Welcome to China x Orienteering

Ever wanted to experience Chinese orienteering & culture? Well, here you go: In January 2020, the 6th edition of Beidou Giant Wave opens up registration for international participants. I have made it simple to participate, you just need to register, book a flight and travel to Guangzhou and everything is arranged for you (accommodation, meals, transport, orienteering & program).

Beidou is a multi-day orienteering event with 8 stages + up to 4 extra orienteering sessions in 10 days. The competition areas are located around Zhaoqing, Guangdong Province (South China), the region with most orienteering activity in China and where the World Cup final round is held.

Visit the website to read more about it. See you in China!

It’s time for Vienna Orienteering Challenge

Most updates about my training and competitions you find nowadays either on Attackpoint, Strava and Instagram. I’m too busy to keep the blog updated.

But now it is time to tell you about Vienna Orienteering Challenge, Austria’s most fun orienteering event.

The concept is simple: VOC is an exciting event, open for everyone and fun to be part of.

  • 1 summer weekend
  • 3 stages + sprint relay for those who want more
  • In Vienna
  • Goodie bag & good vibes included

Read more about it on the event website.

Sprint orienteering is exciting.

Why VOC?
For the first time since the sprint orienteering discipline was introduced there is no sprint on the World Championships program this year. VOC is an alternative for the sprinters out there. A weekend with 3 x high-quality sprint-orienteering + sprint relay in exciting areas is a great opportunity to test and improve your sprint skills.
There has not been any international event in Vienna in the last 20+ years.
Vienna has many great sprint areas to offer and the city has been ranked as the World’s most livable city for many years, so it is definitely worth going to.
Many low-cost airlines are now also flying to Vienna airport, makes it easy to get here.
Teaching orienteering to 50-70 students per year I have got some insights. The regular orienteering events are not very attractive to non-orienteers, so the mission is to create an accessible event, that is easy to participate in, and has a nice event atmosphere. If you do one orienteering during the year, then VOC should be the choice.

It is an event I have had in my mind since 2013. I have been waiting for the right moment to launch it, but as with most things this moment will never come, so better now than never. Some weeks ago I have finally got the permission for a unique event location where no other sport event has been allowed to be held before. Follow the updates on the event website, soon it will be officially announced. Probably we can hold an event in that area just once, so I hope many take the opportunity!

Feedback has been great so far, just drop me a message if you have further ideas and want to help improve the event! Volunteers, supporters and partners are always needed. Please share the info about this event with your orienteering friends.

Event website: https://voc.ol-sport.at
Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/viennaochallenge/

February. Sri Lanka.

In February I made a different route choice than most other elite orienteers, namely traveling to Sri Lanka. Arriving in Colombo I was met by heat, humidity, chaotic traffic and (mostly) relaxed dogs.

Heading to the tea plantations in the mountains.

Thanks to clubmate Christian I had great company during travel and training.

A Tuktuk in Kandy.

Running was the main purpose of the journey. In the next blog post I will write about how to survive as a runner among elephants, leopards, monkeys and crocodiles.

January.


This years plan is somewhat different than the previous years.

Instead of going south for a training camp I spent most of the time in Vienna during January and only some weekends cross country and alpine skiing in the mountains. It has been a great winter, however, in January only one Ski-Orienteering weekend was held in Austria. The first SkiO event was the Austrian Championships in Middle distance. Demanding courses were offered in the beautiful area of Niederthai, Ötztal, Tyrol. On a long route choice I went down an alpine ski slope. Surprisingly, I finished in 3rd, only 47 seconds from a gold medal (results, map). Next day, our elite team was second in the relay (results).

SkiO in Niederthai

 

The best is yet to come


It has been a while since my last blog post. Mainly because of many exciting projects, but also because the way we communicate on the Internet has changed. Therefore, I have been more active on social media than on my blog. This year I will try to share some of my posts also here.

During the first half of 2018, my focus will be on the European Championships in Ticino, Switzerland.

Every new year is sort of a fresh start and I am optimistic that the best is yet to come. 2018, here we go!

2015 in Review

Finally, a summary about my orienteering year 2015:

The first training camp this year was together with my team mates from Ulricehamns OK in Portugal. We had a very tough schedule, running POM and doing orienteering trainings between the stages. I had a good result at the Long distance World Ranking Event, even though I ran some loop-controls in the wrong direction – otherwise it would have been an exceptional one.

Next up was Lipica Open in Slovenia – this time with a very stony first stage and second stage with better runability.

Lipica
Lipica

The next week we had an excellent 10mila training camp north of Stockholm with good weather and many kilometers orienteering.

One of the two national team activities I attended this year was the easter training camp in Croatia. Piles of stones on Krk, some deep snow in the mountains and lots of fallen trees on the relay training will be remembered.

Krk
Krk
Immediately after that I spent a week in Sweden and participated in Kolmårdskavlen relay.

In May the national season kicked off with three competitions in Salzburg. A frustrating weekend: last-minute changes in our team due to sickness, a mispunch in the sprint relay and as a result no competitive team at the forest relay. However, the individual middle distance proved that I was close to the best (+1.31).

Similar situation with my 10mila-team, many cancellations before the competition.

To fight for the first individual medals we had to travel through Germany to the most-western part of Austria, Vorarlberg. And it turned out to be worth traveling, as I won the first individual championship medal for a long time.

Middle distance in Vorarlberg. Austrian champs 3rd place.
Middle distance in Vorarlberg. Austrian champs 3rd place.

The Jukola relay is always a highlight in the orienteering year. As my orienteering skills were not with me that night in the Finnish forest it became a truly long night.

Jukola. Photo: Hirvonen
Jukola. Photo: Hirvonen

One week later I could show my skills in Austrian forests again and I won my first World Ranking competition!

World Ranking Event podium
World Ranking Event podium, later both my sister and I won the Austria Cup overall

O-ringen in my Swedish home-town Borås was a big motivation and I got some days of good training in the area to get used to 1:15.000-scales again. O-ringen itself was the most exciting orienteering week of the year!

Photo: Petter Trens, BT
Photoshoot for a newspaper story. Photo: Petter Trens, BT

My biggest goal for 2016 are the World Championships in Bohuslän, Sweden. A lot of work must be done to be able to run fast in this kind of terrain. Several marsh interval sessions were followed up by orienteering. Moreover, I participated in a regional competition on a warm summer day in Uddevalla where intense and physical tough orienteering was offered. The winners prize – a special lamp – lights up the dark winter evenings and has become my WOC2016 motivational symbol.

Not competing a lot was a success factor and kept me hungry for more during the whole season. One of my long term goals has been to become Austrian champion in the long distance, which I did (and another World Ranking event victory).
ORF made a TV report and followed me during the competition: watch the video.

A couple of days later I wanted to use the good shape to run an Swedish champs middle A-final… but there is still a lot of development potential in nordic terrain. I guess many can relate to that feeling:

As the World Cup and WOC selections earlier this year were published without a positive notice for me I got instead the opportunity to compete at Euromeeting in Estonia. This year the Austrian national team sent a (mens) team for Euromeeting including one coach.
Of course I wanted to use these competitions and the trainings the days before to get a first impression of the WOC2017-terrain in Estonia. The training areas were green in all nuances, so we were happy about the nice competition areas! Even though the Estonian hospitality made the stay pleasant, the trip made me even more eager to go ‘all-in’ for WOC2016 and not think about 2017 just yet.

The perfect end to a successful season was to win the last Austria cup event with a two second margin.

This year both my sister and I won the Austria Cup overall in the senior elite class for the first time, and that we did it in the same year made it even more special.

Thanks to all my supporters - see you out in the forest!

Thanks to all supporters!

Austrian Champion Long Distance

Foto: Kalliany
Photo: Kalliany

I have been aiming for a Gold medal at Austrian champs for some time now. Last Saturday it was finally my day!

The time after O-ringen has been spent focusing entirely on forest orienteering – in Sweden, where I already kicked off the WOC2016 preparation and in Vienna. As I’m not selected to run any World Cup races or at World champs my goal for the autumn season was to win the last national championship race. In the lead up some of the co-favorites disappeared by not registering because of private reasons, so I had to deal with being the big favorite for the long distance.

2-days competition Styrian O-days, both stages counting as World Ranking Events, were held in completely new orienteering terrain around Traboch and in Donawitz.

On the first part of the long distance I didn’t execute the route choices (8-9, 12-13) perfectly and at the arena map exchange 3 seconds separated me from Martin who became silver medalist. I knew that the second half would be decisive so I was very focused and tried to go as hard as possible. From the arena passage until the end of the butterfly-loops I extended my lead to 2′ 39″. My biggest mistake was right after the loops where I lost about 50″. Otherwise a really good performance.
Running to the last control I didn’t knew how fast I was compared to the others. I just heard that it’s a matter of seconds, so I had to give everything until the finish line. The margin was actually comfortable 3 minutes 51 seconds, but it is always nice to finish with style.

Great to see that hard work pays off and finally get a national title in the long distance!


Map Part 1, Part 2Results, Splits, TV-report ORF Sport, TV-report ORF Sport+
Public service broadcaster ORF has made a long report about the competition which will air on ORF Sport + at following times:
15.09. 20:15 / 16.09. 8:15 & 23:15 / 17.09. 11:15 / 18.09. 2:15 & 14:15 / 19.09. 5:15
It is now available on ORF TVthek and for viewers not from Austria on YouTube.

Second day in Donawitz offered an interesting sprint right outside Voestalpine, where New Zealands Tim Robertson brought some international touch in mens elite class. My performance was quite okay and as third and best Austrian it was a nice bonus competition for me! Results

Foto: ÖFOL
ÖSTM Lang 2015. Photo: ÖFOL

The tough climb (100m up) right after the map exchange suited me well. Photo: Kalliany
The tough 100m-climb right after the arena passage suited me well. Photo: Kalliany

Foto: Kalliany
100% until the finish line. Photo: Kalliany

IMG_1418
Austrian champs in Styria, the green heart of Austria

Challenging O-Ringen in Borås

Second stage run-in
Foto: Per Nylander

This year’s O-Ringen was one of the competitions where I wanted to be in as good shape as possible. Borås is my second home town so I knew what to expect: rough and tough terrain with a lot of route choice options on the long legs. The week before O-Ringen I could do some specific preparation to adapt again to running through marshes and blueberry bushes.

At the start of the first stage I was nervous, which is a good sign for me. And it turned out to be my best day during the whole week (24th place). Except for some route choice mistakes it was a really good performance.
Stage 3 – Borås City Sprint was a highlight in terms of atmosphere. Somewhat unexpected the first part of the course was super-tricky. The second part in the city centre and park was crowded with thousands of spectators encouraging everyone to run at their maximum speed.

In the chasing start on the last stage I headed out as number 30, but unfortunately not within a group of runners. So I had to to my own work and finished in Borås Arena as 32nd, close to my goal for the week (top 30 overall). I lost some ground for a better place on the middle distance stage (6th and 12th control).

I’m still very happy that I achieved my other goal, a top 30 result on a single stage. The 32nd place is my best position I’ve ever had in O-Ringens elite class and I want to improve it step by step the coming years. The terrain was better than expected and the courses exceptionally well planned during the whole week.

Running on home ground meant as well to get some media attention. Check out the newspaper articles below.

Maps with GPS Route: Stage 1, Stage 2, Stage 4, Stage 5; Results

Borås Tidning
Borås Tidning

Ulricehamns Tidning
Ulricehamns Tidning

Foto: Petter Trens, Borås Tidning
Foto: Petter Trens, Borås Tidning

Foto: Petter Trens, Borås Tidning
Foto: Petter Trens, Borås Tidning

Foto: Jan Pettersson, Borås Tidning
Foto: Jan Pettersson, Borås Tidning

Happy New Year!

Happenings to look forward to in the next months:
February Training camp Portugal
March Lipica Open Slovenia, National team Easter camp Croatia
April Training camp Sweden

While a part of the world elite is in Tasmania and chasing the first world cup points, I will follow it online. It’s a pity that not more federations/athletes have the resources to go there. The competitions will for sure be organized perfectly in magnificent terrain! At least for me it was to soon after the last WC in Down Under – it’s very hard to save so much money for the expensive trip in short time…

But training is going really well right now and it is actually possible to ski in Vienna. I wish you as we say in Austria a “good slip” into the new year!

P1050059
Vienna, 30 December

Dachstein Glacier, 8 December.
Dachstein Glacier, 8 December.

Race the Castles

With two sprint races in Edinburgh and Stirling, PWT marked the beginning of the end of this season. The Race the Castle events were on the highest international level: tricky sprint areas, maps, GPS tracking, assembly areas, video wall, touch-free punching and of course the participants (e.g. the top 3 of the World Champs).

In Edinburgh I was too eager and didn’t take the time necessary to find the best route to the 2nd control. The touristic route – out on the Royal Mile – was unfavorable due to many tourists hiding the small alleys, called ‘closes’. To the fourth control I once more had troubles choosing the correct passageway and ended up in a dead end. By then I was almost caught by Alessio who started one minute behind me. Luckily I could get away again and the rest of the course went mostly fine. I just made some extra stops to be sure that I’m not doing something stupid.
Map

Stirling castle was the venue for the second PWT race but we couldn’t see much of it as it was foggy. From the start we headed right into the castle, to the first control already through three underpasses. It was challenging to keep ahead in the mind, understand the map with multiple levels and to find the shortest routes. I kept cool and were thus on a good 11th position at the 8th control. To the 14th control I was very unsure about the route choice, all the way around left would have been about 15 s faster. Nevertheless, I am satisfied with this performance and result (18th), bringing me the most world ranking points ever.
Map

Back home from my second visit in Scotland ahead of WOC 2015 I am already enthusiastic about next year.

Race the Castles, PWT

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Stirling. Photo: Wendy Carlyle
Stirling. Photo: Wendy Carlyle

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Edinburgh
Edinburgh

Stirling
Stirling