Thursday, October 27, 2016

Croatia-Italy-Slovenia TrailO Cup: Contribution for the event's history

The 2016 edition of a major Trail Orienteering competition, the annual Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trail Orienteering Cup, finished last Sunday with victory going to the Italian Remo Madella. Today we meet Krešo Keresteš to learn about the history of a competition that has played a big part in the evolution of Trail Orienteering in that part of the Old Continent.

The final competition of the 2016 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup took place in Cerkno, Slovenia. This year the Cup had 16 stages (6 in Croatia, 4 in Italy and 6 in Slovenia), attracting a total of 99 competitors from 13 different countries. Despite missing the last stage, Remo Madella was the big winner with a total of 591.98 points, finishing ahead of the Croatian Ivica Bertol, the Slovenian Krešo Keresteš, winner of the first two editions, and the Slovakian Ján Furucz, the winner in 2015.

For those less familiar with TrailO, it must be said that these names are real stars of this discipline and a regular presence on European and World podiums. If we add the names of Tomislav Varnica, Dušan Furucz, Emil Kacin, Zdenko Horjan, Ivo Tišljar, Iva Lovrec, Libor Forst, Zoltán Mihaczi, Marco Giovannini, Alessio Tenani or Damir Gobec as some of the competitors that occupied the Cup’s top-20 placings this year, we can fully see the value and the scope of this series of competitions.

How it all started

A Trail Orienteering pioneer in Slovenia, a powerful backer of the Cup and one of its current coordinators – along with the Italian Susy De Pieri and the Croatian Ivo Tišljar – Krešo Keresteš shares some of his memories, helping us to understand how it all started. “My first encounter with TrailO was in 1992 at O-Ringen, the Swedish 5-Days, in Södertälje. I tried it when my Swedish friend, Kalle Rikander from IFK Södertälje, organised it and he persuaded me to have a go,” Krešo remembers. The Swedish experience was significant, awakening in Krešo a huge curiosity: “My interest in TrailO grew when I saw TrailO competitors next to FootO competitions.”

The years passed and the seed of TrailO remained passive, until the day when … “Niko Čižek, my co-worker at that time, once asked me about my hobbies and he found that Orienteering could be interesting for a disabled person like him. He wanted to try it and, after a few training sessions, he decided that it was time for a real competition,” says Krešo. The closest event was in Sweden, O-Ringen 1999, where Niko won three stages and the competition overall in the B class. His wife Anica won the last event and Krešo finished 8th in the Elite class. Despite this positive experience, the “click” that would lead to the launch of Trail Orienteering in Slovenia was still missing.

18th September 2004: a historic day

The year 2004 had arrived and, with it, the Republic of Slovenia became part of the European Union. Winds of progress blew even stronger, affecting all sectors of society and calling attention to the need to create equal opportunities for all. It was in this year that the Sports Union of Ljubljana organised sports events focused on people with disabilities, requesting the support of several Federations. This was just the “click” that Krešo was missing, and it triggered a series of events that proved to be very successful. The first was the organisation of the first TrailO competition in Slovenia (Park Tivoli, Ljubljana, 18th September 2004). Three months later OK Trzin was formed, a club which is now a keystone in Trail Orienteering. Then in 2005 came the start of the Slovenian TrailO League.

But it was not only in Slovenia that things were starting to move. Croatia was represented at the first World Trail Orienteering Championships in Västerås, Sweden through Ivo Tišljar. When he returned to his country, Ivo not only organised a promotional event in Zagreb (Dubravkin, autumn 2004), but also the first official TrailO event in Croatia, the 1st Feud Cup (Dotrščina, in Zagreb, 7th May 2005).

Union creates strength

The 2005 Slovenian TrailO League was a bit limited in scope, with only three competitions, and in Croatia there were only two competitions in that year. So contact between Slovenia and Croatia was made, with the goal of creating a joint league to enhance each others’ organisational efforts and increase the levels of participation. Krešo remembers: “After some discussions in 2005 we founded the Croatia-Slovenia TrailO Cup at a meeting in Domžale on 6th February 2006, where members of OK Trzin (Niko Čižek and Krešo Keresteš) and OK Vihor (Jasminka Cindrić and Zdenko Horjan) were present. At the meeting the rules were written, and in 2006 the Croatia-Slovenia TrailO Cup was a reality with eight competitions, four in Slovenia and four in Croatia.”

In 2008, the year before the World Trail Orienteering Championships in Hungary, the Hungarians joined the Trophy, but their contribution didn’t last more than one year. In 2010 the Italians from the most north-easterly province, Friuli Venezia Giulia, joined the Croatians and Slovenians and the next year the whole of Italy came in. The Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trail Orienteering Cup started in 2011and has kept the same format ever since. The rules are simple and all are welcome, scoring for the Ranking whether belonging to one of the three host countries or not. Each country (Croatia, Italy and Slovenia) can organise between three and six competitions. The best three results achieved in each country are considered for the final Ranking, but only the six best overall count. At the final competition there is a prize-giving ceremony, rewarding the best competitors in Elite Open, Elite Paralympic, Elite Juniors and A class.

Year Trophy Winner Country
2006 CRO-SLO TrailO Cup Krešo Keresteš SLO
2007 CRO-SLO TrailO Cup Krešo Keresteš SLO
2008 CRO-HUN-SLO TrailO Cup Zdenko Horjan CRO
2009 CRO-SLO TrailO Cup Zdenko Horjan CRO
2010 CRO-FVG-SLO TrailO Cup Zdenko Horjan CRO
2011 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup Krešo Keresteš SLO
2012 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup Remo Madella ITA
2013 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup Remo Madella ITA
2014 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup Remo Madella ITA
2015 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup Ján Furucz SVK
2016 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup Remo Madella ITA

The final standings in the 2016 CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup can be seen HERE

Joaquim Margarido

[See the original article at Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Infante's TempO: Inês Domingues finishes the season the best way

Aveiro was the venue of the last Trail Orienteering event of the season in Portugal. Stronger in both stages, Inês Domingues was the winner of the Infante's TempO.

Aveiro, the “Venice of Portugal”, hosted the last event of the Portuguese Trail Orienteering Cup Invacare 2016. Spread by two stages, the Infante's TempO had the participation of 23 competitors and the organizational signature of the Clube de Orientação de Estarreja, with Nuno Pires as the course setter. The event included a spectator station – the last one - and the information was provided “live” by an app developed by Libor Forst and translated into Portuguese. Also deserves to be highlighted the fact that four out of five elements of the organizing crew were students from a school of Aveiro that, for this purpose, had been training in the Physical Education classes along the last month.

With six stations and a set of five tasks each, the first stage took place on the Campus of the University of Aveiro and soon Inês Domingues (COC) started to reveal herself as a major contender for the overall winning. Even missing a large number of tasks, Domingues could compensate the damages with excellent runtimes around 5.5 seconds per answer, which, at the end of the first stage, worth an advantage of 5.5 seconds over Luís Gonçalves (CPOC) and 68.5 seconds over Edgar Domingues (COC). The afternoon stage promised a hard fight for the victory between the top two competitors, but the truth is that Inês Domingues was practically faultless. Her running time increased slightly, standing now close to 7 seconds per answer, but this corresponded to a decrease in the number of wrong answers, which made of her not only the fastest but the most accurate. Luís Gonçalves spent in this stage more 160 seconds (!) than the winner, eventually falling to the third place in the final standings, 3.5 seconds after Edgar Domingues. Cláudio Tereso (ATV) and the Spanish Santiago Pérez (COMA) closed the podium, in the fourth and fifth positions, respectively.

Further information and detailed results can be found at

[Photos: Nuno Pires]

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

2016 Croatia-Italy-Slovenia TrailO Cup: Bertol wins in Cerkno

With the victory of Ivica Bertol, ended in Cerkno, Slovenia, the 2016 Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trail Orienteering Cup. The results in the last stage didn't change with the top of the overall standings, which had Remo Madella as the big winner, achieving his fourth title in the last five editions.

It was with great expectation that the Trail Orienteering fans followed the last stage of the 2016 Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trail Orienteering Cup. After 15 stages distributed by the three host countries, we attended Cerkno with the doubt regarding the overall winner. The Italian Remo Madella was in the lead, but his absence in the last stage put maximum pressure on the Slovak Ján Furucz, which task was everything but easy: To get the overall winning, he “just” had to win the last stage or, at least, stand behind the winner by a difference not far from ten seconds. But when we talk about Ján Furucz we are talking about the gold medalist in the TrailO Relay of the recent World Championships, second placed in the TempO final of the 2015 World Championships and winner of the Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trail Orienteering Cup last year. So, he was the favourite!

With the “intrincate” name of TempO, DP, SPOL, CIS, the event took place last Sunday, was organized by the OK Azimut and the course setter was Emil Kacin. The 26 athletes that headed Cerkno faced five timed stations, with six tasks each. A brief analysis of the race allows to realize that Ján Furucz was far from his best days. Despite being the fastest in the first four stations, Furucz missed four tasks and only a miracle could reverse the disadvantage of 81 seconds for the Croatian Ivica Bertol and 71 seconds for the Slovenian Krešo Keresteš, first and second classified, at the start for the last timed station. A similar performance of the three competitors in the final station eventually left everything in the same way, so Remo Madella, in the Canadian Rockies, more than 8,000 km away from Cerkno, could enjoy his fourth win in the last five editions of the trophy. One last note just to highlight Krešo Keresteš, getting here the Slovenian TempO title, and to the Croatian Iva Lovrec (OK Vihor) and the Italian Piergiorgio Zancanaro (ASD Padova Orienteering), winners of the 2016 Croatia-Italy-Slovenia Trail Orienteering Cup in the Junior and Paralympic classes, respectively.

1. Ivica Bertol (OK Vihor CRO) 208 seconds
2. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin SLO) 216 seconds
3. Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava SVK) 294 seconds
4. Ivo Tišljar (OK Orion CRO) 298 seconds
4. Susy De Pieri (Eridano Adventure A.S.D. ITA) 298 seconds
6. Zdenko Horjan (OK Vihor CRO) 320 seconds

CRO-ITA-SLO TrailO Cup 2016
Final Standings
1. Remo Madella (A.S.D. Vivaio ITA) 591.98 points
2. Ivica Bertol (OK Vihor CRO) 590.93 points
3. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin SLO) 590.47 points
4. Ján Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava SVK) 588.83 points
5. Tomislav Varnica (OK Vihor CRO) 580.90 points
6. Dušan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava SVK) 579.67 points
7. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut SLO) 573.53 points
8. Zdenko Horjan (OK Vihor CRO) 568.42 points
9. Ivo Tišljar (OK Orion CRO) 555.07 points
10. Susy De Pieri (Eridano Adventure A.S.D. ITA) 549.52 points

[Photo courtesy of Krešo Keresteš]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, October 24, 2016

Marina Reiner: "I'm still learning a lot"

Heiress” of Michaela Gigon - just the best female MTB orienteering athlete of all times -, Marina Reiner has the potential for great achievements and a bright future ahead. Her best results so far achieved in all individual distances in the World MTB Orienteering Championships tin 2016 seem to be a very good harbinger of what is to come. With two of the most important events of the international calendar to take place in Austria in 2017 and 2018, the time of risking everything has come.

The first question is always the easiest. Would you like, in brief, to present yourself?

Marina Reiner (M. R.) - I was born in March 1991 in Villach, Austria. It's a small city in the south of Austria and I spent my whole childhood there. I finished my studies as a certified kindergarten teacher and the A level (combined education system). Right now I’m living in Graz (Austria) and working part time in a school in my hometown – doing workshops in physical activity and training science. I’m studying Sport Science with the main emphasis in training therapy. I’m in the Master Program. When I graduate I will be allowed to work with patients for example in a Rehabilitation institution and I also would like to combine children and sports in my job in some way. I like to spend my free time out in the nature with my horse, going for a hike, run or any other kind of sports. But, sometimes, I prefer to relax and be lazy. I also like to cook, enjoy good food and go for a walk.

How did you meet Orienteering?

M. R. - Orienteering was offered in the middle school. I had no idea about the sport but I liked the concept. So I started doing FootO when I was 11. I competed in the “school cup” and started to love this kind of sport. But, when I was 15, I attended a new school in another city and I wanted to do something else, so I stopped. Four years later, my brother helped me to get back to orienteering. I started again with running but I got problems with my knees. And then there was the offer to try out MTBO. It was like a new start for me. I attended my first MTBO event at the age of 20.

What do you see in MTB Orienteering that makes it so special?

M. R. - MTBO is the perfect combination of physical and mental activity. You need to find the balance between exhausting physical activity and being able to think and stay concentrated. And there is always a new course – every time you get the map, a new challenge starts. There is no chance to get bored. I like that!

Taking a look on the statistics, I can see that your first presence in the World MTB Orienteering Championships was in 2012, in Hungary. What memories do you keep from the event?

M. R. - I rode my first World Championships there. It was so hot but I liked the terrain. For me this half open areas with the shrubs and the hills were new and a big challenge to find the right way through. I'll never forget the Relay. I started as the second rider and did a good job. But Michi Gigon as the last rider was able to came in 4th. It was my first diploma in my first elite year. That was an amazing start for me!

Along the following years, I would say that your results were far away from the expected. Am I right?

M. R. - That's an interesting point. I know that the expectations doing a sport in the Elite class are quite high and everyone expects a World title. But for me it's different. I’m still learning a lot and I try to improve my skills. I did orienteering in my middle school but just for fun and only for a few years. I didn’t ride the mountain bike before I started doing MTBO so I still have to get more bike skills as well. And I’m no full time athlete – my studies are taking time as well. Actually, overall, I’m satisfied with my results but I’m trying to get better every season.

In Portugal, you could achieve your best results ever in the three individual distances – 25th in the Sprint, 21st in the Middle Distance and 18th in the Long Distance. How do you rate the season overall?

M. R. - I didn’t expect too much from this season because I was in America the last winter semester, came back in January and didn’t train a lot till February because I was ill. The plan for the season 2016 was just to compete as much as possible and collect some more experiences. It was better than I expected.

On the national plan, we've been able to beat the “eternal” Michaela Gigon. What does it mean?

M. R. - For me it means a lot and is a big motivation for the next season. Michaela is a role model for me. Her orienteering skills are really amazing and the last years I was a step behind, nearly always. I don’t have the same skills like her but I’m learning and getting better. I’m still doing too many mistakes and I’m getting too nervous in tricky and o-technical difficult terrains but it gets less and I’m getting stronger on the bike as well. This season I showed that I can stay focused in national races. I would like to be able to compete on the international level like this as well. I definitely need to get more self-confidence for the international level to reach my goals.

What do you feel being part of the Austria team?

M. R. - I really enjoy being part of the team and travel together. It's like a big family. If you need something there, will always be someone to help you out. We laugh a lot and it’s always like a little holiday spending time together.

How do you see the present moment of MTB Orienteering? If you had the power, would you change something?

M. R. - I think MTBO is still a pretty small sport. I would not change the sport – in my opinion it is great like it is right now. But it would be helpful if the conditions around the competitions would be changed in some way to enlarge the MTBO family. Races in the Czech Republic are like little family festivals. There is a kids corner during the events. I think that's a great opportunity for parents to keep doing their sport. This possibility should be offered at any event.

The next season will open in your country, with the World Cup first round in Waldviertel, one year before the World Championships, in the same place. Are you feeling already butterflies in the stomach?

M. R. - I’m kind of excited! On one hand I want to show my skills and on the other hand I don’t want to expect too much because it will not get easy.

What do you expect from both events?

M. R. - I expect good races. The forests could be quite steep. I will try to be prepared and in a good physical shape.

Are we going to see you finally reaching a top 10 position? Will it be in the Sprint or in the Long Distance?

M. R. - I hope I will make it to the top 10 positions! I cannot promise it will be next season but I will work on that. I’m not sure which discipline I will be better but I hope I can reach the top 10 in both.

What other goals do you have designed for the next season?

M. R. - I guess my biggest goal is to reach a better overall position in World Cup ranking. But there are also goals like riding without crashes and saving money for a new bike.

How is going to be the winter season?

M. R. - The winter is always a mixture of different sports. I need some distance from the bike for a few months. I will run and hike and if there is snow I will do some cross country skiing as well. Also strength training will be part of my winter training.

Would you like to share the biggest wish for the future?

M. R. - This questions are always the most difficult to answer. There are so many wishes I would like to come true. But most of them are material and so I just have to work on them. But I guess the biggest wish I can’t buy myself: is to be satisfied and enjoy life!

Joaquim Margarido

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Portugal City Race 2016: Vesanto and Karklina won in Aveiro

The second edition of the Portugal City Race came to the end. Held in Aveiro, the last stage saw Anssi Vesanto and Elina Karklina reach the top of the podium. Maikel Rodriguez and Carolina Delgado were the winners of the overall standings.

Adapting to the Portuguese scale a successful model in Europe, the Portugal City Race met, in 2016, its second edition. The event started in Barcelos, on 13th March, extending over seven months to the cities of Braga, Vila do Conde, Viseu, Leiria, Águeda, Figueira da Foz and Porto, to finish today in the city of Aveiro, the “Venice of Portugal”, in a stage organized by the Clube de Orientação de Estarreja. Involving in the organizing effort a total of eight clubs, the Portugal City Race 2016 recorded 2200 athletes in the nine steps scoring to the event, to whom we must add close to 1700 participants in other activities, which included, in addition to the main stage, night races, Adapted Orienteering and Trail Orienteering.

Winning the first three stages of the Portugal City Race 2016, the Spanish Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) saw a successful trajectory interrupted in the following two stages by the Portuguese Tiago Gingão Leal (GD4C), winner of the Portugal City Race 2015. Although 100% successful, the participation of the Portuguese stopped there, opening to Rodriguez the chance of a comfortable triumph and that turned out to be entirely deserved. In the final stage, in Aveiro, Rodriguez finished in the second place with a time of 54:17 and two minutes after the winner, the Finnish Anssi Vesanto (Espoon Suunta). The Latvian Elina Karklina (Single) won the female Senior class with a time of 43:05, leaving Carolina Delgado (GD4C) in the second place, with more 24 seconds. With this result, Delgado took definitively the lead of the female ranking, ensuring the victory for the second year in a row. In terms of ranking, a total of 604 athletes scored for this year's Portugal City Race, distributed by 12 competition classes and one formation class.


Aveiro City Race

Seniors M
1. Anssi Vesanto (Espoon Suunta) 52:17 (+ 00:00)
2. Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) 54:17 (+ 02:00)
3. Edgar Domingues (COC) 56:04 (+ 03:47)
4. Luis Leite (GD4C) 58:24 (+ 06:07)
5. Miguel Nóbrega (CO Viseu – Natura) 1:00:20 (+ 08:03)

Seniors W
1. Elina Karklina (Individual LAT) 43:05 (+ 00:00)
2. Carolina Delgado (GD4C) 43:29 (+ 00:24)
3. Joana Fernandes (.COM) 48:12 (+ 05:07)
4. Susana Almeida (CO Viseu – Natura) 52:44 (+ 09:39)
5. Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) 53:55 (+ 10:50)

Portugal City Race 2016
Final standings

Seniors M
1. Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) 578.7 points
2. Miguel Nóbrega (CO Viseu – Natura) 491.9 points
3. Carlos Viana (. COM) 454.9 points
4. Vasco Vinhas (Individual) 453.5 points
5. Ricardo Brito (OriMarão) 432.5 points

Seniors W
1. Carolina Delgado (GD4C) 490.1 points
2. Sara Miranda (Individual) 473.6 points
3. Céu Costa (GD4C) 468.8 points
4. Zélia Viana (.COM) 443.5 points
5. Carla Sousa (GD4C) 394.6 points

Other classes
Junior M/W – Pedro Silva (AD Cabroelo) and Eduarda Moreira (AD Cabroelo)
Juvenil M/W – Rui Silva (AD Cabroelo) and Ana Castro (NAST)
Veterans1 M/W – Joaquim Sousa (COC) and Raquel Ferreira (Individual)
Veterans2 M/W – Jorge Silva (Amigos da Montanha) and Aida Correia (GD4C)
Veterans3 M/W – Costa Leite (Montepio Geral) and Beatriz Leite (Montepio Geral)
Formation – Alexandra Serra Campos (.COM)

All information at

Joaquim Margarido