WCup long: Execution over routechoices.

After a long wait, the international orienteering season finally got underway in Torebråte with the long-distance race of this World Cup – Round 1 in Norway.

The course ran through the most pleasant area of the terrain, without major decisive route choices, nor dispersion systems to avoid “packs of runners” and, as we already anticipated, “the execution would be as or more important than the route choices”. This made the times between the runners really tight (only 9 seconds among the top3 in the men’s class!).

Should a long-distance race in a major event (such as a World Cup) always offer a dispersion system to minimize pack running? Should long-distance races be based, as the IOF’s own guidelines state, mostly on route choice legs? Both questions, just chatting with coaches, runners, and spectators at the arena yesterday, are present and, sooner or later, should be decisively addressed by the bodies that compete for them. In any case, it was a long distance very fun to follow!

Going back to yesterday’s race, we can analyze 3 legs, both in the men’s and women’s classes, where it is possible to find different options, although in most cases the execution of the chosen option is as important as the option itself.

men’s class: leg 1-2

The two straight variants (Svensk and Johansson) are between 30 and 45 seconds faster than the left (Ridefelt) and right (Fosser) options. As usual in this terrain, especially in the men’s class, if there are no major obstacles, running around costs more time.

WOmen’s class: leg 1-2

The women had a similar leg, but significantly longer, which means that the path option gains weight in the choice, so that both the straight (Hägstrom) and the right (Alexandersson) variants are the same. The variant on the left (Niittynen) is almost 1 minute slower.

men’s class: leg 7-8

This is perhaps the most interesting leg (speaking in terms of route choice) of the race. There are multiple variants (and sub-variants), although, in the end, the best times are very close, with pace and offensiveness being more relevant than the choice itself. Maybe the Kyburz route seems a bit slower, but I guess he had some trouble crossing the river.

WOmen’s class: leg 4-5

As with the men, this was also the most interesting leg of the race in terms of routechoice. Once across the river, the 3 straight options were the most effective, differing from each other in how far up the hill. Alexandersson takes the middle option (the fastest in the split around 1 minute), while Gemperle climbs the entire hill and Carter-Davies saves more climbing. Both around-options (Anderssen and Aebersold) are somewhat slower.

men’s class: leg 27-28

This leg is somewhat similar to the one published in “Route to World Cup #2” but much longer, so the non-straight options carry more weight, and there is no sense to run by the middle of the slope. There are no significant differences between both options.

women’s class: leg 19-20

In the case of women, the leg is more similar to the “simulated leg”, although a little longer and the end control a little lower. As we anticipated, running on a steep slope could be a risky option as we could find areas of difficult runnability. Gemperle (left) and Alexandersson (right) get similar splits.

And… that’s all for the long-distance race! 🙂 Middle distance is coming tomorrow and it promises to be even more exciting than the long one!

Do not hesitate to leave a comment if you want to share your thoughts! It is much more fun and interesting getting the vision from more people!

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One thought on “WCup long: Execution over routechoices.

  1. Indeed it should be madarory to have at least short butterfly forking during the second half of the long distance race! Now it’s too often that some runners get caught early in the race and they end up in top 10 (even top 3) after finding only a couple of controls themselves. Forking doesn’t need to be so long it disturbes following the race but long enough to make sure everyone has to do some work by themselves to gain good position, not just to be lucky with start time.

    Liked by 1 person

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