...is my age (so not ancient at least) and has always been in the top of the results in our category...
I ran in an "old guys" (50+) team a couple of years ago and we finished around 400 - still beating 1200-1300 teams. Not a fantastic result but that´s where you end up with solid orienteering and lack of speed.
Micko ran on a team that finished 372 this year. I wasn't sure how good a result that was. So, I pulled up old results and did some comparisons.
In 2016, the team that finished 372nd ran 1.5 times the winner's time.
In 1991, a team that finished 776th ran 1.5 times the winner's time.
I also looked at teams that finished 49th, 100th, 500th and 1000th and the same pattern. If you were X percent behind in 1991, you'd have a much better place in 2016.
Maybe it is the rainy weather? Maybe it is that there are more super teams now? Maybe the whole event is becoming more of a broad participation event than it was 25 years ago?
I might have to look at a few other years.
I can't remember if I ever ran Jukola or TioMila on the same team as Micko. I'm pretty sure I've run on the same team as Hans Tarandi. I probably ran on a 25 Manna team with Micko. Micko was the only IFK Lidingo runner at Jukola left over from my time in Stockholm.
If you compared only two years the numbers may not be totally "true" since also terrain makes a difference for running times. Extremely fast/easy or extremely slow/tricky terrain will give different results percentage wise.
Agreed. If I get inspired I'll look at results from a few more years.
Although, I like the idea that it was tougher back in the day :-)
It was uphill both ways back then.
I played around with some results data. I started with 1986 and looked at every 5th Jukola. I found the percent behind the winner for 49th place and 100th place.
Sure enough, there's a gradual trend for both 49th and 100th places to be further behind the winner. There's also a gradual trend for the difference between 49th and 100th to be greater.
It might still be an illusion or based on different conditions or types of terrain. But, it is starting to look like it is more a difference of the fields being more spread out rather than tighter. I guess that surprised me.
@ebuckley..."uphill" reminds me that the toughest finish chute I've ever seen was at a Jukola. From the last control to the finish line was about 800 meters. The first half of that was 17 contour lines up a ski hill, then it was flat. It makes some of the finish chutes I've run at Greensfelder seem easy!
Toughest "finish chute" I've ever run was Possum Trot XV - up the dam from the last control. Good thing, too, as I'm sure Tom would have smoked me on a flat run-in.
The dam at Possum Trot XV was tough, but mostly because of the 18+K before getting to it.
I found some video of the run in at Jukola in 1991.
Here is Katarina Borg running up the hill:
And here is Melker Karlsson moving slowly but passing runners from earlier legs who are hiking the run-in :