What a terrain, what a course! But, what a stupid race format?!
How many times again we have to undergo a race with any mass start or very tight chasing start to prove that this is not the right way for world-class orienteering? Sometimes the race proceeds quite well at least for the leaders, who have small lead ahead of big hunting group and it is exciting watching like on the cycling Tour de France, when few escapees defend their lead ahead of peloton. But PELOTON (I mean big group of sportsmen going together) doesn't belongs to orienteering! The idea of the sport is totaly different. If we are still not able to separate runners to force them to do own orienteering, we should avoid those experiments on the world-class competitions! Because physical difference are too low among elit runners and we surely don't look for the fastest finishman, do we?
This is my opinion of such kind of races, which top runners undergo at World Cups or national level competitions during last years.
The very latest experience was the final race of Finnish league – Huippuliiga. It was the final round (middle distance with one butterfly). In the previous races (sprint, long, middle distance) every runner got points according to his results. It caused the final startlist like this – first 10 runners starting during 2 minutes, but another 40 during 3rd minute. Look at this hunting and cross fingers for the leaders 😉
8 minutes after the start
Peloton coming to the spectator control, what an exciting battle for victory (in orienteering race???)
I don't complain to you about my race. Luckily I can say I enjoy the majority of the race. First 19 control I did my own orienteering and faced to navigation difficulties. Afterwards I stayed in the front part of peloton and fought for the overal victory till second last control. It was an exciting race for me. But I just think it could be so much better in so challenging terrain to have some normal race format.
I can imagine it was exciting for TV fans, but for me when I run in "peloton" I feel like crowd-actor in a stupid movie. Orienteering has its qualities somewhere else. And I grew up as an orienteer.