Occassional thoughts about orienteering

Sunday, June 30, 2002

Street orienteering in the World Cup


Today's World Cup race in Norway was a short street orienteering course.

Check out the map with the men's winner's routes.

As you can imagine, there is lots of discussion and debate among orienteers about whether this sort of race is a good idea. It can be accesible for spectators and the media. On the other hand, running around in the streets is very different from running in a forest.

Looking at the results is interesting.

Non-Scandinavians in the top ten

As usual, the Scandinavians did really well, especially in the women's event. Among the men you've got two French runners and an Australian runner in the top ten. Well, sort of...

Tom Quayle (7th in today's race) has spent a lot of time living and orienteering in Scandinavia. You can read about Quayle in an interview from 2000.

Thierry Gueorgiou (2nd today) has lived in Finland and run for the Finnish club Kalevan Rasti.

Francois Gonon (10th today) has run for another Finnish club -- Paimion Rasti.

So, the three non-Scandinavians in the top ten have all run for (and probably lived in) Scandinavia. It still seems like the road to the top includes living in Sweden, Norway or Finland. It will be interesting to see how Sandy Hott Johansen (from Canada but now living in Norway) does over the next few years.

Lots of men DQd

Six men were disqualified...Six of 50 starters...Six of the top orienteers in the world. What's up with that?

Fredrick Lowegren skipped a control. I'm not sure what control he skipped. Looking at the map, it looks like 9 is the easiest to miss. I don't know about the other five. The splits aren't up yet, so I haven't been able to try to figure out why the runners were DQd (e.g., missed controls or mispunched).

Skipping a control (or mispunching for that matter) is the sort of mistake you're more likely to make when you're in a big hurry. In this sort of race, where seconds count, it'd be easy to rush. Usually, you can take an extra second to look at the map or double check the code. But, in this sort of event that second could cost you. If Emma Engstrand, who won the women's race, took an extra second at any point on the course, she'd have been third.

No women were disqualified.

posted by Michael | 6:21 PM


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