1:10,000 vs 1:15,000 - Elite Runners vs IOF & other elite runners


French World Cup map from the weekend's races

Apparently the organisers of WOC 2011 have asked the IOF permission to use a 1:10,000 map scale for the WOC classic distance in 2011, being held in technical terrain near Annecy where this weekend's World Cup races took place.

Anne Margrethe Hausken says in the Facebook group "Map scale 1:10 000 for WOC long distance 2011":

"The organisers of WOC 2011 have asked the IOF about permission to use map scale 1:10 000 for WOC long distanse 2011 in France. IOF answered "no". By creating this group, we try to put pressure on the IOF. The detailed maps in the WOC area are difficult to read in competition speed, because of stony and uneven ground making the runnability quite bad. Yesterday after the WC race in Annecy I started collecting signatures from runners and national team coaches voting for 1:10 000 (or 1:12 500). So far, 62 runners from 15 nations have signed. I will continue collecting signatures during this week's official training camp in France and WC races in Switzerland, and give the list to an IOF representative in Geneva on Sunday. If we also can tell the IOF that lots of runners have joined this group, we have done a good job!"

Already (as is often the way with Facebook groups) an alternative group has been started by Anders Tiltnes, "Behold 1:15000 på langdistanse" (Keep 1:15000 for long-distance). Perhaps slightly tongue in cheek, but Anders' group already has 36 members and states:

"This is a group created because it is a thoughtful decision to have the scale 1:15 000 on long distance orienteering competitions. This decision must be supported on a hip and trendy way, and what better than Facebook? 


If an area can not be mapped with ISOM, it is not suitable for orienteering competitions."

So far over 180 people have joined Hausken's group, and it'll be interesting to see how many names are on her petition when it goes to the IOF. It'll be especially interesting to see whether any of those who coped better with the terrain and mapping than Hausken at the weekend's World Cup races will be adding their weight to the cause.

Hausken was 14th, some 14 minutes behind Swiss winner Simone Niggli-Luder who won the 9km course in a time of 71:25, 21 seconds clear of Sweden's Helena Jansson with Norway's Tone Wigemyr a further 6 minutes back in 3rd but making her mark having missed out on the World Championships in Norway. Britain's top runner was Rachel Elder in 19th, with a time of 87:41, while Hollie Orr performed strongly to finish in 28th with a time of 91:47.

In the men's race France's Thierry Gueorgiou won in a time of 92:53 for the 13km course, comfortably 5 minutes clear of Matthias Müller of Switzerland and Long Distance World Champion Olav Lundanes of Norway. Matthew Speake and Doug Tullie were Britain's best performers in 38th and 42nd place respectively.

While it is highly unlikely that any changes will take place before WOC next year, with the maps already drawn to their relevant scales, it draws more focus to a debate that has been taking place in Britain in recent years.

Following the JK at Braunton Burrows earlier this year, there were numerous dissenting voices about the use of 1:15,000 for an area of complex sand dunes, and further debate rumbled on about the use of 1:15,000 afterwards. Back in 2008, the organisers of the British Championships at Culbin (another complex forested dune area) forced through 1:10,000 maps for the Elite and 1:7,500 for older runners, and there is further grumblings about the scales being used for next year's JK with the organisers looking for 1:10,000 and 1:7,500 scales to be used for the dune area for days 2 & 4. 

As usual, you can sound off in the forums...



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