Saturday, June 21, 2014

Sprint madness! (13 days to WOC!)

The sprint final in Sotkamo, Finland last year brought (see men's final map) introduced maze-like sprint orienteering to much of the orienteering universe. Lucky orienteers in the USA were no strangers to maze-like competitions, thanks to the existence of Corn Maze Orienteering USA, which maintains a healthy schedule of highly competitive championship events across the country. Corn Maze orienteering (or maize maze O if you swing that way) is not only exceptionally fun but also exceptionally great training for thinking fast and simplifying route choices in complex terrain.

Boris on the course at the first CMOUSA event, October 2010

The sprint final in Venice is not likely to include 800m of fencing to increase complexity but it is still good training -- and good fun -- to armchair with such courses. The most recent sprint World Cup event in Imatra, Finland took the fence complexity up a notch from WOC last year, literally creating a labyrinth in an otherwise boring town. Try it out with this RunningWild! for the women's World Cup course. WorldOfO has results and GPS tracking from the World Cup race as well as route choice analysis for the long leg on the men's course.

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