for large parts of the leg. But this route is longer, and into the control takes some time. Looking through all the routes, and also at runners who have approximately the same speed elsewhere, it looks like straight can be run maybe 30 seconds faster than around, but at a much higher risk. I would say that for most orienteers going around to the right would be the best option. What do you think?

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 or 3DRerun from 2020-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. This is a chasing start, right? One could argue that a runner starting a little bit behind may gamble going straight, and hope there will be other lights around the control making the control a lot easier than if you were the first starter …

    • At an even higher risk – you need to know that you can trust the other lights, then :-) And I’m not sure I’d trust anyone 100% there, even Lundanes made a small miss here.

  2. You could get a dozen of seconds on the round route by just going straight back to the road from the start point (which no one essentially did). But it is mentally difficult to run back along the marked route to the start.

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