Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Swedish 5 days


The Swedish 5 Days - ORingen - started in Goteborg today.  Actually only one class, the "super elite" started.  The rest of the event begins tomorrow.  I didn't realize the 5-Days was starting until I bumped in to the online audio coverage when I was making my daily round of O' web pages.
When I came across the audio, the super-elite men were coming to the finish.  It turned out to be a close race.  The winner had a time of 15:26 and won by 3 seconds.  As you can tell by the time, this was a sprint race.
What you can't tell from the time is that the course was in the middle of the city.  Check out newspaper articles from the men's and women's races to see photos of orienteers in the city.  It isn't quite the environment most orienteers like, but it looks like fun.
The results were close for both classes.  For the men the average time between finishers (excluding the DQs) was just 10 seconds (and the median was 5 seconds).  For the women the average difference was 45 seconds, thanks to two people had quite bad races (the median was just 6 seconds).
Close races.  That's what you tend to get in Sweden.  I think those close races help make you a better orienteer because you get penalized for small errors.  Losing 30 seconds might mean a big drop in the results, even in the middle of the pack.  In today's race, Caroline Jonsson finished 22nd of 40.  A 30 second mistake would have dropped her 5 places.

posted by Michael | 6:46 PM


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