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Route To Christmas: Day 7 2023

Today’s leg in Route to Christmas 2023 is from another big highlight of the 2023 international orienteering season – the World Orienteering Championships Middle distance. 

The WOC 2023 Middle courses challenged the runners in many different ways, like a good Middle distance course should do. The courses started with extremely technical terrain with very low visibillity where it was difficult to even move straight through the forest. After a few tricky controls, the runners both in the men’s and women’s class met the long leg which is today’s entry in Route to Christmas. Runnability is still quite low in the forest – so how far around is far enough around?

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 – first the men, and then the women.

When studying the leg before the race, it seemed pretty obvious that the best choice would be to run to the right out of the control and hit the road, cut the road somewhere to make the route a bit shorter, and then find a good approach for the last part into the control. However, surprisingly many top runners, especially in the men’s class, chose other options.  The two main option are going left or right, below illustrated by the fastest man on the leg, Matthias Kyburz running to the right – and the fastest runner on the left routechoice, Kasper Fosser.

Kyburz had higher speed than Fosser – based on looking at a wider number of GPS-tracks it looks like the advantage of going right could be 25-30 seconds although Fosser is nearly 45 seconds behind.  Here are some of the other options run in the mens’ class:

Both Kinneberg (all the way to the left, purple) and Gustav Bergman (yellow) run far to much in the slower terrain, losing significant time. The other routes on the road/path are simply too long. A similar story for the women, where Alexandersson runs the same short right-variant as Kyburz and wins the leg with 37 seconds. Gemperle runs left and loses more than a minute.

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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