Friday, November 29, 2013

"Course of the Year 2013": Tiago Romão wins with the Sprint course in Monsanto



After Bruno Nazario having seen his Long Distance course of the Portugal O' Meeting to be awarded with the title of best “Course of the Year” in 2012, it's now the time for Tiago Romão, one year later, to also achieve a prominent place. This time, his Sprint course setting of the Portugal O' Meeting 2013 won the popular contest promoted by World of O, reinforcing the image of quality of the Portuguese organizations.


I believe I'm right saying that, what moves a course planner is, in compliance with orienteering's spirit and rules, to meet the interests and joy of the athletes. Above all, is to realize that his/her work had expression in the satisfaction of each one of those who had the chance to try and compete. In this sense, what special meaning does the victory at the “Course of the Year 2013” have for you?

Tiago Romão (T. R.) - Even considering that results, in this sort of contests, are always relative, they are still very important to orienteering by the recognition and publicity to Portugal, showing the high quality and the great interest of our courses. On a personal level, it means the recognition of the hard work and commitment that I put in everything I do in orienteering, a recognition that ultimately comes from the outside.

Can you remember the early times when you faced the challenge of being the course setter of the Portugal O' Meeting's second stage, precisely that of Monsanto, the first trips to the terrain, to contact with cartography, the first drafts...? What certitudes and doubts were present in your mind from the beginning?

T. R. - From the first moment , the biggest challenge was making possible an orienteering stage with the dimension of the Portugal O' Meeting in an almost inaccessible village. The whole plan began by trying to make the course as accessible as possible for everyone. So, only the Elite class could go to the castle, for example, contrary to my initial purpose. Thus, I just created a mental idea of how to set the course taking full advantage of natural conditions. After all, the work involves, firstly, choosing and planning the most interesting options without being concerned about the precise placement of the control, in a second phase finding the best placement for each controls and then leaving for the end the adjustment and testing of the courses. Anyway, my idea was always to make not only a competitive and technical course but also to explore its “touristic potential”, so that the athletes could enjoy the wonderful village of Monsanto.

How do you evaluate the work done?

T. R. - In general I think that the main objective was achieved , particularly given the tight timings in terms of the Portugal O 'Meeting program. The few hours available of sunlight were a huge constraint, since it would be dangerous to take a night course on that place. I must admit that, if I set another course today , I'd do everything the same way as the number of athletes do not leave much freedom of action to change substantially whatever.

Do you prefer to set Sprint courses or do you have other predilections?

T. R. - I really like Sprint and hence to trace these races is always a pleasure. On the other hand I also like setting Middle distance courses a lot. Anyway, I feel always a great pleasure that people enjoy what I do and how to contribute positively to the quality of our events.

When you look back and take an overview of the many races you did throughout the world, can you enumerate the three courses that you enjoyed the most until now?

T. R. - Yes, the JWOC Sprint 2009, the Tiomila 2009 and the Long Distance course of the 2nd Arraiolos International Meeting, in 2011.

It is common sense to say that, with a team like Barcelona, for example, any Football coach is able to win the Champions League. In a place like Monsanto, would any course setter have a great chance to be equally successful or, indeed, would the things not work exactly like that, as the level of demand in this type of terrain is uncommon?

T. R. - The truth is that it is impossible to make omelets without eggs. In the case of Monsanto there were many logistical constraints and everything had to be taken into account immediately. It was very important to have a knowledge of the terrain and to avoid places that could be dangerous, either with rain or fog, as well as parts of difficult progression, specially in this area between the Castle and the urban quarter. After the urban area, given the quality and natural scenery, the course should have the maximum number of options that put the athletes into real challenges. I also tried to put some controls in places of natural beauty like the inside of a passage between two huge boulders, the castle's geodesic landmark or next to Lucano's tower, with its astonishing view.

Within the past three years, Portugal has had a significative number of courses distinguished among the 10 best in the world in this contest promoted by World of O. Can we say that we have a Portuguese school of map makers and course setters globally recognized or is it just a circumstantial matter, linked to the strong presence of foreign athletes in our winter international competitions?

T. R. - I think that our organizations are sometimes opposite, some very good and some very bad, regardless of the time of year. However, I think there are clubs organizing well whatever event and these clubs should be rewarded because they really care about the athletes and not just to meet schedule. On the other hand I do not consider that there is a Portuguese school of map makers or course setters, but a handful of individuals who are really interested in the sport and that acquired an important know how. Thus, organizations are the image of the quality of these people's work, which makes the organizational quality substantially lower when they are not involved.

One question that everyone would like to have answered - and you, probably, are no exception - has to do with the next European Championships, in Palmela. Personally, what do you expect from each of the courses in relation to the terrains, maps and courses?

T. R. - I expect very fast races in the forest and no big technical detail. As for the Sprint, I expect a very interesting course since the terrains are of great quality. Looking at technical issues, we know that some people with more knowledge and experience wish to compete or join the staff of the Portuguese national team, but still there are more people with knowledge that will certainly do a good job and a Senior Event Adviser that will ensure the IOF compliance with the highest standards.

Do you consider there is a “before” and an “after” Monsanto with this result?

T. R. - I do not consider that there may be such milestone because it was just a course that I liked a lot to draw and the result did not influence any perception that I have on it. At this moment I will always help in setting courses organized by my club, although my availability is somewhat reduced at the moment because of my academic activity.

Do you see your future in orienteering somehow connected to the mapping and course planning, or is it more in the technical and training area that you see yourself when leaving the Elite competition?

T. R. - First of all, I still see myself in competition for a long time, once my evolution process as an elite athlete still has a long way to go. But in the future I am more willing to, perhaps, create a club in a place where orienteering doesn't exist. I think the only way in which our sport can grow in Portugal depends on the existence of a larger number of clubs, and so I intend to give back to orienteering what it has given to me all these years.

[See here all courses and photos of POM's Sprint in Monsanto]

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Lena Eliasson: A moment, a comment...



A few hours of distance since the end of my race, when walking off the podium, but still with a roller coaster of emotions inside. Tears came and left all afternoon, and even if most of them were of joy, still some thoughts of what might have been reachable... so close and still so far away!

I've never taken an individual gold internationally, so medals are BIG in my world. Imagine hours of discussions and planning (mostly with my coach Kalle Dalin), followed by implementation, are to be summarised in one piece of metal. Right there and then, that piece of metal is important, but in a short while it's all about memories and the feelings they create, and it's not the medal itself, instead it's the pictures that show my smiling eyes that is a proof of my joy and satisfaction. They can still bring on tears in my eyes and satisfaction in my chest.

Around one year before this day, I walked slowly and painfully along a road towards the finish area, with a beautiful map in my hand... I felt as if that course was made just for me and it was a pity I could not run through it (stress fracture in left heal bone/calcaneus set in one day before the long final). When the terrain description of WOC long in Finland was sending the same signals, I was a bit afraid of "jumping on that train", but I wanted it so badly and being able to run during the World Cup at NZ again, my next goal was the WOC long distance. I'm proud of my struggle towards this day, not following the "proper spring orienteering schedule" and I enjoyed more metres than anytime before I got there!

Lena Eliasson, Sweden
[2013.07.09 – After the Long Distance's Prize Giving Ceremony of the World Orienteering Championships, Vuokatti, Finland]

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jari Turto: "By the way... This is my discipline!"



After a long pause, the Portuguese Orienteering Blog is back to interview a trail-orienteer. For this special moment, we choose a truly special person, Jari Turto, the world champion in Vuokatti this summer and one of the most prominent people in this very special discipline.


The World Trail Orienteering Championships 2013 is over. Walking on the hotel lobby, I find Jari Turto, the new World Champion in the Open Class. I congratulate him and at the same time, I make him a suggestion. Two minutes after, we seat quietly, face to face, for a pleasant conversation that will take our next half hour. A conversation that is worth remembering.

But first, time to say that Jari Turto was born in Kokemäki, in southwestern Finland, in 1961. Married, three kids - “two of them are also orienteers” -, he is partner on Modultek, a software and service solutions company founded fourteen years ago and based in Pori. “My relaxing time is only in sports”, he admits, increasing the idea that free time isn't enough for one single hobby. His figure stands out in the middle of the crowd due to his height. Contrary to what most people think, this is “a disadvantage” for trail-orienteers, he claims from the top of his nearly two meters tall, “because you can see more than the planner, for example”. This and much more to realize next.


The world title, finally, in your home country. How do you feel right now?

Jari Turto (J. T.) - The feelings are great. This was my eighth Championships, actually, I got the bronze medal in 2008 but for many times I've finished one or two points away from the podium. Now the gold medal... it feels great!

What was the secret of your victory?

J. T. - I believe I was very strong during the two days. I have to admit that I have a very good orienteering background – both as foot orienteering as mapmaker, for several years – and I've practiced trail orienteering for ten years now. But I think that the main thing is that I love contours, that is my speciality. Some of those guys from trail-o call me “Mr. Contour”, because I can understand very well the contour lines in a tridimensional way. It's very easy for me to model the terrain from the map. I was at the foot-o junior national team for five years and I can remember that, at that time, I was already very good at reading maps. Running with a map is like having a video in my hands, which is, perhaps, an advantage in trail orienteering too.

Here in Vuokatti forest, in this kind of terrain, I can imagine that you felt like a fish in the water...

J. T. - Yes, yes. I must say that this terrains are different, but perfect for trail orienteering. In general, most of the controls are placed in very small areas, but here the visibility is very good, which is perfect for trail-orienteering. You can set a control at one hundred meters of distance, for example. It's a different kind of map reading. The measure in trail orienteering is the accuracy, how fast you are at map reading. It's a skill.

You said you started ten years ago. Can you remember how everything happened?

J. T. - Actually, I started in 2004, in Fin5 Orienteering Week, a five-day-event. During the rest of the day, we decided, me and my family (my children were around ten at that time), to participate in a trail orienteering competition. In fact, due to the difference of ages, we rarely had the chance to compete so close to one another, and that was an opportunity that we couldn't miss at all. I remember asking Hannu Niemi [the National Controller of WTOC 2013], whom I knew very well, what about trail orienteering. And he told me: “Try it”! Well, I tried and, after the course, I said to Hannu: “By the way... This is my discipline.”. My first participation in a World Trail Orienteering Championship was the year after, in Japan.

How do you see the progress of the discipline? Are we improving in the right way?

J. T. - Absolutely. We have done big steps to develop the discipline, not only in the nordic countries but all over the world. What I can say about the early years is that, sometimes, the courses and control settings were more a question of lottery. Those foot orienteers that tried the discipline at that time were right when they said that trail orienteering was a matter of luck. “This is not for me”, they said. Currently, I think that we have quite a good and solid system and method to set a course in an unambiguous way.

But still, we can see a lot of complains every time, everywhere...

J. T. - Of course, it depends on the planner, but the main thing is the map. If the map isn't good, you can't set an excellent course on that. You have to change the map, update the map. This is something that we do in Finland. The planner updates the map all the time, at least around the controls.

In this development process, what should be the next steps?

J. T. - That's a very important question. I've been in a so called “development team”, with Martin Fredholm, Hannu Niemi and some other people, and one question on which we lean on was, for example, how to manage with Temp-o if we have two or three hundred competitors (because we believe that, one day, we should be hundreds of competitors in a single event). It's not possible to use the method that we have now with these numbers. The main thing that I hope we can solve very soon is the electronic punching system, in some way, either using your mobile or your tablet, with some kind of apps, whatever. We should decrease one step to organize competitions...

A new technological order in trail-o, some kind of game, is that what you mean?

J. T. - No, no, no! It is and will always be trail-o. I can tell you my future vision of trail-o, perhaps in a ten or twenty years horizon. As you know, to plan and organize a competition today requires a huge effort. To have a good competition you must have good maps, solid controls, and everything... It's a lot of work to do. I have the following vision: The planner chooses a place in the forest to set the control and, with the help of a GPS, takes precisely its coordinates. The competitor gets into the terrain with a map and some kind of laser pen and a also a GPS device. There's no flags in the terrain. The competitor has to read the map, find the correct place where the control should be and point it out with the laser pen. Then he will have his coordinates which may or may not match, with a default tolerance, with the solution. Can you imagine how easy it could be for the planner, to set a trail orienteering course in these circumstances? The problem is that someone has to develop this equipment. Maybe in 2030... (laughs)

Another question: Temp-o or Trail-o?

J. T. - Both. Absolutely. Temp-o is fantastic! I've been one of the people who have developed the temp-o concept. I like that because it's also for young people and other people who don't want to take much time solving a problem. It's a different kind of challenge where speed is very important. The sad thing is that I couldn't take part of the competition here, in Vuokatti, because in the Finnish team you have excellent temp-o performers. In this kind of terrain, I think I could have good chances, but I'm not worried about that because they win medals [Pinja Mäkinen got the first world title in temp-o].

Next year, we're going to have the European Championships in Portugal. Do you think that we'll be able to organize an event with such importance?

J. T. - Why not? Of course, currently, your experience is limited, but when you and your team organize this kind of events you learn a lot. Knowledge it's not the only thing that you need, of course, but seeing you here, it's a demonstration of your interest in doing something and doing it very well. To be together with foot-o is another important thing, you can combine things like marketing, toilets, whatever. From ETOC I expect excellent terrains for trail-o and an excellent organization. Furthermore, I'm sure that Knut Ovesen and Ola Wiksell, the Senior Event Advisers, will give you the help you need.

For how long are we going to see you doing trail-o and winning gold medals?

J. T. - I'm an old guy (laughs). I no longer see as well as five years ago and some kind of limitations will begin to appear, of course. Some guys said that I'm lower and lower but I still think that I can be faster and faster. So, be careful! (laughs)

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, November 22, 2013

Two or three things I know about it...



1. On its Meeting in Brussels, last 9th november, the International University Sports Federation (FISU) attributed the organisation of the 29th Winter Universiade to Krasnoyarsk, Russia, and at the same time confirmed that ski orienteering will be one of the sports in Krasnoyarsk. “It is the most beautiful day in my life. I thank FISU for the confidence it has demonstrated by allowing us to organise the Universiade. We hope to see you in Krasnoyarsk. Welcome to Siberia!”, Lev Kuznetsov, the Governor of the Krasnoyarsk region, exclaimed. The junction of the words “university” and “Olympiad” led to the term “Universiade”, an international sports competition among students. For many, this is considered the youth version of the Olympic Games and has been the second most significant international event in the world sports stage for over 50 years.  This news came at the same time as the news about the first World University Ski Orienteering Championships that will be held in 2016, also in Russia. Participation in the Winter Universiade is another huge step forward for the discipline. You can see the complete article on FISU's webpage, at http://www.fisu.net/en/Attribution-of-the-2019-Winter-and-Summer-Universiades-3133.html?mbID=5534.

2. Located 130 km west from the brazilian capital, Brasilia, the city of Pirenópolis received between 14th and 17th november, the XVI South American Orienteering Championships (SAOC). Organised by the South American Orienteering Confederation, Brazilian Orienteering Confederation, Goiás Orienteering Federation and Cerrado Orienteering Club and including a stage counting for the world ranking (WRE), the event was attended by half a thousand athletes from six countries. By winning the titles of Long Distance and Middle Distance, the Brazilians Mirian Pasturiza and Cleber Baratto Vidal were the big stars of the event, to which are added Elaine Lenz and Fabio Kuczkoski, winners of the Sprint distance. Full results can be found at http://www.helga-o.com/webres/.

3. It's time to vote in the World of O's course of the year contest. Voting is done by setting up your “Top 5 List” based on the 79 nominated maps. Based on all the submitted “Top 5 Lists”, the best course in 2013 is found using a simple formula: For each 1st spot in a “Top 5 List”, a course gets 100 points, 70 points for each 2nd spot, 50 points for each 3rd spot, 30 points for each 4th spot and 10 points for each 5th spot. Voting is open from Wednesday November 20th until Tuesday November 26th. Prizes include a bundle of event entries. Everything to know at http://news.worldofo.com/2013/11/20/vote-for-course-of-the-year-2013-now/.

Joaquim Margarido

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Pinja Mäkinen: A moment, a comment...



My goal from the age on thirteen was to win the World Championship. I had worked for it so many years as a foot-orienteer. But as a teenager I couldn’t thought it would be in TrailO where I get my gold medal.

In this moment I was living my dream. It was unbelievable to sign my name to the place of the World Champion and then stand on the victory podium before the audience. There was my family and so many other familiar people, singing the national hymn of Finland!...

Achieving this goal gives me so much faith, confidence and joy on the trip towards the future goals, both in Trail orienteering and other fields of life.”

Pinja Mäkinen, Finland
[2013.07.12 – Signing the WOC/WTOC's Table of Honour; World Trail Orienteering Championships, Vuokatti, Finland]

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Two or three things I know about it...




1. Do you know how to tie your shoes like Emily Kemp?. This and much more to read on Orienteering Canada's Newsletter of Novembre - http://us6.campaign-archive2.com/?u=6b2ba637fe551eb3f74c81e02&id=08afeaff61 - a real nice collection of articles, among which you may still find an overview on the Canadian Orienteering Championships, read early newsletter or submit yourself to a challenging quiz.

2. After the big races of the season, time now to look back and choose the “Course of the Year 2013”. The World of O's acclaimed initiative ask you, first, for suggestions. “What was the best orienteering course of 2013?”, says Jan Kocbach, remembering that “last year’s winner had some great technical orienteering in Portugal, in 2011 the WOC middle distance in France took the first place and the year before a very special Jukola relay won.” So, which course will take the prestigious top spot this year? We are the one to decide, first by submitting suggestions and then by voting. Beyond fun to participate, desirable prizes are waiting for us. Everything to know at http://news.worldofo.com/2013/11/12/course-of-the-year-2013-submit/.

3. “World Cup needs to relocate”. It's under this title that Radek Novotný, main coach of the Czech National Team, assumes that “the whole current World Cup concept deserves wide discussion” and share with us his personal opinion. Money, inconsistency or structural savings are some of the subjects of deep reflexion, leading to a strong conclusion: “The World Cup would perhaps deserve some more passion”. “I Agree with Radek Novotný critics of IOF World Cup system”, claims Mikhail Vinogradov on his blog and asks: “If it is possible to make an effective sport management for one World Cup round why it is so complicated to do same good job in IOF?” Worth reading the two articles and... judge by yourself!

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, November 08, 2013

JWOC MTBO 2013: Cédric Beill, the Golden Boy



He has a real admiration for those who live dynamically and he ‘rejects’ people who don’t believe in themselves. And to believe in himself was crucial to achieve what he has achieved, four gold medals at the Junior World MTB Orienteering Championships. Learn more about Cédric Beill, born in Strasbourg, France, 20 years ago.


A world title is always a remarkable achievement in a sportsman’s career. But four titles – all at the same event (!) – more than remarkable, it’s a historic achievement. What does it feel like, having four gold medals on your chest?

Cédric Beill (C. B.) - Of course a gold medal in a Championships is an outstanding moment in the career of an athlete. Four gold medals in the same Championships was something wholly unexpected for me! I have been striving for a medal since 2008 when I participated for the first time in the Junior World Championships. Until this year, the best results achieved were 5th place in 2010 in Portugal and a 6th last year in Hungary.

In this last year in the junior class, I really didn’t want to fail in my fight for a medal. And of course I haven’t failed. From my point of view, these Championships will remain forever as the most amazing! It was, quite simply, the most fantastic week of my still young career.

You mean it was worth the effort, the work, the sacrifices...

C. B. - Actually, a season like this is not achieved without sacrifices, without work. Having pushed aside my studies two years ago to do more training, I ended up having less time this year to devote myself to training and preparation camps. I practice cross-country skiing intensively in winter, while I also do ski orienteering and foot orienteering which represents a larger share of my preparation programme. For two years I attended a college run by the French Federation, the Pôle Espoir de Fontainebleau, in order to better combine sport with studies, which turned out to give me a solid foundation in terms of training.

For four years now I have been trained by André Hermet, the coach of the French team. In the midst of this, my family and those who are closest to me ended up having a huge importance for their support. Likewise, my club (CO Colmar), the French Orienteering Federation and my region (Région Alsace) are an important addition to this support, ensuring the continuity of my preparation for the whole year.

When did you discover this affinity with MTB orienteering?

C. B. - MTB orienteering is not in any way a sport that I have practiced since I was a kid. I started foot orienteering from the age of seven and only later discovered MTB orienteering. It was at a time when I took part in sport at my school where the activities were organised by Caroline Finance, member of the French team in the first five MTBO World Championships. That’s how it started; I was thirteen years old, and the enthusiastic years that followed were led by another big name in the MTB orienteering world, Jérémie Gillmann, who has the best individual results ever in the French national team. It was he who revealed to me the secrets of this sport and accompanied me to the first races.

Do you have any references in this sport, athletes that you follow as role models?

C. B. - Of course my true model is Jérémie Gillman, an athlete who achieved a remarkable number of medals in the World Championships. As any youngster, I have a huge admiration for him and following in his steps is a real dream. Apart from that, I think we all dream of being able to have a career as long and as full of success as Michaela Gigon’s.

When you got to Rakvere, what were your goals? Was reaching the four gold medals something that was already in your ambitions?

C. B. - I came to Rakvere aiming to be on the podium at least once, something that has never happened before. Another goal was to be in the top six in all four races.

Tell me about your preparation for the races. How did you cope with so much emotion, managing to keep a cool head for the day after?

C. B. - It is a fact that winning a gold medal carries with it a huge set of emotions. After the first day and the Sprint title, I must admit that it took some time before I got the mental space to concentrate on the following race. Each race is a new challenge and you have to start all over again from zero. The truth is that right until the last race I managed to stay focused, which allowed me to win the four gold medals. Jacques Schmidt-Morgenröth, who was also present in the junior competition, was a great help and gave me a lot of strength, as he is my training partner throughout the year. To live through the Championships with him next to me was really something.

Among the strongest sensations of these Championships, I ask you to select the one - and only one - that will be forever etched in your memory?

C. B. - The victory in the Relay race, in personal terms, was the strongest feeling of these Championships. When, having waited for your arrival, your team-mates throw themselves into your arms and celebrate the victory - that provides an amazing set of feelings.

How do you evaluate the Championships in general?

C. B. - My opinion and that of the whole French team is that these were very well organised Championships. The event offered beautiful terrain, framed by no less beautiful arenas. The courses were challenging and I actually found, throughout the week, an organisation with great dynamism.

And now? Do you already see yourself fighting alongside the “big guys”?

C. B. - Clearly this is one of my future projects. Now I’m looking for integration into the French elite during some races in my own country. And it is with considerable anxiety that I await the arrival of 2014, my first season in the Elite class, to find out what my place is there. I have already had the chance to participate in the World Cup ranking elite, in Italy and Hungary, which was a truly enriching experience.

Of course, winning a world title in the Elite class is your ultimate goal in the future. Do you believe that it will be possible already in Bialystok, Poland, next year?

C. B. - Yes, this will certainly be my big goal for the future. I’ll try to do my best in every chance I get and to prepare myself as well as possible. But I think I will have, above all, a year of adaptation. The format of the races will be longer now and the competitive level will also increase greatly.

A final word regarding the MTB orienteering world and, in particular, French MTB orienteering?

C. B. - As in any sport, it is necessary to persevere in one’s efforts to enable the results to appear. MTB orienteering is a sport that requires time; the pleasure of practicing comes next. So, the question is: When will we have a major event in France?!

Joaquim Margarido


[See the original article at http://www.orienteering.org/edocker/inside-orienteering/2013-5/InsideOrient%205_13.pdf. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

City Race Euro Tour 2014: Orienteering and Tourism Holding Hands



Between September 20th and November 2nd 2014, Orienteering will be in focus in four major European cities. The City Race Euro Tour is an initiative that brings together the efforts and interests of London, Porto, Edinburgh and Barcelona, hand in hand with sports tourism and with the aim of attracting new practitioners as well as the elite.


The popular London City Race is the venue chosen for the inaugural presentation of the City Race Euro Tour. Starting in the capital of the United Kingdom, on September 20th and 21st 2014, the event will go through Portugal (Porto, 3rd to 5th October) and Scotland (Edinburgh, October 11th and 12th), ending in Spain in Barcelona on 1st and 2nd November. “Think hard, run fast, feel good” stands as the motto for these four major orienteering events in four major European cities.

To learn more, I met with Fernando Costa, the Portuguese orienteer responsible for the organization of the Porto City Race. He said that “there are still details to be decided, small refinements to be worked out in what will be the final regulations for the City Race Euro Tour”, but he stated that this series of races will involve “the completion of long routes in the city; they will not be traditional sprint events.” According to Costa, “this type of race will attract more participants who love orienteering and also enjoy some of the most beautiful cities in Europe in terms of tourism”, adding that “tour packages will be available to all participants with affordable prices, and with quality programmes at each event”. More information will be published on the tour website: http://cityracetour.org/.


Initial partnership – London and Porto

Stepping back about a year, Fernando Costa recalls that “the idea of creating the Euro City Race Tour was the result of a partnership established in 2012 between the organizations of the London City Race and Porto City Race”. The results of combining the social and sporting interests indeed proved promising, and then to start to extend the invitation to other organizations took only a brief moment: “We contacted through e mail those responsible for various events, and both the ‘Race The Castles’ and the ‘International Trophy of the City of Barcelona’ responded positively straight away. Others have shown interest in joining the Euro City Race Tour, but due to various reasons ended up postponing the decision to 2015”, Costa says.

Respecting the different existing organizational structures of each race, the event provides for the creation of a “ranking with various competition classes”, although there is still some uncertainty on this matter. The overriding common factor is the desire of the organisers to go ahead with the project, looking to “promote sports tourism, create trails tailored to ordinary citizens who enjoy walking and attract new participants to orienteering through better media coverage”, Fernando Costa concludes.

Visit also the City Race Euro Tour's page on Facebook, at https://www.facebook.com/cityraceeurotour?fref=ts.

Joaquim Margarido


[See the original article at http://www.orienteering.org/edocker/inside-orienteering/2013-5/InsideOrient%205_13.pdf. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]