The first challenge of the O-Ringen week features wild terrain with interesting route choices
How is this stage unique?
Wilderness terrain with interesting route choices
The competition area for Stage 1 can simply be described as beautiful Värmland wilderness. This is a place where roads and trails grow less and less distinct, and eventually disappear deep into the forest. And right in the middle of the great forest, on its highest hilltop, sits the large cairn “Storröset”. Several of the longer courses, in fact, have a viable route choice that would take them directly past the cairn
Starts 1-6 are located a ways up the hillside right where the nice pine forest begins. The courses climb in the beginning before getting to areas of open, runnable forest covering smaller and larger hills. Route choices can take runners across valleys with rather difficult terrain, and finding the best ways to climb up and down can be decisive. A number of larger swamps can be found in the lower parts of the terrain, while smaller and medium-sized marshes are located up on the hills, where the runnability is superb, and the blueberry and rosemary bushes grow dense.
Competitors whose courses start at Starts 7-8 will encounter varied terrain with smaller hills in an area that is crisscrossed by trails. Some recently made trails connect the ancient paths that mostly travel from the southwest to the northeast, and all the trails are used heavily by the easier courses. The shorter difficult courses will reach areas of challenging navigation, and many class winners are likely to be determined by difficult controls along the final hillside.
Stage 1 courses are designed in the classic tradition of long distance courses. On almost every course you are guaranteed to encounter at least one tricky longer leg, which will be analyzed a great deal in Livelox after the race. It will not be easy to determine whether going around and avoiding the climb was fastest, or whether you had enough strength left for the shorter route along the straight line.
These courses do not suffer from the recent trend of inflation in the number of controls, and many runners will notice that their courses contained significantly fewer controls than what they are used to. During this stage, many competitors will finish feeling like they have orienteered really well. In this terrain, it is not hard to find good flow, following along on the map at full speed, without the navigation seeming too easy. Quite simply, a great feeling! This is Värmland’s wilderness at its best.