Long Preview

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The Long, or Classic as it was formerly known, is the ultimate discipline. It’s a race where the best guy or girl in the world will run over 90 or 75 minutes respectively. That’s the best person, at the peak of their fitness, and running the race of their life.

The terrain is unforgiving, the mental challenges unrelenting. Pacing oneself is essential, as is never giving up. It’s as psychological a challenge as it is physical.

The long is the oldest orienteering discipline, from which all others are derived and for that reason alone it’s the one most people want to win. This year is no exception with several people giving up the chance to run the sprint race just to have a decent crack at the long.

This years long will come to a conclusion on Thursday, with the heats going on Sunday. At WOC the heats will be roughly 2/3 of the length of the final, and the top 17 in each heat will progress to the final. The finals are 11 and 17.1km long for women and men respectively with winning times of 74 and 98 minutes.

The organisers are describing the terrain thus ‘small and large detailed hills’ ‘areas of thick forest’ ‘mossy, rocky or stony terrain with some small trees or bushes’ ‘few paths, 20%marshes’. So fairly typical Sweden then! Suffice to say it will be very different to last years pure continental Long Final, with its steep slopes, vast track network and over-mapping of vegetation.

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