Once again, thanks to Metsähallitus, which has allowed the use of the western part of the Nuuksio National Park in our orienteering competition to raise and maintain the physical and mental condition of active citizens.
In the course planning it has been taken into account the delicate nature sites determined by Metsähallitus, mainly swamps or rock areas. The load on the terrain must be even, which means that there are quite a lot of controls – almost 200 of them!
The above-described issues have posed particular challenges for course design.
The limitations imposed by the World Cup increased the pressure on the course planners to get the best possible and versatile competitions in the area, yet it became a great success! The trails follow a few cottage areas marked on the map with olive green (= forbidden). Most of The private properties have been marked on the map, yet some have been marked in the terrain.
Saturday’s courses have been aimed at a typical rhythm shifts and challenging orienteering tasks of middle distances. Sunday’s courses are designed to accommodate a typical long distance course. The courses have long route selection distance legs and short challenging distance legs, allowing both running rhythm and pricise orienteering.
Special attention has been paid to the quality of children’s courses which were made with the controller to make them suitable and easy for children. An area suitable for children’s courses was found near the competition center.
Saturday’s middle distance competition terrain is mainly a fast-moving spruce and pine-covered hills. However, on some slopes, fallen trees slow down the progression and it is advisable to be careful with vertical greens. On Sunday, especially on the longest courses in the eastern part of the terrain, you will enjoy the best fast-paced rocky pineforest of Nuuksio National Park.
The terrain work of the map is handwritten by Rauno Asikainen and Kimmo Nykänen from 2005 – 2014 which Kimmo Nykänen thoroughly updated in 2018 and in May 2019. The map has been completely updated to match the new international orienteering map ISOM2017 description method. The lower limit of the rocks and cliffs the mappers have kept about 1.2 meters.
The somewhat larger spruce mounds are described accurately on the map with vertical green. They should be taken into account in the choice of legs and anticipate their flexible rotation, especially when approaching the controls.
There are several unmarked deer and animal grooves in the terrain. The clearest and biggest grooves and paths are well marked on the map, but especially small paths are not necessarily found on the map.
Also for restorative reasons, restored swamps should be crossed from as narrow a point as possible, thus avoiding the battle between the spruce mounds. The same advice also applies to restored ditches covered with transverse spruce trees.
In the western part of the terrain, there are two restored flood ponds described as insurmountable swamps, more specifically a ”tree lake”. These kind of areas are already forbidden in the rules (insurmountable swamp).
On Sunday, on all course legs, there is a mandatory crossing of the bridge on the second last control. Be careful and have patience at this point. Especially remember the safety of children. No competitor likes sudden swimming in the Siuntionjoki River. So don’t rush on the bridge.
The World cup first round races will be competed on both days of Helsinki O-Games. Saturday’s tracks do not pass the World Cup area, but on Sunday, especially for L1 and L3 starters, keep your eyes open so you can spot the world’s best orienteers in real work!
Challenging but enjoyable Helsinki O-Games weekend for everyone
Mikko Laakso and Janne Heikkinen
Photos: Course Planners 1) Article picture, Mikko Laakso 2) Janne Heikkinen