Big winners of the Porto City Race 2015, the British Jack Kosky and Sophie Kirk talked to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog about their experiences in Portugal. A relaxed conversation which withdraws the great convergence of opinions about the value of the course, the organization and the City Race Euro Tour.
Like many British orienteers, Jack Kosky and Sophie Kirk departed from London to Porto for one special weekend. The active tourism is among the activities of their choice and, in a fashionable city like Porto, an Orienteering event is very welcome. “I think I've never been in Portugal before”, say Sophie, joining to the sentence a hearty laugh. But quickly corrects, “perhaps at the Portugal O'Meeting, I'm not quite sure.” These are days of break in her professional activity and a holiday in Porto, a city to discover, is the reason why she's here. “And I still have two more days of vacation”, Sophie says, smiling from ear to ear. The purpose of a tourist visit is also the reason of Jack Kosky's option for the “Invicta”, but here the situation is somewhat different: “Last year I was in Porto in this time, as a tourist, but I lost the Porto City Race. Seeing the city, I understood how interesting would be to compete here, in a very hilly city, with many narrow streets, for a very nice orienteering. This year I could confirm that”, he confesses.
Speaking of her race, Sophie Kirk emphasizes that “it was quite fast and tricky as well. And it was quite hot and quite long too, so I got really tired in the end.” Sophie points the keys for her victory: “I didn’t make too many mistakes, I just try to keep running.” Kosky highlights the running part as his ultimate weapon, stating that “I train more running than Orienteering and it might helped today.” But he underline “the small technical sections along with longer legs, in the hills, on the heat... it was an absolutely physical and technical challenge”, giving full marks to the course setter. Also the organization, in a global way, deserved the appreciation of both, with Jack Kosky to applaud a particular effort: “I could see a lot of publicity around the city, there was so many sponsors on the map comparing with London, for example. When we run in the middle of the forest, nobody see us, but this is an urban race and it was nice to see what happened here. The organizers have done really well, calling the people.”
The concept of the Euro City Race Tour, combining tourism and Orienteering, equally pleases both. Again Jack Kosky taking the word, based on his personal experience: “I like to plan my trips with a purpose and it’s nice to go somewhere with a sport activity in mind. You see the place in a different line, you understand better those who live there, you see different parts of the city that you wouldn’t visit otherwise. It’s nice to mix sport and trip, so I think that the concept for the City Race Euro Tour is great.” And Sophie Kirk suggests that the circuit should include more cities. But which ones? On her face, the expression of a decision everything but easy, but finally a name: "Berlin". Jack Kosky, on the other hand, puts forward the name of Venice without even thinking twice: “I’ve never ran there but some of my friends did it and I think it’s really fun. And we could see another country joining the circuit”, he concludes.