Saturday, May 30, 2015

EMTBOC 2015: Meet Ingrid Stengård (Finland)

Name: Ingrid Stengård
Age: 39
Home location: Espoo, Finland
Profession and educational background: Ski-instructor, wilderness guide, primary school teacher.
Years in sport of any kind: 33 years.
Years in MTBO: 23 years.
What got you started: I did Ski-orienteering and MTBO was a good way of summer training.
IOF World Ranking: 6th position
MTBO World Cup 2015: 2nd position

What is your best moment in MTB Orienteering so far?
- It's hard to pick just one, there have been so many amazing moments during the years. Winning and successful races are just one part of the great MTBO moments. I think meeting so many nice people from all over the world with similar interests and having the chance to travel around and see many new places have given even more fantastic moments. Moments like being overtaken by a kangaroo, when racing in Australia or barbeque parties at MTB-O-Ringen in Sweden, for example, are easiest to the Middle Distance in EMTBOC at Nida, Lithuania (2008) was a big surprise. When I crossed the finish line after a race where I’ve made a big mistake to the first control, almost caught up by the next starter, and then made what felt like hundreds of stops to avoid any other big mistakes I was all but satisfied. A minute after finishing I saw my name popping up highest on the result list I just couldn’t believe it.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
- There is so much to explore and learn in the sport. Every race and map-training is always a new challenge and a contact with a new course that you haven’t done before. It’s impossible to get bored when you don’t know what’s waiting in the next race.

What one or two things do you currently do in your training that are keys to your success?
- Good question. At the moment I think it’s not so much about current training but about the experience and things done in the past. I try to develop the fast orienteering since many mtb-o nowadays are in very dense path networks in fast, often urban terrain.

What are your goals for the European Championships, in Portugal?
- To do four good races without any stupid mistakes and enjoy the races.

What is your biggest challenge in the competition, and how do you intend to manage it?
- Do not make any stupid mistakes. Training on difficult courses where I have to focus all the time.

What would be your ultimate achievement for the season?
- To do my best race of the year in the World Championships.

Do you have a saying or motto that you live your life by?
- Not really. But I try to have fun every day. Life is too short to waste on being unhappy. Even daily routines can be done with a smile.

Anything else you’d like to share?
- I’m really looking forward to race in Portugal again. I like the hilly terrain that the weather it’s usually warm and nice. The warmer the better since I don’t like freezing (laughs).

[Photo credits: Elina Erkkilä]
Joaquim Margarido

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