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Discussion: WOC Long

in: Orienteering; General

Jul 9, 2021 11:03 AM # 
Ifor:
GSP Live
https://gps.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210709M/
https://gps.tulospalvelu.fi/gps/20210709W/

Which way for number 2? Both very similar but not the same. Northern or Southern or is there something closer to the line?

Men's 14-15 Women's 6-7 looks interesting as well.
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Jul 9, 2021 11:15 AM # 
slow-twitch:
I'd probably take the tracks to the north - but would be doubting myself all the way!
Jul 9, 2021 11:22 AM # 
Ifor:
I am more tempted by the southerly route now. The finish is not great on either.

The other leg I think I prefer the northern option.

Will be interesting to see what people really do. Some people are going to mess up 1 because they are looking at 2...
Jul 9, 2021 11:29 AM # 
Ifor:
Looks like the northern option being tested first. I am wondering how well the tracking is going to work there may be some big holes in the cell coverage in there.
Jul 9, 2021 11:36 AM # 
Ifor:
Thought we were going to get a southern option from the second runner but she has changed her mind and is about to have company only 10 minutes in to the race.
Jul 9, 2021 11:45 AM # 
hillanddale:
Everyone is going north at the moment. Looks like the obvious choice.
Jul 9, 2021 11:51 AM # 
Ifor:
OK so now the first runners track has back filled it looks like she is making it a huge dog leg into 2.
Jul 9, 2021 11:57 AM # 
ndobbs:
100m climb more if you go approximately straight? I expect to see stronger runners tempted.
Jul 9, 2021 12:01 PM # 
hillanddale:
World of O are doing a great twitter review of options.

https://twitter.com/worldofo/status/14134666809785...
Jul 9, 2021 12:09 PM # 
Ifor:
Good to see a different option to 3 taken. That path along the top is going to get a lot of action with it being used for 6 to 7as well now.
Jul 9, 2021 12:10 PM # 
jjcote:
I'm having trouble finding an appealing way to do anything other than all the way around on the north. But then, I'm not a WOC medal candidate, and neither are these early starters.
Jul 9, 2021 12:29 PM # 
Ifor:
I don't think 17 from Egypt is going to make the time limit. Still failing to find number 1 after something like 15 mins.
Jul 9, 2021 12:30 PM # 
Ifor:
And it looks like we have someone going south for 2 21 Florence Hanauer.
Jul 9, 2021 12:34 PM # 
Frostbite:
Navarro and Avci on the southern route 6-7 got a better split than Tsyvilska going round the north
Jul 9, 2021 12:49 PM # 
Ifor:
OK 21 Florence Hanauer sets the best time so far taking the southern route.
Jul 9, 2021 12:51 PM # 
simmo:
Image quality of the tracking is not great.
Jul 9, 2021 12:56 PM # 
jjcote:
There's going to be one finisher, then a pretty big ga until the next two, and then another big gap before anyone else comes in.
Jul 9, 2021 1:08 PM # 
jennycas:
"the next two" appear to have been holding hands together throughout the course.
Jul 9, 2021 1:20 PM # 
hillanddale:
Ooh, Hassan could be heading into the right block of wood.
Jul 9, 2021 1:24 PM # 
Ifor:
Another southern runner Wisniewska Hanna takes the lead at number 2. Its the right way to go but less than 10% of the people are taking it on.
Jul 9, 2021 1:25 PM # 
jjcote:
C'mon, Abdelaziz, follow the Swede!
Jul 9, 2021 1:36 PM # 
hillanddale:
Yay!
Jul 9, 2021 1:36 PM # 
slow-twitch:
I think Hassan has just got the first control!
Jul 9, 2021 1:37 PM # 
Ifor:
Next up number 2. I don't think she should try the southern route...
Jul 9, 2021 1:38 PM # 
Ifor:
Well maybe South is not best. Megan has set the best time going north. Slightly different in the way she did the climb up to the path which may of helped.
Jul 9, 2021 1:40 PM # 
slow-twitch:
Straight definitely worked for Wisniewska, Riihma's more southern route choice maybe not so good though
Jul 9, 2021 1:43 PM # 
Becks:
Megan is one of the best runners up steep hills I have ever seen, and thrived in this kind of terrain at JWOC in Switzerland. I should think she'll be a pretty good marker for the later runners.
Jul 9, 2021 1:48 PM # 
slow-twitch:
I think Bartkevicius changed his mind on the long leg - started up the track then went south at the OOB boundary to head back to the straightish route
Jul 9, 2021 1:55 PM # 
Ifor:
Yes that can not of been the best and she still was quicker at 2. 19 something for Tove?
Jul 9, 2021 2:08 PM # 
simmo:
Now we're into the better women - Gemperle going North, Hauswirth South. Let's see where Simona and Tove go.
Jul 9, 2021 2:20 PM # 
simmo:
Both going North, and Gemperle clearly the fastest with the N route.
Jul 9, 2021 2:22 PM # 
hughmac4:
I like that left route to 3 that Gemperle is taking. I was surprised more hadn't gone that way yet.
Jul 9, 2021 2:24 PM # 
simmo:
I'll predict a podium finish for Megan C-D.
Jul 9, 2021 2:27 PM # 
hughmac4:
Really stunning, indeed, @simmo!
Jul 9, 2021 2:32 PM # 
jjcote:
At what point will they send someone out to rescue the Egyptian woman?
Jul 9, 2021 2:33 PM # 
simmo:
Not so sure now, Benjaminsen has taken a minute from Megan between 8 & 14.

Looking at the relative positions of Natalia, Simona and Tove, I think they're pretty equal. But there's a long way to go.
Jul 9, 2021 2:36 PM # 
Ifor:
Yes they should be thinking of sending someone to get Hassan while she is in coverage area. I doubt she could make the finish before dark by herself.
Jul 9, 2021 2:37 PM # 
Ifor:
So North takes it but I still think south was best. Not quite into the 19's for Tove. I think for the mens it has to be North with the slightly different control placement.
Jul 9, 2021 2:57 PM # 
jjcote:
Joe Barrett managed to get around the course without being overtaken, that's an accomplishment. Nice to be in second place (briefly).
Jul 9, 2021 3:05 PM # 
BorisGr:
Very solid run for Joe in his first international long race. Well done!
Jul 9, 2021 3:20 PM # 
Ifor:
Interesting Gemperle looked to take the route around the road and back up the finish the wrong way for 17.
Jul 9, 2021 3:36 PM # 
fossil:
There was an earlier group (of 3?) who went that way but then came up the reentrant west of the finish area rather than cross through the finish. That seemed surprising. Once they were on the road I expected them to go backward through the finish.
Jul 9, 2021 3:39 PM # 
Ifor:
Looks like it was not faster she lost about 60s but hung on for Silver. Only 3 mins off Tove is good going.
Jul 9, 2021 3:45 PM # 
Ifor:
Some of the men have run along the same 500m section of the big track 4 times...
Jul 9, 2021 3:47 PM # 
Frostbite:
Too busy watching the women's race, I've only just noticed that some of the men have been taking a route off the map between 4 and 5. Emil Svensk the fastest of them so far.
Jul 9, 2021 3:49 PM # 
robplow:
up the finish the wrong way for 17.

they would have got some idea the day before how possible it was to get through the finish area.

Seems very weird to me have the map seemingly allow that as a route choice - similar to the sprint . Surely running through the finish/spectator area should not be a viable option and the map should make that clear - a bit of extra purple would have made that clear.
Jul 9, 2021 3:59 PM # 
Ifor:
No split for a long time on the men's but I think Fosser is flying.
Jul 9, 2021 4:05 PM # 
Ifor:
At least off the map is not fastest. Not much in the straighter routes and the options around to the left as far as I can tell from the replay.
Jul 9, 2021 4:08 PM # 
jjcote:
Off the map might not be actually off the map. What we see for the GPS tracking is likely cropped down from what the competitors have, meaning that whoever did the cropping for display purposes didn't notice that as a possible route choice.
Jul 9, 2021 4:15 PM # 
Frostbite:
I hadn't thought of that. However the pdf looks like it is the actual race map and has the same outline. Also the Team Officials Meeting included this question

Is it allowed to run out of the map (e.g. on
a route choice)?
A: YES

so I guess they will have put some thought into it beforehand
Jul 9, 2021 4:19 PM # 
jjcote:
Looks like Hassan is back at the Finish.
Jul 9, 2021 4:25 PM # 
sberg:
The courses have a lot of running back and forth on the same trails for most of the runners.
Jul 9, 2021 4:41 PM # 
fossil:
Funny isn't it? Maps used to be a huge amount of work to make and we made them ginormous just to avoid that. Now that they're comparatively easy to make, we make them smaller...
Jul 9, 2021 4:47 PM # 
paw:
Two questions:

Will the 1 - 2 - 3 be Fosser - Kyburz - Daehli?

When did it stop being necessary to have some method (butterflies, phi loops,...) for separating runners on the Long?
Jul 9, 2021 4:54 PM # 
Ifor:
Looking very likely on the Gold silver bronze train.

14 - 15 looks like 2 minutes quicker going south rather than north which is catching out lots.
Jul 9, 2021 4:56 PM # 
Ifor:
Bergman looks to of called it a day.
Jul 9, 2021 4:57 PM # 
jjcote:
Bergman in particular seems determined to avoid going into the woods if at all possible. Oh wait, you're right, he didn't go to 14.
Jul 9, 2021 4:58 PM # 
cmorse:
Did Bergman miss #6 frist time through? It was looking like he left 8, then looped back around to 6-7-8-- again...
Jul 9, 2021 5:00 PM # 
jjcote:
Daniel Hubmann has a chance to sneak in for 3rd. Or better.
Jul 9, 2021 5:01 PM # 
cmorse:
Looks to me like both Hubmanns are in contention to make the podium.. nope, looks like Martin lost a bit of time near the end..
Jul 9, 2021 5:14 PM # 
gordhun:
Unless the train has a collective brain fart I see 1-3-3 as just practicing the stadium run-through right now.
Jul 9, 2021 5:24 PM # 
Jagge:
Well, no forking, what do you expect...
Jul 9, 2021 5:25 PM # 
paw:
...and there it is! Poor Daniel...
Jul 9, 2021 5:28 PM # 
Ifor:
Interesting from Emil Svensk. A bad start with a number of errors had him 7.17 down at the first split time at 11 but only 7.13 at the finish. Impressive second half going from 19th to 5th.
Jul 9, 2021 5:31 PM # 
gordhun:
Well that's pretty crappy. A competitor is in 13th at the first radio control and by then he has joined up with two later starters who over the rest of the race pull him up to third place and after tagging along it seems he has the balls to outsprint the others into the Finish.
Does that happen a lot? It is not the worst wagon ride I have ever seen at WOC - that happened in 1976 - but it defies imagination that is still allowed to happen.
Jul 9, 2021 5:36 PM # 
ledusledus:
Isn’t there some rule that trains are not to be taken for more than 2/3rds of course?
Jul 9, 2021 5:37 PM # 
fossil:
Yes, pretty sure that rule was instituted after the 1980 Boston Marathon.
Jul 9, 2021 5:40 PM # 
paw:
Daehli has won medals in his own right and is well known for being strong at the end of a tough Long distance. It's not his fault at all. Blame the people responsible for mandating an unforked 13.5km course in that area.
Jul 9, 2021 5:49 PM # 
EricW:
Hardly a new topic.
edit- almost annual
Graeme?
Jul 9, 2021 5:50 PM # 
Jagge:
paw, exactly. And IOF's fault for keeping this going.
Jul 9, 2021 5:50 PM # 
teemuowl:
No forking would prevent Daehli's medal (typical odd-even scenario). Late forking or phi-loop would lead to even worse outcome - Kyburz possibly falling behind Daehli. In my opinion, this is a disaster for orienteering. It's a clear unsportmanlike couduct both from Kyburz and Daehl. They must know they wouldn't have such a time without Fosser. So sad from two world champions...
Jul 9, 2021 6:01 PM # 
BorisGr:
So what should they have done differently?
Jul 9, 2021 6:04 PM # 
Jagge:
This would have solved this nicely

http://www.routegadget.net/spreading/

Two 80m taped sections and making them run them out and back twice creating controlled delay, based on start number. Maybe first between controls 8 and 9, and second between 20 and 21.

minimum impact on course setting, but unfortunately method like this can not be used because of rules doesn't allow it.
Jul 9, 2021 6:10 PM # 
jjcote:
Outsprinting the others didn't mean he was beating them. The only person Daehli needed to beat was Hubmann (unclear whether he knew that), and the other two didn't need to.
Jul 9, 2021 6:18 PM # 
gordhun:
That is true JJ but it is still seems bad form to out sprint and outshine in front of a crowd the very guys you have been tagging onto out in the woods for the last 20 controls.
Jul 9, 2021 6:18 PM # 
Hammer:
awesome performances from Alexandersson and Fosser today. Amazing route choices great coverage. Kudos to the organizers for hosting a quality champs during a pandemic and adding the sprint champs with about a years planning. I hope to be able to run in this terrain some day.
Jul 9, 2021 7:41 PM # 
Jagge:
I think they heard at arena that gold and silver are granted and last loop was only about bronze, Daniel vs. Magne. So they let Magne take the lead to have fair fight with Daniel for the last loop. Based on TV and GPS Magne was in front the whole last loop and the two other guess just followed him. So I guess they tried to make a fair fight for bronze. And Magne was faster, mostly because he made one better route choice thatn Daniel.
Jul 9, 2021 7:47 PM # 
Gswede:
I've always been interested by Jagge's suggestion for spreading competitors and would love to see it tested in a race.
Jul 9, 2021 7:51 PM # 
EricW:
I agree about the exceptional course setting, for all the forest events. ('m unqualified to evaluate the urban events)

I almost don't care about nailing the winning tmes, except that some were surprisingly off,, and for a personal grudge issue. (If Graeme can gripe, I figure I can follow suit.)
The times were similarly long for the 1991Czech WOC. based on what I heard was very stupid reasoning,. This led the controllers of our WOC 1993 to overreact, to the point of not believing their own testing, which caused us completely unnecessary stress.

Stil,l the main point- great course design this time.
Jul 9, 2021 8:04 PM # 
krysyjane:
The middles were fantastic but correct me if I'm wrong, the long was just a running race with a tiny bit of map reading into the controls.. I'd expect a bit more than that from a woc long
Jul 9, 2021 8:04 PM # 
fossil:
Rewatching the gps tracks it's clear that Daehli and DHubman were very close up to 3. Daehli lost some time between 3 and 4 and was then caught by Fosser between 4 and 5. The big recovery by Daehli was by following Fosser's route choice between 14 and 15 where he made up the time difference to DHubman, who took the other route. From 15 it was very close the rest of the way.
Jul 9, 2021 8:15 PM # 
j-man:
I don't know if I'm qualified to evaluate any of the courses, and I only spent meaningful time on the sprint final and the middle(s). That said, I thought they were excellent, "classic", so to speak. Like top 10.

To me, I need to think about the long terrain more--I'm not convinced it is all that "special", as polemical as that sounds. I mean I'm sure it was neat to see and run in, but its fundamentally continental terrain and presents continental problems.

But, it is still a very fine experience.

As an aside, I was even more impressed by the parsimony of the terrain used. I mean the middle was basically one big hill.

This whole WOC is sort of the opposite of WOC 93 from that perspective, with all due respect! ;) Although I'm not gainsaying whatever it took to produce Surebridge and its relatives. I think the French WOC was at the level but not many others, IMH and uniformed O.
Jul 9, 2021 8:20 PM # 
ajriley:
the sandstone terrain is really fun but it was a bit unfortunate that there were so many trail options on this map. it's also just way too steep to have any good long route choices where you don't just go way around to avoid the climb. amazing performance by Kasper regardless
Jul 9, 2021 9:15 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
I can confirm what Jagge surmised: The Swiss and Norwegian coaches told the Fosser train that they could get all the medals, but that is was very tight for the bronze. From that point on Magne Dæhli pulled the train all the way to the finish, with no help from the other two. I.e. he beat Daniel fair and square on that particular part of the race.
PS. I've had the very nice (and previously unprecedented) experience of winning the first two H60 class races in Rauland yesterday and today, both of them in front of Magne's father Sigurd. Afaik, I have never beaten Sigurd twice before this. :-)
Tomorrow is a long distance in the JWOC 2015 Long terrain...
Jul 9, 2021 9:24 PM # 
kofols:
Why we still need the course design with last loop thru arena?
Jul 9, 2021 9:57 PM # 
kofols:
If following has become part of the sport then we are toasted. We have fixed start time slots for best athletes at the end of the start list now. I see some value of introducing random draw for best 15.
Jul 9, 2021 10:15 PM # 
krysyjane:
The same thing happened in 2016 at woc.
Tove (1st) caught Hausken (3rd) at the 9th control, Gemperle (2nd) caught Wyder (4th) just after control 2. One other reason why orienteering can't be in the Olympics. There are so many variables for every runner, nothing can ever be actually fair.

http://news.worldofo.com/2016/08/27/woc-2016-long-...
"The battle for victory was between the eventual winner Tove Alexanderseson (Sweden) and Russian silver medalist Natalia Gemperle. Gemperle got the initiative in the race by winning the long 2nd leg with one minute, and soon after catching Judith Wyder (Switzerland, 4th in the competition). Gemperle and Wyder ran together for the rest of the competition. Alexandersson ran a poor 2nd leg, and lost 3 minutes to Gemperle on this leg. The rest of the race Alexandersson ran a better technical race than Gemperle, gradually getting closer to Gemperle and in the end winning with 26 seconds. One key to Alexandersson’s win in this race is her performance on the leg to control 9 which she wins with 52 seconds. Another key to the victory is catching Hausken at the 9th control – the two are together from the 9th control to the finish, mostly with Hausken in front."
Jul 9, 2021 11:09 PM # 
stalas:
And the same thing happened in 2017 at WOC in Estonia
William Lind was caught by Olav Lundanes and the Swede travelled for 70 minutes behind the World Champion for medal instead of finishing 20+.

https://iofreflections.blog/2020/06/22/orienteerin...

Feel really pity for Daniel and Emil (who ran all alone the whole course) losing out on a well deserved medal due to athletes trailing Kasper. Also really pity to see this from Mathias after his absolutely superb performance on the Middle and Relay.


There are separation methods like the one mentioned above by Jagge that could solve the problem without sacrificing course quality with butterfly or phi loops.

The only question is whether the IOF cares about the "innocent athlete", like WADA does. Rules are easy to change, especially for major events.
Jul 9, 2021 11:19 PM # 
Hawkeye:
Any Aussie readers reminded of this classic?
Jul 9, 2021 11:41 PM # 
jjcote:
I will not be a consummate orienteer until I have learned to say "unfair" in every language on the planet.
Jul 10, 2021 1:49 AM # 
gruver:
Hawkeye I'll wait until Monday to comment. Tied up this arvo at the Leyland P76 show day.
Jul 10, 2021 2:13 AM # 
robplow:
Greg, maybe you are starting to worry about what the Monday experts will be saying in the beginning of Oct ?
Jul 10, 2021 2:23 AM # 
robplow:
The long start interval was 3 min this year - not the usual 2min. Maybe they thought a combination of the longer gap between runners and lots of route choice legs would split the field up without needing any forking.

the sandstone terrain is really fun but it was a bit unfortunate that there were so many trail options on this map. it's also just way too steep to have any good long route choices where you don't just go way around to avoid the climb.

I agree. Pretty much all the Czech sandstone terrain I have seen has a lot of trails. Often you get the best route choices on shorter legs where instead of just choosing between the left or right trail options a straight option also comes into play.
Jul 10, 2021 3:19 AM # 
EricW:
@kofols- Thanks for raising the question about spectator loops.
I completely agree this is a pointless to stupid concept in almost every application.
Hoewever I'm resigned to accepting it as a given, and given that, I thought every spectator loop was optimal.

Similar point about artificial OB, as it was used in the relay. I abhor the concept, but will admit it created some interesting orienteering.
What I didn't understand was the map symbol. It certainly wasn't 709, and had no bounding line, indicating it was unmarked in the terrain??!!
Can someone educate me?
Jul 10, 2021 3:26 AM # 
robplow:
Eric the competition maps had the OOB as 709 , for some reason the gps tracking maps used a weird purple screen
Jul 10, 2021 3:28 AM # 
EricW:
@ Terje- Magne must know something about trains from his father, the Løten Express, if I remember correctly?

@robplow, thanks. I was hoping for that answer.
Jul 10, 2021 4:43 AM # 
Hawkeye:
@robplow - I'll be happy if the Aus champs happen, state premiers seem to trying to outdo each other in imposing travel restrictions. What's happening in Japan - can you travel between prefectures?
Jul 10, 2021 6:01 AM # 
robplow:
What's happening in Japan - The Olympics! Because John Coates and his mates need their bloo . . . I mean TV money.

Apart from that - not much - never been any real restrictions, lockdowns, etc here. I was in Tokyo last week - the worst restriction there was no alcohol sales after 7pm. Presumably because evening beer causes covid???
Jul 10, 2021 7:02 AM # 
tRicky:
Alcoholics forget to buy beer until after their evening kebab.
Jul 10, 2021 7:06 AM # 
stalas:
Interesting to note that in 2017 it was Magne who lost out on a medal due to a trailer who stayed behind the World Champion for 70 minutes. This time it was him who got a medal thanks to a 70 minute lead-out train (in the spirit of the Tour), before launching into his sprint to "beat Daniel fair and square on that particular part of the race."
Jul 10, 2021 8:01 AM # 
gordhun:
In fairness, trains can lead to 'train wrecks' as happened in the Men's 1972 WOC relay when a couple of guys on the third of four legs were running together and all but one of them punched in at an incorrect control, did not notice the mistake and were DQed.
(A multiple team DQ also happened in 1978 but I'm not sure of the circumstances, just know that it led to Canada's best men's relay finish ever.)
Jul 10, 2021 8:23 AM # 
paw:
One other question (raised by a post on World of O). Why was the Long allowed to finish through the same strip of forest as used for the Relay? In the past when the arenas were shared between races they would generally use separate parts of the terrain (eg WOC2011) with minimal overlap on the printed maps. Indeed, when I saw the small area covered in the Relay I assumed that was the reason. Presumably that's another "rule" that has changed.

Were teams told about this in advance, given the implications for selections? I would have thought it would be a bit of an advantage spending the last 30 minutes of the course in terrain you'd run through 24 hours earlier. It certainly makes a mockery of the embargo.
Jul 10, 2021 9:23 AM # 
stalas:
@gordhun: True. But even if there is a minuscule probability of a train wreck, jumping on the train improves expected result significantly when one is caught by 3min at 25% of the course, and by 6 min at 30% of the course.
Jul 10, 2021 9:39 AM # 
dariusz:
@Terje: " I.e. he beat Daniel fair and square on that particular part of the race." .. after "getting a lecture in long distance orienteering" by Fosser for an hour ("Jeg og (Matthias) Kyburz fikk rett og slett en leksjon i langdistanseorientering i dag") and after being given the essential information that he had to push for bronze at the arena passage.

Might be, that Kyburz was told not to pull, he seems to willfully fiddle away time to the 28th. But what sense would it make to Fosser to give Daehli the front after not caring about leading for an hour? Nope. Fosser was tired. " på slutten var jeg ekstremt sliten".

(http://orientering.no/nyheter/fosser-med-suverent-...)

The podium is not fair.
The IOF does not care.
Jul 10, 2021 12:28 PM # 
upnorthguy:
You guys! The IOF is dealing with this! Don't you remember - there was a survey, and even a presentation about Fair Play.
Jul 10, 2021 12:35 PM # 
robplow:
Daniel Hubmann posted this on Facebook:

The world champs ended in a frustrating way for me. I was in the fight for a medal, but in the end I was beaten by the 3 medalists running in one pack together most of the course. We have had this discussion at least every second year - but why are we not doing something to offer fairer races (bigger start intervals or splitting system)?
On the other side I could also blame myself for loosing 6:15 to the winner. That was obviously too much to win a medal. I had like 5 controls where I lost 30s or more due to sub-optimal route choices, with the biggest time loss to control 15 (+1:47). In the end I missed the medal by 17 seconds.
Jul 10, 2021 12:47 PM # 
kofols:
doing something.... why not ask swiss federation to propose a rule change
Jul 10, 2021 1:08 PM # 
fossil:
This seems a bit odd:

The Swiss and Norwegian coaches told the Fosser train that they could get all the medals, but that is was very tight for the bronze

Norwegians sure, but why would the Swiss coaches tell the train that if they hurry they can wrest the bronze from a Swiss runner?
Jul 10, 2021 1:40 PM # 
coach:
I have never understood why the highest ranked runners are started together at the end of the start list. It seems a given, and I may not appreciate the reason, but it seems to me, for the most fairness, the best runners should be spread through out the start block. I suppose it gives an advantage to a lower ranked runner, if they can run fast to keep up, but otherwise, one must just accept this will happen.
Jul 10, 2021 2:02 PM # 
frichte:
In terms of weather conditions or tracks in the terrain it is only fair to have runners of similar ability start close to each other, especially with such a long start window. Mixing up the top 15 or so would not make much of a difference as they are all medal contenders on a good day.
Having been there as a spectator for the whole week I am obviously in favour of a arena passage and have also heard from competitors that this can give them an extra boost for the last part of the race.
I disagree with opinions about a "running race". First: Everything looks tiny on the printed map (vs. computer screen with zoom option) and it's really hard to even see the passages. Races in the Czech sandstones are often run on 1:7500 maps for that reason. Kokorin is probably the best area where 1:15000 is even feasible. All of the top nations have spent a lot of time in Czech sandstones before the WOC, so they knew what to expect. There still was a lot of carnage among top orienteers who failed to locate certain controls or mixed up valleys (Bergman etc.).
Second: If runners decide to stay together, then this only means that they consider it too risky to chose a different route choice that might (or might not) give them an advantage. It's not like the Tour de France where competitors know through earphones how their current position is and if the person they are running with is a medal contender on that day.
Jul 10, 2021 2:45 PM # 
jjcote:
The top competitors all start at the end because everyone wants to go last due to tracks in the terrain, despite the fact that this is the most effective way to cause trains, which everyone then complains about. And also because of the (possibly unfounded) fear that if you scramble the start list, then an even more unworthy runner might follow the top competitor (as if that's an easy thing to do). WOC is even a special case as compared to top European elite races, because there's a supply of people from lesser countries who could be used as a buffer between the medal contenders, instead of starting them all in a block. The obvious simple solution is not even a consideration.
Jul 10, 2021 3:47 PM # 
robplow:
giving the highest ranked runners the benefit tracking (if there is any) is one thing but I think these days the main reason for having the best start last is for the TV coverage.
Jul 10, 2021 5:47 PM # 
EricW:
I'm not in the loop, but this is very believable.
I suspect TV is also the driver of the problematic minimal start intervals.
Jul 10, 2021 6:04 PM # 
Terje Mathisen:
@fossil: I was unclear, in that the Swiss coaches obviously told their guy that he had a lock on the silver medal, while the Norwegians all yelled that Magne was equal to the bronze at that point (1 second ahead on the official split times)
I would have loved to see better spreading, but with a phi loop or similar around control 12-15 (i.e. a bit after halfway), Kasper and Magne would have gotten the same fork and Matthias the other, which worst case could have resulted in Gold+Silver to the Norwegians if MK had made a small mistake on his fork and lost the train from that point. Winning silver 6 min behind would have been even worse IMHO.
Jul 10, 2021 8:16 PM # 
BorisGr:
Seems like none of this would be as big a deal if we only cared about the race winner, and didn't have this artificial distinction of "3rd place good, 4th place bad."
Jul 10, 2021 8:37 PM # 
graeme:
Congratulations to Daniel Hubmann on winning the individual race today (sigh).
Jul 10, 2021 9:15 PM # 
kofols:
One real option to have a fair long is to introduce qualifications back and have Final with only cca. 20 best. I cant recall any other sport with only Final event at world champs for all.
Jul 10, 2021 9:46 PM # 
Mr Wonderful:
Marathon runs them all at once, even the people who are five miles behind when the winner crosses the line.
Jul 10, 2021 10:02 PM # 
kofols:
Sorry mass race is not an option. :)
Jul 10, 2021 10:57 PM # 
graeme:
@Kofols, removing the first 50 starters won't prevent the later starters running in packs.

All that qualifiers do is prevent many countries from ever running a full long distance race - and make it pointless even to prepare for one. It would effectively remove the traditional distance as a discipline altogether for elites outside a handful of countries.
Jul 10, 2021 11:58 PM # 
kofols:
@graeme
I thought the same 15 years ago but I have changed my mind. It is WOC and you could have A and B final (after A), same course. If someone from B would still be able to beat time from A then this would be a pleasant surprise.
Jul 11, 2021 12:03 AM # 
kofols:
So to qualify for "full long distance race" in B final there could be a trigger, max. +40% qualification winner time.
Jul 11, 2021 1:57 AM # 
simmo:
The train (and I'm surprised there were not more of them, and apparently none in the women's race) could have been avoided by more judicious course planning rather than any of the special splitting measures that have been suggested above.

The long leg with no incentive to choose other than track running so early in the course was a mistake, and almost bound to lead to competitors catching sight of each other.

Not having more 'middle distance type orienteering' was another mistake. (Perhaps the Long distance profile in IOF Rules needs to be updated to encourage more of such.)

Some of the best terrain on the map in the centre of the western half was ignored by the course planner. Legs to 5 and 15 on the Men's course would have provided better opportunities for direct routes (and less track running) had they been 300-500m shorter. Another area with good terrain between controls 21 and 23 on the Men's course would be better with two additional controls instead of the 'route choice' (read track run) leg 22-23 - but that would be too much like middle distance for the IOF.

The IOF profile for Long calls for 'route choices and navigation in rough demanding terrain'. A special element is long legs but 'depending on the type of terrain', and the use of techniques which break up groupings, which includes 'routing the course through technical or low visibilty terrain'. These courses had a lot of track running, which is neither 'rough and demanding' nor 'technical with low visibility'.
Jul 11, 2021 2:37 AM # 
upnorthguy:
+1 Simmo
Jul 11, 2021 5:35 AM # 
gruver:
There were more of them Simmo.
Jul 11, 2021 9:30 AM # 
gordhun:
As Turby used to say: "Sometimes you ride the elevator; sometimes you get the shaft."
An alternative to borrowing course setting legs from the Middle Distance playbook would be to borrow in-game play review and penalties from other sports. Ice hockey has its penalty box. Rugby apparently has its sin bin. Many sports have their situation rooms where officials review the on-going action and do video review when necessary
While the long distance race was going on it did not take long for fans around the world to start posting about the Fosser train. They were watching the gps tracking, perhaps the TV coverage, too.
I propose future WOCs and other events where there is gps tracking set up a situation room to keep eyes on the progress of the athletes. There would also be officials placed at some controls throughout the forest. When a train is spotted and has been going for some time the gps review officials can communicate with the in-forest police to stop one or more of the train and tell them to wait a minute or two. Normally it would be the athlete started earlier that would be stopped.
After the penalty is served on he/ she goes. But here is the difference from other sports: the delay would only be to break up the pack, not to really assign a penalty so at the end of the race the delayed orienteer would get that time deducted. Or not: that is for others to decide.
The other thing I suggest be borrowed from another sport is from golf where no coaching or advising is allowed from the sidelines. It makes no sense that coaches and even the stadium announcer should be telling later starting orienteers details about the time they have to make up to get to the podium.
Jul 11, 2021 9:52 AM # 
tRicky:
Geez I agree with your second option but the first one just introduces an element of randomness and penalises the athlete who has to serve out time - have you ever had to try to get going again both physically and mentally after a break and who's to say the time penalty will be exactly deducted at the end in a sport where seconds can make all the difference? I also don't think sticking officials in the field is all that fair (just look at the China example to see what went on there with showing competitors where controls were).

I've always been against having, for instance, an arena commentator announce how far ahead or behind a particular athlete is when going through an arena run through.
Jul 11, 2021 10:41 AM # 
graeme:
Its actually quite unusual for a train to form in the middle of a long leg, more often it happens in technical terrain with good visibility when the runner ahead has to slow down. Or at a butterfly loop! And in fact there were rather few trains in the terrain despite not having some breaking up system - its unfortunate that the one which formed had all the medallists in it.
I find the idea that taking a minute's rest would be a disadvantage rather weird. You can often see that the fastest split on a leg is by a runner who just made a mistake and had to slow which proves, unsurprisingly, that these guys are running at their physical limit.
Jul 11, 2021 10:52 AM # 
tRicky:
Maybe they suffer from my problem - when I get fast splits at NOL events against the Aus elites it's typically because I've made a mistake on the way there and visited the next control prior to the one I was aiming for.
Jul 12, 2021 9:07 AM # 
graeme:
Are the full set of split times published anywhere?
Jul 12, 2021 9:12 AM # 
Shingo:
http://obasen.orientering.se/winsplits/online/en/d... for the long, others are also on WinSplits.
Jul 12, 2021 11:24 AM # 
graeme:
Classy: https://www.instagram.com/p/CRJ4NzYMs4n/
Jul 12, 2021 12:54 PM # 
BorisGr:
Interesting response from William Lind...
Jul 12, 2021 1:25 PM # 
gordhun:
OOOH that is a very tough self assessment by Mr. Daehli. Partially sternly rebutted by Mr. Lind.
Jul 12, 2021 3:00 PM # 
j-man:
How can you not be sympathetic to Daehli or whoever finds themselves in that position (unintentionally being caught up by a higher-ranked runner near or at the end of the startlist)? What are you supposed to do? Run into a swamp or wrong way down a track to punish yourself? What are you supposed to do if Fosser or whoever is taking what seems like the optimal route? Defer to him because he made up 3, 6 minutes or whatever? It's an untenable situation.

I haven't studied this problem extensively--as it really isn't germane to any of my direct experiences--and it's been studied by innumerable more vested people than me... but what is wrong with alternating phi loops (in not extremely technical/dense terrain so as to forestall the bunching that can occur when people have to slow down in more "middle" style areas)?
Jul 12, 2021 3:17 PM # 
Ifor:
So what about a longer start interval for the last few runners? It's only the really top 2 or 3 at most that you could expect to be able to lead a train to all 3 medals. Let's just spread them out more than the rest of the field. It would at least help with the major issue people see with the medals all coming from one train.
Jul 12, 2021 3:17 PM # 
robplow:
What is wrong with butterfly/phi loops?

1.they make it harder to set good long distance courses with long route choice legs. The consequence of this is often that the loops are kept as short as possible

2. as Graeme points out: if the loops are short, they tend to create bunching instead of splitting up groups.

3. If you make the loops longer, and especially if you make them uneven (1 loop significantly longer than the other) it makes it much harder to know how a runner is doing until they have completed both loops. Which is seen as not good for TV coverage.
Jul 12, 2021 3:25 PM # 
robplow:
So what about a longer start interval for the last few runners?

sounds like a reasonable idea but remember that having a 3min interval this year was highly unusual - at most recent WOC longs the interval has been 2min (the rules specify 3min but the IOF council regularly grants a exemption). The rationale is (as always) TV - longer start intervals make the TV coverage too long or too boring or . . .
Jul 12, 2021 3:43 PM # 
j-man:
@robplow--

I agree with your points 1 & 2--but those are a matter of degree and can be at least (imperfectly) addressed.

As for #3, I guess. But, unless runners are running together, do you ever really know how they are doing relative to the rest? Sure, you can say through control X runner n is xx minutes. But there are 15 minutes legs on the long; a phi loop is just another 15 minute leg... and you still have tracking...

I am sympathetic to the need to not have a start window be hours long; although I'm also sympathetic to the final only having the top 20 runners in it, allowing for relatively wide intervals.

There were long qualis for a while; I guess I understand not having extraneous races in a long week, but with more focused WOCs in the future, that is less of a thing? Also, I don't feel that third-tier O-nations should automatically get a spot in the long. That's worse for TV, IMHO, and doesn't make any sense.
Jul 12, 2021 3:59 PM # 
robplow:
I don't necessarily agree with point 3 - I am just trying to summarize criticisms I have heard. I think a good commentator (perhaps with the help of some smart software) can make the difference in the loops and the uncertainty as to who is doing better a point of added interest and use it to increase the tension for the viewer.

Also, I don't feel that third-tier O-nations should automatically get a spot in the long. That's worse for TV, IMHO, and doesn't make any sense.

But they start first are mostly ignored by the TV coverage which concentrates on the business end of the start list. And it suits the long term Olympic aspirations to be able to say 'look at how many countries we have participating in the final'. And it can be important for some countries as a motivational thing to have places in th long final.
Jul 12, 2021 4:11 PM # 
hillanddale:
I agree that it is great that the long is open to all countries but surely there has to be some qualification element (world ranking for example)? I can’t believe that the Egyptian runner’s experience in the women’s long has done anything to further the cause of orienteering in her country.
Jul 12, 2021 5:19 PM # 
j-man:
I agree, and I'm not even singling out Egypt. There are other more mature but still struggling nations who can't necessarily fill their available slots to be compelling in the long final.

The Olympics don't allow 20 nations in the 100 meter final (or lots of other athletics events) for obvious reasons. The finals should showcase a subset that have the possibility, even if a single digit probability, of medaling. And for that there has to be a cut-off. Or have a 5 hour start window--but that isn't fair to the organizers, runners, or audience either. Not really a realistic solution.

Anyway, this has all been debated for years; I certainly have nothing new to add.
Jul 12, 2021 7:36 PM # 
lost:
Anyone who is a sufficiently committed orienteering fan to spend several hours watching the WOC Long in real time - which, let's face it, is mostly about watching dots on GPS tracking, despite the valiant efforts of the producers - is going to be able to cope with big asymmetric nested phi loops or similar. Although it might make a nice 30-minute highlights package, the WOC Long is an acquired taste and is never going to have live TV appeal to the masses; we should just accept that and live with it. We have KO Sprint and Sprint Relay for that. (And I speak as someone who routinely takes a day off work to watch the WOC and EOC Longs.)
Jul 12, 2021 9:28 PM # 
kofols:
A key goal for IOF should be a fair long race. To dig down all the options we dont have that many solutions.

1) less runners in the final (top 20), wider start intervals
If we need more countries in the final we could have top 50 but they need to start after top 20, shorter start intervals. With forest WOC model I think qualification race shouldn't be a problem. I see that the real problem for many is a start list. Running first is seen as disantvantage and that is why qualification race is better solution than world ranking. I think is the same as at Maratons, TV for best and others coming to the finish after the best.

2) No phi loops or other course method separation will solve the problem of start intervals.

3) IOF want all; more countries in the final, TV, best at the end, shorter intervals, running thru arena, last loop, challenging course, fair race. After so many WOCs we know that all this (rules) is too risky to have a fair race. We need to make a compromise if we want to have a fair race.
Jul 12, 2021 9:43 PM # 
blairtrewin:
The rules do provide for a minimum world ranking score to be able to start in the long, but this was suspended for WOC 2021 because of the lack of recent WREs. Different (longer) start intervals for the top runners have been used in a few World Cups.
Jul 12, 2021 10:53 PM # 
tRicky:
If there's going to be this much controversy every time a WOC long is held then perhaps we should do away with the discipline. Just stick with real orienteering - sprints - much better for television, no issue with start intervals (one minute makes for a shorter start draw) and less problematic with following since if you do get caught, you're already out of the medals.
Jul 12, 2021 11:28 PM # 
Spike:
The Egyptian runner probably participated as part of the IOF clinic. That might help develop the sport in Egypt. The long race probably doesn't help or hurt the sport in Egypt. But participating in the IOF clinic seems like a good thing.
Jul 12, 2021 11:55 PM # 
krysyjane:
On the talk of coaches/commentators/spectators telling the runners about results etc. As a jwoc manager, I saw several coaches telling runners to punch the spectator control that they were about to miss or had missed by running past and told to go back by their coach or manager at the coaching zone who saw it. The person who pointed the last control out to Maja in Latvia at woc as well. The results would have been changed over the years due to commentators, as an athlete you wait for any word as you are running through the spectator to find out how you are going. This happens in both Australia and Internationally. For someone to be told at the last control that they 30 seconds to get to the finish or that they are in 2nd by 10 seconds at the spectator can change the race results completely.
Jul 13, 2021 12:13 AM # 
jjcote:
Why is there a coaching zone?
Jul 13, 2021 1:42 AM # 
tRicky:
In case someone on course forgets how to orienteer.
Jul 13, 2021 3:07 AM # 
simmo:
IOF and all of us should be celebrating Salma Hassan Abdelaliz. Who remembers the winner of the 100m freestyle at the Sydney Olympics, but noone's forgotten Eric the Eel Moussambani setting the Equatorial Guinea national record. Same for Eddie the Eagle and the Jamaican bobsled team.
Jul 13, 2021 3:23 AM # 
tRicky:
It was probably Michael Phelps wasn't it? Nope too early for him - some Dutch person no doubt.
Jul 13, 2021 3:23 AM # 
jennycas:
The same equally embarrassing scenario has happened at multiple past WOCs - it's really not fair on the Egyptians to make them run the championship races - IOF should be ashamed of letting them do so.
Jul 13, 2021 4:11 AM # 
jjcote:
It's one thing to have people who are slow in the WOC, or the Olympics. It's a different matter to send people out there who do not have the necessary skills to participate in the event at all.
Jul 13, 2021 6:57 AM # 
Jagge:
Seeing other competitors and running together is and can be part of the game, no need to erase that aspect completely, we just need to make sure that aspect does not dominate. With only 20 competitors we well leave out plenty of medal candidates and make the race less interesting because plenty of fan's will not see their favourites starting at all.

Traditional spreading methods are meant to break packs by dropping less skilled athletes by making them navigate on their own for a short while. That's why method like short butterfly loops work so poorly here - we have equally good athletes and making them navigate for a while will not spread them.

All you need to spread equally fast runners is delaying them.and spreading the delay to different parts of the course. Like some having to stop for a minute at #5 some at #10 and some at #18, based on start bib. Or event minute twice. If rest is no-no then you need to have a flagged part and make them run that. Note, making competitors wait to make them navigate independently is nothing new, it has been used in orienteering for ages. That's what interval start is compared to mass start, we make them wait at start x minutes base on their bib number. So delay method is pretty well known and we already know it works.
Jul 13, 2021 7:39 AM # 
tRicky:
As I mentioned already, having a break before you start is different to having a break mid-race - it breaks up whatever momentum you may have accumulated.
Jul 13, 2021 8:06 AM # 
simmo:
We've had events where you have to wait at a road crossing (punching both sides so the time can be adjusted). If you're told to expect it before the event, it shouldn't affect either your physical or mental performance.
Jul 13, 2021 11:42 AM # 
EricW:
Jagge, I think your general proposal is on the right track, if not perfected, at least better than other proposals that I have noticed..
Just forget about the start analogy. :-)
Jul 13, 2021 1:33 PM # 
Cristina:
I think Jagge's proposal is good. Biathletes ski in circles, it's not like that's unknown in the weird nordic sports world. And it would be certain to break up people who started near each other. Basically no impact to the quality of the course.
Jul 13, 2021 2:30 PM # 
kofols:
The main problem with "dead runing" in my view is that you split one train but very possible that athletes form a new one. All we need is to have wider start intervals which means less athletes in the final. And with wider start interval you could have a rule that athlete who is cought is eliminated. Maybe B final (no TV) on the same course based on qualification race & maybe B final start 2h before to form tracks in the woods if this is important to have the same conditions for A final athletes.
Jul 13, 2021 3:18 PM # 
graeme:
Jagges proposal will increase the amount of trains, because it changes the time gap to the nearest runner from 3 to 2 minutes. Plus, having rested legs and knowing someone is maybe 20-30 sec ahead and can be caught makes that the best strategy.

But what it does achieve is that no single train can survive for most of the race, which would make it fairer. And, for the reasons jagge's mentions, it's more effective than butterflies for equally-skilled runners.

Similar, but more effective, would be to hold the trailing runner back and restart with 1 (2?) min gaps at each of a series of controls. One could even combine the ideas giving everyone a minimum time-out section, similar to the neutralised sections on bike races.

But first, we need the athletes to be clear that they don't want trains. Daehli might have argued that he worked hard on getting a good position in the start list, and so earning the chance of a tow, just like he deserved to have tracks made for him in the terrain. It's certainly an argument I've heard. Hubmann is one of the very, very few athletes who commands enough respect to say what he did without being accused of sour grapes.
Jul 13, 2021 3:25 PM # 
jjcote:
Eliminating an overtaken athlete is an intriguing possibility, but a dangerous one. A mistake early in the course means that there's no hope to come back? A runner who is assigned a start time right after a top competitor from a rival country is instructed to be an "assassin", who runs as hard as possible for the first part of the course with the sole intent of catching and eliminating the favorite?

Jagge's proposal does have much better hope for success than phi loops, because it actively separates the runners. Considering the train from this year, all are top prospects, fully capable of navigating, and all would be capable of completing a phi loop in about the same amount of time. It's not as if the other two would have been lost when they had to go a different way from Fosser (and one of them would have had the same routing anyway). But as kofols points out, although the dead running can break up a train, it can also create one. It would take some math to determine if there's a net benefit, but that's a job for graeme.

(Oh, I see that he already did that while I was posting!)
Jul 13, 2021 3:37 PM # 
robplow:
hold the trailing runner back and restart with 1 (2?) min gaps at each of a series of controls. One could even combine the ideas giving everyone a minimum time-out section, similar to the neutralised sections on bike races.

some interesting ideas - but how do you choose who is the trailing runner? If I were no 2 or 3 in group like that and knew a 'restart control' was coming up it might be worth sprinting for the control so that the real leader is held back instead of me. I haven't fully thought through what the best play would be but you would need to be very careful not to introduce a system that inadvertently rewards that sort of gamesmanship or introduces the possibility of the trailing runners shafting the real lead runner.
Jul 13, 2021 3:50 PM # 
Cristina:
Plus, having rested legs and knowing someone is maybe 20-30 sec ahead

Why would they have rested legs? Surely they would not take it *that* easy during the dead running section.
Jul 13, 2021 3:56 PM # 
gordhun:
Do any orienteering associations anywhere have experience DQing participants for tagging other orienteers? If so how do you do it?
Jul 13, 2021 4:11 PM # 
gordhun:
Yes, In Florida we have many events with large fields generally starting at one or two minute intervals. We do not do it all the time but we warn our participants that they may be pulled from the race if they are caught following or even collaborating with other participants. Often we have officials in the field to do the pulling. It is summary justice.
We also use a timing program that has a feature called Splitsbrowser. Splitsbrowser is not live tracking but it does take each participant's times at each control and produces for review five line graphs and a results chart.
The Splits Graph shows orienteers on a course as if they all started at thge same time.
The Race Graph compares them to their time on the 24 hr clock. So those who are constantly getting to the same control at the same time show up very clearly.
Rather than DQ either of the athletes we usually advise their coaches that we have our eyes on them. It is very rare that a group run lasts more than two or three controls.
I think a program such as splitsbrowser and the evidence it produces could be used at WOC to DQ a participant probably based on an appeal by one team against another.
Jul 13, 2021 4:19 PM # 
robplow:
but then the canny follower just sprints ahead of the leader at some controls so as to fool the system.
Jul 13, 2021 4:21 PM # 
fossil:
how do you choose who is the trailing runner?

Lower bib # = who got caught. Higher bib # = who did the catching.

That said I don't imagine handing out random on-the-spot delays is going to prove a popular solution with the athletes.
Jul 13, 2021 4:21 PM # 
robplow:
Having said that I do like the fact, Gord, that you guys are being proactive in promoting a culture where it is clearly considered unethical to follow.
Jul 13, 2021 4:24 PM # 
DaveR:
You could almost tell this is an orienteering discussion. Lots of more and more complicated ways of trying to mitigate a built-in problem. (See almost any orienteering discussion on any issue)
In this case the problem is that the start interval is too short. Why not double the start interval and interleave the Women's and Men's starts so that we have a starter every 3 minutes, but 6 minutes between adjacent women (and adjacent men).
Jul 13, 2021 4:25 PM # 
robplow:
Lower bib # = who got caught. Higher bib # = who did the catching.

But it could be that lowerbib just made a mistake and got caught by higherbib but after that it is lowerbib that is doing all the leading.

It just is not that simple.
Jul 13, 2021 4:25 PM # 
Nixon:
i.e. WOC 2005 men's long final
Jul 13, 2021 4:27 PM # 
Nixon:
@ DaveE
"Why not double the start interval and interleave the Women's and Men's starts so that we have a starter every 3 minutes, but 6 minutes between adjacent women (and adjacent men)".

A simple answer that is responsible for many of the technical problems with current international level foot orienteering; TV.
Jul 13, 2021 4:44 PM # 
graeme:
@cristina I assumed the timed-out athlete would stop rather than run a penalty loop (as did jagge, I think).

I'm also genuinely bemused that people regard a timed-out 1 min rest mid course as a disadvantage.

@DaveR@Nixon - yes, you're right!
Jul 13, 2021 4:50 PM # 
robplow:
I tend to agree DaveR - most of these compicated solutions would be hard to implement and could have unintended consequences - the cure worse than the disease.

And I think Nixon is right the main reason why longer start intervals are opposed is TV. So can we think of ways making the TV coverage exciting and not overlong even if with a longer start interval.

Ok lets say the optimum time for TV broadcast is 2-2 1/2hours (I wouldn't know - this is just a hypothetical) So for a men's long you would want to start the coverage about 30 min before the last starter. If it was 6min intervals you would be starting the coverage with the 5th last starter. But with 6min intervals there will be less happening in the forest at any one time compared to 2 or 3min. So there is the potential of stretches of almost dead time which is not good for retaining viewer interest. But you can fill that with footage of earlier runners, analysis of route choices, prerecorded interviews, etc.

I think with a bit of imagination and planning you could still make a highly engaging/exciting broadcast with a 6 min interval. In fact there are some major advantages. Watching gps dots moving in real time they seem very very slow. But if you have footage of earlier runners combined with speeded up gps tracking that is often much better viewing than live gps. And with that extra time because of the lonnger intervals you can do more gps comparisons of earleir runners to current runners.

In short - instead of just trying to modify the course setting and rules so as to fit the perceived constraints of TV coverage perhaps we could also look at ways of making the TV exciting even with longer start intervals.
Jul 13, 2021 5:15 PM # 
pi:
Why do all runners have to start with the same interval? Start the lower ranked half of the field even with 1 min interval. Then use a 6 min interval only for the top 15.
Jul 13, 2021 5:55 PM # 
j-man:
"the cure worse than the disease"--exactly what I was thinking.

phi/butterfly loops are admittedly contrived, but not nearly as contrived as a marked penalty route or even worse making people stop. To me, and maybe a minority opinion, those solutions are beyond the pale for something that is supposed to be the ne plus ultra "race" in our sport. Head to head "races" are better than time trials, IMO, but the latter is what we need to do to preserve the essential element of the sport--navigating independently at speed. However, moving further from a "race" construct--one in which you can tell who's winning is very simple terms--seems to be foolish errand.

Again, how big of a problem is this really? Particularly if you can use 3 minute start intervals (someone already answered this question...) Seemingly not that big...
Jul 13, 2021 6:49 PM # 
kofols:
TV production for Long is 2h. 120 minut / 20 athletes = 6 min start interval. With qualifications you get 20 best orienteers. Very unlikely for anyone to be cought on the course (how many runners have been cought in the past WOCs by 6 mins among best 20, besides WOC21?, I think none!). But if it happens then athlete is eliminated. I thinik this is fair if you consider how thought is to get into the final in other sports. Spectators want elite event and all we want is fair final among best of best.

"A mistake early in the course means that there's no hope to come back?"
YES, 6 min is the cut off. Read what Dahli said.
Jul 13, 2021 7:06 PM # 
kofols:
And the show start with the last 5 runners. That means the first starter is almost at the finish 15×6 min = 90 min. In between they could show interesting route choices from early starters and other stuff. I think this is not boring TV final.
Jul 13, 2021 7:14 PM # 
Jagge:
The athlete who gets eliminated middle of a perfect run form about 4th place or even podium position only because the next starter happens to be Tove/Kasper might not find that method entirely fair.
Jul 13, 2021 8:11 PM # 
Nixon:
"how many runners have been cought in the past WOCs by 6 min among best 20, besides WOC21?, I think none"

Several people every year will be caught by 6 mins and finish in the top 20.
Jul 13, 2021 8:11 PM # 
jjcote:
There are lots of details to be considered if you are eliminating people. If someone has lost seven minutes, he may not know he has been caught, so the punching station will need to somehow tell him that a later starter has already gone by. And it needs to download the punches at every control to make sure that each runner has already been to all of the previous controls, so that someone can't skip a control to get ahead and eliminate someone. I'm sure there are many other issues, that's just what I thought of first.
Jul 13, 2021 8:30 PM # 
Nixon:
If you want to disqualify people for "following" then you need to disqualify everyone in the pack...

IOF Rule 26.2
Except in the case of an accident, seeking to obtain or obtaining assistance from other runners or providing assistance to other competitors during a competition is forbidden. It is the duty of all competitors to help injured runners

I'd also point out that breaking of the rules doesn't automatically mean disqualification

IOF Rule 26.10
A competitor who breaks any rule, or who benefits from the breaking of any rule, may be disqualified.

People get caught in orienteering, it's always happened and always will. Being 3 minutes down on the winner can easily get you a medal in the long, being 6 minutes down will often get you a podium, and being 12 mins down will normally get you a top 20. You rarely see athletes complain about it because it rarely has such a profound effect as it did this year. However, anyone who has ever complained about it will definitely have benefited from it in the past, even Hubman will have had a cheeky tow at one point in his life (probably not very many though, he's a bit good)

There are only two viable solutions for this: a well planned spreading system or longer start intervals. Many of the spreading systems that have been used have been either poorly planned or poorly located in the race and seem to end up creating just as many packs as the break up, and TV producers don't like them. Increasing start intervals at the end of the start list would be the best solution, but the TV producers don't like that either.

WOC is about TV. The IOF don't care who wins the medals, they only care that those who do are well televised.
Jul 13, 2021 8:31 PM # 
DaveR:
@Nixon @graeme I think you are almost right "A simple answer that is responsible for many of the technical problems with current international level foot orienteering; TV."

I actually think the problem is much more what IOF _THINK_ TV wants. In my limited experience, the TV folk are really good at what they do (no surprise there) and can adapt to most formats.
Jul 13, 2021 8:33 PM # 
Nixon:
"problem is much more what IOF _THINK_ TV wants"

I couldn't agree more!
Jul 13, 2021 9:51 PM # 
graeme:
Hubmann will have had a cheeky tow
2013 middle final, (a good day for trains IIRC ;) he was caught and ran with gold medallist Novikov. Although the tracking offers little doubt about who was the driver and who was the passenger.

@kofols, William Lind (bronze 2017) was caught by the winner already at control 4 - Daehli (4th) alludes to this.

@DaveR. I agree about TV, except that one thing that they don't want to do is make an edited highlights package. IMO, that would be the best way to televise the long. Does anyone really take time off work to watch it live?
Jul 13, 2021 11:14 PM # 
kofols:
One of the si-fi option based on the current format is to introduce "knock out" via map exchanges. 2x map exchanges app. at 30% and at 65% of the course. 3 courses which works like.... From the start to the first map exchange all athletes have the same course. At first and second map exchange there a two slightly different maps (course) to the finish. Final ranking is based on the first, second (second map exchange), third tier. More like a relay. No elimination.
Jul 14, 2021 1:15 AM # 
tRicky:
Does anyone really take time off work to watch it live?

Time off from sleep in our part of the world.
Jul 14, 2021 1:30 AM # 
blairtrewin:
There have certainly been highlights packages for TV at some past WOCs - I did commentary for them for some of the events at WOC 2014.
Jul 14, 2021 10:32 AM # 
BOM:
@tRicky. No need to drop work or sleep. The competitions are in (Central European) prime time for TV. After all that is where most of the TV-audience is.

Fitting to TV has lead to another problem not discussed here. The (lack of) light for the last starters might be a disadvantage. This was clearly seen for the relay, and the start for the long distance was pushed forward. At WOC 2019 all the last leg runners in the relay were provided with headlamps.
Jul 14, 2021 10:55 AM # 
simmo:
BOM what time do you think late afternoon in CET is in Australia? See my post on WOC Surprises.

Disappointing that highlights are not available, as Blair says, they have been previously. They are useful in promoting orienteering to non-orienteers, and especially children, in countries where it is not a well-known sport.

There are some snippets of the sprints on the IOF News page, but they really only show the winners and no map or tracking.
Jul 14, 2021 1:32 PM # 
kofols:
Edit: explanation on above proposal.

If athlete is cought before the first map exchange he get slightly different course to the finish (relay logic) and his result is within this third tier. Same if athlete is cought between first and second map exchange he get slighlty different course to the finish and his result is within this second tier. Only athletes who ran the main course are able to win the race (first tier) and their results are always regarded better then second and third tier results.
Jul 14, 2021 1:58 PM # 
jjcote:
Kind of messes with the individual athlete's pacing strategy, although if the start interval is large enough, maybe it wouldn't make a difference. Otherwise everyone goes out too fast in order to increase the chance of making first tier.
Jul 14, 2021 6:15 PM # 
kofols:
"goes out too fast"
Maybe this is not bad, more presure on everyone as we could see more mistakes. The only real challenge would be a start list order because you need to split best 20 thru the start list.
I see this "knock out" system to be mentaly similar challenge as in tenis. If you are a lower seed you get more experienced athlete behind. If athlete manage to survive and experienced runner makes a mistake you get a chance to get result at least in second tier if not first tier. It gives more drama to the whole event and a chance for surprises from lesser nations and maybe more presure to the favourites and athletes from best teams. At the end best always win and in this system we get also fair race among medal positions.

The beauty of this model is that if athlete get cought and overtaken without knowing this he get a map and push hard till the end. It is still long course for everyone but less (almost NONE) influence on top results.
Jul 14, 2021 11:13 PM # 
tRicky:
What if there's no map exchange? This system also allows luck into the results. You could be a lucky lower seed runner who gets someone behind who makes a mistake or you could get unlucky and have someone behind who has a solid run and wipes out your result. Sure it only affects lower level runners and no-one seems to care about those but speaking from experience, a higher finishing position based on merit rather than luck is sometimes all that those of us mere mortals can hope for.
Jul 14, 2021 11:39 PM # 
gordhun:
Rechanneling onto different courses mid race? Spreading the top runners throughout the field? Etc. Etc.
I think this discussion has arrived at the point where we can see that the current race format is probably the least worst of all the alternatives.
Spread out the top runners among the lower seeds? Being a lower seed does not mean being a weak runner. Need I remind you that the most egregious example of following at a WOC happened when a very good runner who at the time knew dick all about orienteering was languishing around the sixth control with the slowest time to that point when along came an orienteer destined to finish third in the race starting 1/2 hour after and the two ran 'together' for the rest of the course moving the newbie from last to mid 20s. 'So what? He didn't get a medal.' seemed to be the IOF attitude. 'He unfairly pushed each of the rest of us down a notch' was my response.
What needs to happen for WOC races to be fairer? The sport needs to produce clear guidelines about separating fair play checking on other participants you see in the woods from what is tagging/ following. Teams have to be prepared to protest the tagging and the jury has to then do its job.
Jul 14, 2021 11:57 PM # 
jjcote:
Good luck coming up with clear guidelines for that.
Jul 15, 2021 2:14 AM # 
tRicky:
I think the bigger concern at WOC is that the organisers cannot distinguish between Austria and Australia. The WOC news page stated that there were 39 countries represented 'including... Australia' when there were clearly no runners represented from our nation (I counted 38 countries). There were New Zealand runners though. Perhaps they thought the two countries were the same or that they come under our banner. The New Zealanders will tell you otherwise.
Jul 15, 2021 2:28 AM # 
yurets:
I think the bigger concern at WOC is that the organisers cannot distinguish between Austria and Australia.

That's Dumb and Dumber opening scene
Jul 15, 2021 2:56 AM # 
Nick:
not easy to do, but at the arena passage- with not much extra work could be added 2 or 3 small courses maps for each runner, the runners will get THAT/THOSE maps there and will be an easy spread ( i think few years back in Norway there was a world cup with a "micro-o" just around arena passage). not sure what reaction was back them from spectator/TV feed back.
Jul 15, 2021 3:40 AM # 
gruver:
The take-homes for me so far: splitting systems are a waste of time. Looks like they have to cater for a 3-way split at least; and at the top end of the field runners may well take the same time and come together again. Best suggestion I've seen above is to interleave the men and the women thereby doubling the intervals. I think we could follow the two races simultaneously.

BTW Why do we run the men last, is there some implication that this is the pinnacle of the competition or something? There is still lots of gender bias in orienteering, eg why are the target times different?
Jul 15, 2021 3:49 AM # 
jjcote:
That very question has been around since at least 1993. That year, my memory is that we did have the same start window for men and women, with the start times interleaved, although not to increase the start interval (alternating starts every minute, I think). But the target winning times were different. Why? We understood the lengths being different, but why should the winning times be different? I don't remember if any of the old discredited theories about women's anatomy were tossed out there, but we eventually got the controllers to admit the truth, that the "powers that be" wanted to make sure that the women's event was over before the final excitement of the "real" championship race. So we got our answer, burt we weren't allowed to do anything about it.

(I am very glad that we didn't have to deal with butterflies, phi loops, penalty laps, arena run-thoughs, or any of that. For the Long (known back then as Classic), the competitors started in a remote location, and were unseen in the forest until popping out on the other side of a lake at the next to last control. We also didn't have any TV (or GPS tracking) back then. We had at least one radio control, maybe two, I'm not sure how well they worked. Split times were from soggy sheets of paper, courtesy of people sitting in hiding at each control in the cold pouring rain -- I don't think anyone is nostalgic for that part.)
Jul 15, 2021 3:53 AM # 
tRicky:
Could learn some examples from MTB WOC. Men and women are already 'interleaved' in the start draw (though still 3min intervals between gender in the long race). From the mass start format it's easy enough to split people once then split again further in the race but still completing overall the same course. Sure you visit some of the same controls twice but it's better than a phi loop where the implication is that those same runners come together again shortly afterwards. With a proper split system you may split early then split again later in the loop if somehow two runners got the same forking. Forking can even be long enough that the courses don't come together again until much later in the race. Whose to say that the fork has to be a short loop?
Jul 15, 2021 4:11 AM # 
Nick:
@jjcote i was soaked before i start the race - from the cabin( where we had the last dry spot) to the start on the warm up portion. a bit nostalgic though.. not sure about the volunteers who spent way longer time out there
Jul 15, 2021 4:24 AM # 
gruver:
The IOF rules for MTBO have identical target times for men and women. Perhaps Sandor can comment on the background to that - wonder if there was any resistance? I think its inevitable that society only slowly wakes up to various discriminations in its midst; and then there's a tussle between the forward thinkers (and those discriminated against) and the conservative rump. Which can get quite nasty, eg Boston Marathon 1967.
Jul 15, 2021 4:30 AM # 
gruver:
@jj - the controllers in 1993, what was the gender distribution? I think I can guess the answer. What is the gender distribution of SEAs these days?
Jul 15, 2021 4:38 AM # 
simmo:
This year men started first at the Sprint and Middle, women started first at the Relay and Long.
Jul 15, 2021 6:58 AM # 
blairtrewin:
It seems to have been forgotten here that a proposal for equal WOC winning times was brought to the IOF General Assembly in 2016, and the member countries voted against it.
Jul 15, 2021 7:30 AM # 
tRicky:
If female orienteers want to be paid the same as men, they should run a similarly timed course.
Jul 15, 2021 8:05 AM # 
Terje Mathisen:
We've known for a few decades that women are genetically better at endurance than men, but that the testosterone-induced larger muscle mass more than makes up for this on anything requiring explosive power, which includes steep uphill climbs.

Female racers have won several ultra endurance races, like the 400 km/240 mile one in the US, or a few of the backyard ultras, so there is absolutely no valid reason for having shorter winning times in the WOC Long. I can only think of one possible explanation, and that is that Tove A would win by even more if she could get a course designed to last for 95 min. I.e. everyone else would need 100+.

We did see this two years ago at WOC 2019, when the men and the women ran essentially the exact same course for the last 4+ km, and Tove matched the best 5 men over that part.
Jul 15, 2021 8:22 AM # 
blairtrewin:
My reading of the 2016 vote was that while there were certainly a few dinosaurs in the debate, most of the votes against seemed to be driven by what countries perceived as the strengths and weaknesses of their then-current teams. (As the saying goes, "always back self-interest - it's the one horse you know is trying").
Jul 15, 2021 9:41 AM # 
stalas:
In MTBO the female athletes (and the masters) were the ones who wanted to end discrimination.

Since 2014 we have the same winning times for all classes and all genders by popular demand, supported by the MTBO Commision and approved by the Council.

M/W 21-85+
Long distance 105 -115
Mass Start 75 - 85
Middle distance 50 - 55
Sprint 20 - 25
Relay 120 - 135

Funny to note that the Council made a General Assembly decision out of pedestrian winning times (it is not a GA matter), but always changes the GA approved budget at will, seldom bothering even to inform the member federations of the changes.
Jul 15, 2021 9:42 AM # 
gruver:
Thanks Sandor. All, I apologise for creating a diversion. I think we know how the world works, and it does eventually change.

Regardless of what the womens target time is, are there any good reasons why men and women shouldn't start alternately in the individual races?
Jul 15, 2021 9:51 AM # 
tRicky:
Since 2014 we have the same winning times for all classes and all genders at popular demand

I made this the case at the 2016 Australian Champs and was told by some of the locals that the winning times for the older age groups were too long so I just pointed them in the direction of the race rules. I did request clarification at the time and was told this was okay but MTBO Aus has since reverted to the previous standards and lowered the winning times for female age groups for the long distance event - 85-95 vs 105-115 (the other four disciplines remain equal across genders and senior age groups).
Jul 15, 2021 11:58 AM # 
jjcote:
The IOF controllers in 1993 were all male (two of them plus one assistant). The US technical team was almost entirely male, except for one woman who at various points in the process was slated to be course setter for the "Short" (similar to the modern Middle), and one of the vetters for the Classic. The former was on the team the entire time, and in the end was our internal national course consultant, providing advice and input on all courses.

The biggest dispute between us and the controllers had to do with course lengths, because they thought the terrain was slower the we did, based on the times from a World Cup race seven years earlier that was nearby but in different terrain, and those courses had been set by that woman on our team, who got the times right in 1986, and believed along with the rest of us that the 1993 terrain was faster. But the controllers kept insisting that we make the courses shorter. There were several notorious moments, the worst of which was a meeting where, after hearing an explanation from the woman, one of the controllers said to our chief of course setting, "You and I will go in the other room, and we two men will decide on the course lengths". The reply was that nothing like that was going to happen, the controller would sit there and listen to our trusted expert.

(In the end we were right about the winning times, they all turned out to be faster than the controllers expected or wanted.)
Jul 15, 2021 3:41 PM # 
Jagge:
I guess after WOC 1991 there was lot of pressure to make sure winning times of the next WOC long are if not right at least not too long.
Jul 15, 2021 9:37 PM # 
graeme:
1986 Slow terrain...
http://www.tiborv.net/maps/show_map.php?user=Helle...

1993 Fast terrain...
https://maps.plohni.com/map/klaus/1808

Even though I've run on both, so I know its true, I still don't understand why.
Jul 15, 2021 9:48 PM # 
Gswede:
I don't know if many parts of Surebridge can be classed as fast terrain anymore.
Jul 15, 2021 10:32 PM # 
BorisGr:
Moneyhole is way gnarlier and more overgrown, but I agree that this isn't obvious from the maps. The locals just knew... (as we do now also - hardly anyone goes and trains on Moneyhole, while people flock to Surebridge.)
Jul 15, 2021 10:43 PM # 
kofols:
"moving the newbie from last to mid 20s."
Perfect example! I think the presented model would solve such issue very fairly. At first map exchange newbie gets different course and he would need to navigate to the next control and his result would be limited (aiming for second tier). In case someone else from behind overtake him before the second map exchange he would get different map/course again as his driver. He would need to navigate again to the finish & his result would be limited to third tier.

"Rechanneling onto different courses mid race?"
I would say differently. It is a relay course setting style. One course to first map exchange, two courses to second map exchange & 3 courses to the finish.

The map exchange should be automatic as possible.

If someone is keen to test this model please share you observation.
Jul 15, 2021 11:07 PM # 
EricW:
Apologies for this detour, but...
In general most Harriman terrain (Surebridge+) has (had?) more and whiter white forest, with less understory sapling vegetation, which improves visibility and runnability. I always thought the Harriman maps, even the detailed ones, are/were significantly easier than they looked on paper because you could see so much more in the terrain.

Slow run/lightgreen vegetation is/was simply rare in Harriman, whereas in Fahnestock (Moneyhole+) there is a normal amount, and its not dramatically different from the white.
Note the '86 WCup map was made in the 2- greens era, so the maps aren't directly comparable.

The Mountain Laurel, blueberries and rocks are (were?) similar on both sides of the Hudson River, but the main difference is/was Harriman's super white vegetation, which I think ecologists would consider unhealthy or less stable, and might explain the recent transition toward less O-friendly (invasive?) vegetation, whereas some (most?) of the terrains east of the Hudson have gotten significantly nicer in the last decades.

Back to Czech- I think Jagge's WOC '91 point is exactly correct, which I referenced a few days ago in this thread.
Jul 15, 2021 11:14 PM # 
lost:
The take-homes for me so far: splitting systems are a waste of time. Looks like they have to cater for a 3-way split at least; and at the top end of the field runners may well take the same time and come together again.

it's better than a phi loop where the implication is that those same runners come together again shortly afterwards

Phi loops can work, but the standard implementation - two equal-sized wings, the whole thing takes 10-15 minutes, everyone emerges together at the end - is pretty pointless.

If you are going to use phi loops, you need to make them big (ideally, make a large proportion of the course into one giant phi loop), make them asymmetric (have one loop much bigger than the other), nest them (put phi loops inside your phi loops), and put a map exchange/double-sided turnover part way through a loop (so people can't easily work out where they're being forked).

People will still get tows, but they are unlikely to get towed around by the same person for any significant proportion of the course unless they have already lost a lot of time.

Here's an example in practice (you'll need to go to the 'results' tab and tick a box to the left of a runner's name to see the shape of the course). Far from perfect, but somewhat constrained by the shape of the terrain on offer. It gives four variations, all of which are in the second half of the course, after the long leg. https://www.tvoc.routegadget.co.uk/rg2/#101&co...

A few people ended up running together through the last few controls, but it managed to prevent any packs forming for a significant length of time, despite a seeded start list with a lot of fast British juniors/young seniors (it was the British Universities Championships), a 2-minute start interval, good visibility, and not very technical terrain. People overtook, but almost always without seeing each other, because the "overtaking" happened while they were on very different bits of the course.

The disadvantage is that the race is basically impossible to interpret in real time. But real time is not really the most attractive way to present a 100-minute time-trial race where the competitors are rarely visible on the TV cameras.
Jul 15, 2021 11:41 PM # 
tRicky:
If you are going to use phi loops, you need to make them big (ideally, make the whole course one giant phi loop if you can), make them asymmetric (have one loop much bigger than the other), nest them (put phi loops inside your phi loops), and put a map exchange/double-sided turnover part way through a loop (so people can't easily work out where they're being forked).

Yes this is what I meant with my comparison to the MTBO mass start. At the 2019 event, the mens' course had one of three splits from the start to a common control then one of three splits back through the start, then a longer finishing loop that included a butterfly. Of course if you got an identical course to another rider (as I did) then following happened.

With the womens' course, theirs was different in that the common last loop was not common at all (it potentially included elements from earlier loops that others had already ridden) and one of the female medalists, who from the GPS tracking looked to be trailing for the whole race, suddenly ended up in front with a shorter finishing loop than the others.

As you say though this sort of race is not good for television because no-one knows who's actually leading until the finish. Doesn't make for exciting commentary.
Jul 16, 2021 12:00 AM # 
lost:
It's not good for live television. It should still be possible (albeit not easy) to assemble a coherent highlights package after the fact.

I'd argue that an edited highlights package is probably a more attractive way to consume the WOC Long anyway. A lot of the interesting stuff (i.e. the decisive mistakes or poor route choices) often gets missed by the live coverage.

A common final loop means that you know at an earlier stage who is leading, and so makes things more exciting for any arena spectators, but is obviously something of a trade off.
Jul 16, 2021 3:59 AM # 
Suzanne:
What if we just embraced trains/groups as part of the sport. Billy goat style WOC long (mass start, you get to skip a control). Could be fun :).
Jul 16, 2021 5:05 AM # 
tRicky:
Good heavens no, then what would orienteers complain about?
Jul 16, 2021 8:51 AM # 
graeme:
@Suzanne@tRicky

https://www.facebook.com/OrienteeringMemes/photos/...
Jul 16, 2021 9:01 AM # 
tRicky:
Yay memes. I don't have a FB account so the 'sign up' bar covers all the punchlines. So sad.
Jul 16, 2021 1:24 PM # 
JanetT:
@tRicky, pics of someone (name removed, but you'll get the gist) with a rolled up map and this comment, from 2018:

"Remake of an old classic after saturdays World Cup chasing start!

"Swiss superyoungster [J.H.] removed the rubber band around the map and opened it for the first time during the race at the arena passage halfway through the course!"

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