Saturday, April 30, 2016

FootO World Cup round 1 2016: Winning start for Lundanes and Jansson

Olav Lundanes and Helena Jansson were the big winners of the opening stage of the FootO World Cup 2016. The Swedish and Norwegian strength extended to the other top positions, in a race where the Swiss performed below expectations.

The Foot Orienteering World Cup 2016 started this morning, with a Middle Distance stage on the Ślęża mountain, Sobotka, about 40 kilometers outside Wroclaw. Extremely challenging, the courses were attended by 120 runners in the Men Elite class and 89 in the Women Elite class, having the Norwegian Olav Lundanes and the Swedish Helena Jansson as the big winners.

In the Men Elite class, Lundanes performed very consistently, leading from the beginning and finishing with a time of 35:11. A comfortable 1:09 winning over his team mate Carl Godager Kaas, with the Swedish Albin Ridefelt finishing third with 36:33. The first non-Norwegian or Swedish in the final standings was the Swiss Florian Howald, 8th placed at 2:13 from the lead, while the IOF World Ranking leader and winner of the two last editions of the FootO World Cup, the Swiss Daniel Hubmann, couldn't get better than the 19th position, at far 3:57 from Lundanes. Ukranian Ruslan Glibov took an impressive 8th place, with the same time as Howald. In the end of his course, Lundanes would say: “I used the main contours and also ran a lot on compass” [IOF webpage].

As for the Women Elite class, the Swedish Helena Jansson and Tove Alexandersson, the FootO World Cup winner in 2014 and 2015, fought hardly for the victory, finishing separated by two single seconds. The two athletes were changing positions in the lead along the whole race, but Helena was stronger than Tove in the last controls, finishing with the time of 38:31. The fight for the next places was also really tight, with the five next athletes separated by near 25 seconds. Svetlana Mironova, from Russia, was third at 1:28 from Jansson, while the Czech Denisa Kosova confirmed the excellent performances of last weekend, during the EOC selection races of her country, finishing seventh, at 1:52 from the lead. “I made some mistakes today. I didn’t expect this to be a winning race”, Helena Jansson said [IOF webpage].


Men Elite (6,5 Km 240 m 27 C)
1. Olav Lundanes (Norway) 35:19 (+ 00:00)
2. Carl Godager Kaas (Norway) 36:28 (+ 01:09)
2. Albin Ridefelt (Sweden) 36:33 (+ 01:14)
4. Johan Runesson (Sweden) 36:40 (+ 01:21)
5. Gustav Bergman (Sweden) 36:48 (+ 01:29)
6. Magne Dæhli (Norway) 37:21 (+ 02:02)

Women Elite (5,4 Km 210 m 23 C)
1. Helena Jansson (Sweden) 38:31 (+ 00:00)
2. Tove Alexandersson (Sweden) 38:33 (+ 00:02)
3. Svetlana Mironova (Russia) 39:59 (+ 01:28)
4. Merja Rantanen (Finland) 40:09 (+ 01:38)
5. Venla Harju (Finland) 40:14 (+ 01:43)
6. Maja Alm (Denmark) 40:22 (+ 01:51)

Joaquim Margarido

Looking for good weekend reading? The latest IOF Newsletter is already available

Looking for good weekend reading? The latest IOF Newsletter is already available. On it, you can read about the thoughts and feelings of the world stars as the season gets underway, how mappers are the key to spreading orienteering in Asia, the continued success of World Orienteering Day, and much more.

All around the world, orienteers are preparing for coming challenges. The FootO World Cup is about to start in a couple of hours and Wojciech Kowalski, the best ranked Polish runner currently, seems to be ready to fight among the best and is very much looking forward to it. His words can be read in the article signed by Erik Borg and entitled “Kowalski can’t wait for the World Cup” [HERE]. Another great athlete, Helena Jansson, states: “All I do is related to WOC”. Having ‘home advantage’ as an extra factor this year, Jansson reveals some of her feelings: “I am both excited and anxious; I am both longing for it to happen and at the same time it seems like August is approaching too fast”, she says. The article has the signature of Joaquim Margarido and can be seen HERE.

Traveling to distant places where Orienteering, although less significant, is felt intensively and passionately, the IOF Newsletter of April visits the Dominican Republic - one of the newest IOF Member Federations, gaining its provisional membership in 2015 – sharing José Angel Nieto Poblete's thoughts about the National Student Games, most recently held in Gaspar Hernández in the Espaillat province. “The Dominican Orienteering Federation, with the support of sports institutions in the country, has a wide spread project of promoting orienteering throughout the country, which involves creating and updating orienteering maps in all provinces”, is just one of the subjects that can be read HERE. Talking about maps, we are invited to look upon the successful Asian Mapping Clinic, entered by 30 mappers from five Asian Federations. Organised in tandem with the Asian Orienteering Championships 2016, the Asian Orienteering Mapping Clinic (AOMC), with the support of the IOF, opened on the 22nd April 2016 at the National Chung-Cheng University, Chia-Yi, Taiwan. All to know HERE.

As for the competitive chapter, the Newsletter watches the Unofficial European Cup in Trail Orienteering's first round [HERE]. The article is written by Joaquim Margarido and on it you can read that “for the first time ever, Portugal hosted a round and the big winners of the first two ECTO stages were Erik Stålnacke, in TempO, and Marco Giovannini, in PreO. In the overall standings, Stålnacke is the first leader.” Still to articles to read, the first one, behind the scenes, is about “IOF activities come alive at the SportAccord Convention #SAC2016” [HERE]. The last one highlights the “Overwhelming success for World Orienteering Day” and it leads to WOD's latest folder, at

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, April 29, 2016

Two or three things I know about it...

1. All over the next weekend, the Orienteering fans will be focused in the Lower Silesia region, in Poland, for the opening round of the FootO World Cup 2016. “Three races in three unique venues: Wrocław, Sobótka (mountain Ślęża) and Trzebnica. This will definitely be an orienteering feast”, assure the organizers about the three stages - Middle Distance, Sprint (Qualification + Final) and Sprint Relay - that fill the program. “Courses, made by two of the best course setters in Poland - Jacek Morawski and Kostiantyn Majasow -, are already done and we're sure, that our guests will be satisfied”, says Wojciech Dwojak, World Cup Event Director. The number of registered athletes amounts to 264, representing 26 countries, and it’s possible to see on the list the winners of the two previous editions of the World Cup, the Swiss Daniel Hubmann and the Swedish Tove Alexandersson, but also the Danish Maja Alm, the Norwegian Olav Lundanes, the Ukrainian Nadiya Volynska, the Swedish Helena Jansson, the British Catherine Taylor, the Swiss Matthias Kyburz or the New Zealander Tim Robertson, among many other important names of the international Orienteering scene. The French Thierry Gueorgiou and the Danish Ida Bobach, Long Distance World Champions, are the most remarkable absents from the greatest test before the World Games 2017, that will be held in Wrocław. Everything to follow at

2. The Czech Team for the European Orienteering Championships on home ground has been selected. World Champion in 2008 (Olomouc, Czech Republic), Dana Safka Brozková is heading the strong team – being best among the women in the selection races. The Czech selection races for the forest disciplines in EOC 2016 were held in Šumperk and surroundings last weekend. The selection races started with a 3000 meter track test on Friday. On Saturday there was a Long Distance on the map Skřítek and on Sunday the selections ended up with a Middle Distance on a small, rocky area. Jan Petrzela won the 3.000 metres while Milos Nykodym was the best in the forest races. As for the Women, Dana Safka Brozková won the Long Distance and Denisa Kosová performed better than anyone else in the Middle Distance and 3.000 metres. The athletes selected are Vendula Horčičková, Adélka Indráková, Adélka Jakobová, Jana Knapová, Denisa Kosová, Michaela Omová and Dana Šafka Brožková, in the Women; the Men are Daniel Hájek, Vojtěch Král, Pavel Kubát, Tomáš Kubelka, Miloš Nykodým, Jan Petržela, Jan Procházka and Jan Šedivý. To see detailed information, please go to

3. From 20th to 24th April, the region of Åhus, Sweden, received the MTBO Camp 2016. Organized by the OK Øst Birkerød, Denmark, and OK Pan-Kristianstad, Sweden, the event called the attention of about three hundred participants from 15 countries, offering a several different races in terms of its format and distance. The offer included two stages scoring for the IOF MTBO World Ranking, one in the Sprint Distance and another of Middle Distance. The Sprint stage had in the Russian Grigory Medvedev (Cube Russia Team) and the Finnish Marika Hara (Team Finland) the big winners, while the Swedish Marcus Jansson (Garphyttans IF) and again Marika Hara took the first places in the Middle Distance stage. The Finnish Ingrid Stengård and Eeva-Liisa Hakala achieved, respectively, the second and third places in both stages, while in Men the Russian Ruslan Gritsan (Shimano Bergamont) and the Czech Radek Laciga (CZE Elite) followed Medvedev in the Sprint and the Finnish Jussi Laurila (Team Finland) and the Danish Allan Jensen (OK Pan Arhus) were second and third in the Middle Distance stage. Overall, Medvedev and Hara were the big winners of MTBO Camp 2016. All to check in

4. The Spanish Football League (La Liga), the Spanish Sports Superior Council and the Spanish Sports Association presented LaLiga4Sports, a project born to give visibility to the 64 sport federations in Spain. The official presentation took place in the Madrid Architects Official College with the presence of representatives of all sports federations, including Victor García Berenguer, President of the Spanish Orienteering Federation and Andreu Blanes, one of the leading exponents of Orienteering in that country and 7th classified in the Sprint final of the World Orienteering Championships WOC 2015 (Inverness, Scotland). “This is a great initiative, but with a long way to go before it proves 100% productive”, Blanes states. The athlete believes that “people directly involved in the process are very committed with the so-called small sports” but, again, his idea is that “it’s necessary to give time to see how it works”. To the Portuguese Orienteering Blog, the Spanish Orienteering Federation's Secretariat confirmed that the Spanish Football League will annually allocate some money to the sports federations, according to their visibility. The condition is investing the money in the High Competition and, at the same time, some resources may be used to advertise LaLiga4Sports. Jesús De Miguel add that “last year the FEDO received 19,000 Euros, from a total of 6,000,000 Euros shared by all Federations.”

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Raúl Ferra: "We daydrem with WOC medals"

One of the best Orienteering athletes in Spain, Raúl Ferra, has been appointed by the President of the Spanish Orienteering Federation, Assistant to the FEDO's Technical Department. The Portuguese Orienteering Blog met him, listening his ideas and projects for the future.

How the invitation happened and what led you to accept it?

Raúl Ferra (R. F.) - A few months ago, the President of the Spanish Orienteering Federation asked me about joining the FEDO's Technical team. From the beginning, I saw it as an opportunity I couldn't waste. After discuss some small details, the agreement came quite easily. I've always said that the only job I would prefer to my current profession as a teacher would be to devote myself, exclusively, to Orienteering. As simple as that!

From my point of view (which I believe I share with the vast majority of the Spanish orienteers), José Samper has probably been for many years the biggest icon of Spanish Orienteering and has played a key role in our development process, doing an outstanding job and leading lots of projects that brought us to where we are now. So, it's my privilege to work closely to him, absorbing all the possible information. And the time will show the FEDO's organizational chart in the future. We cannot forget that we are in election year and the results may change everything.

What challenges do you face in the new job? Are there any aspects that will call your particular attention?

R. F. - The FEDO's Technical Department is a very challenging area, with many different fronts to respond. Subjects such as rationalizing the national calendar, defining quality criteria for the races, updating the rules, embedding new modalities in the Spanish Championships, strengthening disciplines such as MTB Orienteering and Rogaine, revitalizing and expanding technical centres and, of course, the quest for a qualitative shift, supporting the national teams, are some of the challenges. However, I'm just “landing” on the charge and a reasonable period of time is still needed to thoroughly study all topics and have a deeper insight into the tasks I'm about to face.

Does your project lie on the continuity or you're ready to break with the past and run the Orienteering in Spain in a new direction?

R. F. - Personally, I think the Orienteering in Spain has improved a lot in a few years, and I know that much has been done by the FEDO's Technical team. My philosophy isn't to keep it the same way neither break with the past to give a totally different approach. I think there are many things that have been done and are doing very well and others that can now (and not before) start performing differently. Therefore, I think we should focus on strengthening the aspects that work well and that led us to the present situation, while we shouldn't be afraid to innovate and grow, as the new times require. I've never been afraid to change, but we can't forget our roots and the way that brought us here. It's from there that we may keep on growing. In short, it will be a continuity and innovative project.

How do you evaluate the Orienteering's current moment in your country? Where lie the biggest difficulties?

R. F. - ¿How do I value the current situation of the Spanish Orienteering? It depends how to compare with! If we compare the situation with five or six years ago, it's certainly much better now in every aspects. If we compare the situation to the next five or six years, I would say it's much worse. Everything goes changing. As I mentioned before, I think that the Spanish Orienteering has grown considerably in recent years, and what better example as a Spanish orienteer leaving a few seconds behind the World title, being runner-up in the Junior World Championships, winning the Jukola or arriving first in a Tiomila leg. Just a few years ago, it would be science fiction and now we daydream with WOC medals. The improvement's margin is still very large, and my goal is to work to help the Spanish Orienteering to stand where I think it deserves, among the best countries in the world.

¿The biggest difficulties? There are many in a sport like ours, but certainly the main difficulty is funding. With money you can do many things, develop many projects and improve easier and faster. Unfortunately we are still (I like to think that “still”) a minor sport, with little impact on the media. And it is there where we must work firmly, to make visible our sport, to sell Orienteering. TV, GPS, results, campaigns, search for sponsors,... they will be elements of the greatest importance if we want to reach the step we deserve. This is essential.

The first great moment of your new mission will be lived in the Czech Republic during the European Championships. What are the main goals set for EOC? How far they can go, these boys and girls of the Spanish team?

R. F. - One thing I've learned in recent years: these “boys” and “girls” are able of anything. It is difficult to set a quantitative target in a such high level competition as EOC, but I'm quite sure that our athletes in the Czech republic will be at the highest level, as they usually are. They are showing a very good shape and I think the terrain will fit better to their characteristics than the Nordic terrains. In addition, the Sprint will be, as always, the great asset of our team, and we have some of the best in this discipline.

Will you leave the competition at the Elite level or are we going to see you in the future facing the tasks, both as athlete and as coach?

R. F. - This was a matter of vital importance for me, and I had to think really well before accepting the position. I don't want, under any circumstances, to close the door to top-level sport as competitior. Personally, I still feel strongly enough to continue training and competing at the elite level, so I will reconcile both tasks. I think I still have a lot to offer and I'm ready to keep training hard as I have done so far. I don't want retire so soon (laughs).

To conclude our interview, would you like to share your greatest wish?

R. F. - Honestly, I want to see a Spanish medal in WOC soon.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

CamBOr 2016: First round marked by tragedy

Leandro Pasturiza, Cleber Baratto Vidal, Leticia Saltori and Franciely Chiles shared victories during the Brazilian Orienteering Championships' first round. The event was marked by tragedy, with the accident that killed Itamar Torrezam, a reference in the Brazilian Orienteering.

Rio Negrinho, in the state of Santa Catarina, was the city chosen by the Brazilian Orienteering Confederation to host the first stage of the 18th Brazilian Orienteering Championships CamBOr 2016. Organized by the Coville - Jointville Orienteering Club, the event had the participation of 535 athletes from all over the country and was tragically marked by the death of Itamar Torrezam, one of the pioneers of Orienteering in Brazil. Following to a 25 metres fall from a cliff during the Long Distance course, Torrezam didn't resist to the multiple trauma suffered and died. The fact, felt with the deepest sadness by the Brazilian orienteer family, happens at a time when Itamar Torrezam celebrated 40 years of dedication to the Orienteering, being one of its most committed promoters in Brazil.

In the competitive way, Leandro Pereira Pasturiza (COSaM) started the CamBOr 2016 the best way, winning the Long Distance course in 1:15:40, with a lead of 3:35 over Cleber Baratto Vidal (COSM), ranked second. Owner of six Brazilian titles so far, Pasturiza search this year for an unprecedented “hat-trick”, after his victories in 2014 and 2015. In the Middle Distance course that ended the competition, the positions on the top two changed and Cleber Baratto Vidal was the winner with the time of 32:24 against 33:30 of his opponent. In terms of ranking, the two athletes start for the CamBOr 2016's second stage - Rio Quente / GO, from 17th to 19th June 2016 – with the same points.

Looking forward her first Brazilian Orienteering title ever in the Women Elite, Leticia Saltori (ADAAN) was the featured figure of this first round, achieving a win and a second position. The triumph occurred in the Long Distance stage, with the athlete fulfilling her course in 1:04:57 and leaving the second placed, Mirian Pasturiza (ADAAN), at far 4:29. Franciely Siqueira Chiles (COSM), the winner of CamBOr 2014, won the Middle Distance, after being 4th in the Long Distance. A really tight fight and a victory with the time of 33:24, with Leticia finishing second with more 9 seconds than Franciely. The CamBOr 2015's winner, Tania Maria Jesus de Carvalho (ADAAN), was far from her usual performances, being 6th in the Long Distance and 7th in the Middle Distance.


Long Distance

Men Elite (10 Km 340 m 19 C)
1. Leandro Pasturiza (COSaM) 1:15:40 (+ 00:00)
2. Cleber Baratto Vidal (COSM) 1:19:15 (+ 03:35)
3. Ironir Alberto Ev (COSM) 1:20:58 (+ 05:18)
4. Everton Daniel Markus (COSM) 1:23:58 (+ 08:18)
5. Claudinei Nitch (CASUSA) 1:24:32 (+ 08:52)

Women Elite (7,1 Km 250 m 16 C)
1. Leticia Saltori (ADAAN) 1:04:57 (+ 00:00)
2. Mirian Pasturiza (ADAAN) 1:09:26 (+ 04:29)
3. Edineia Roniak (COGA) 1:11:51 (+ 06:54)
4. Franciely Chiles (COSM) 1:12:13 (+ 07:16)
5. Camila Cortinhas (COSM) 1:12:24 (+ 07:27)

Middle Distance

Men Elite (5,0 Km 130 m 13 C)
1. Cleber Baratto Vidal (COSM) 32:24 (+ 00:00)
2. Leandro Pasturiza (COSaM) 33:30 (+ 01:06)
3. Sidnaldo Farias Sousa (ADAAN) 33:44 (+ 01:20)
4. Ironir Alberto Ev (COSM) 34:27 (+ 02:03)
5. Marciano Kaminski (CASUSA) 35:31 (+ 03:07)

Women Elite (3,9 Km 120 m 12 C)
1. Franciely Chiles (COSM) 33:24 (+ 00:00)
2. Leticia Saltori (ADAAN) 33:33 (+ 00:09)
3. Camila Cortinhas (COSM) 37:28 (+ 04:04)
4. Edinéia Roniak (COGA) 39:24 (+ 06:00)
5. Elaine Lenz (ADAAN) 40:36 (+ 07:12)

To see the full results and further information, please visit the event's webpage at

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

CIFO 2016: Esther Gil took the Iberian titles of Middle and Long Distance

Esther Gil was at the highest level during the Female Iberian Foot Orienteering Championships, winning the Middle and Long Distance titles. In the Men Elite, Roger Casal was the strongest in these distances, while Eduardo Gil was the winner in the Sprint. Mariana Moreira took the Iberian Sprint title.

In an atmosphere dominated by the idilic “beirã” scenery, between mountains, rivers and breathtaking valleys, took place this weekend, in Aguiar da Beira, the Female Iberian Foot Orienteering Championships. The event was organized by the Clube de Orientação de Estarreja and registered the presence of 595 athletes, about half of which from the neighbouring Spain. In addition to assigning the female Iberian titles in the Middle, Long and Sprint distances, the Female Iberian Foot Orienteering Championship scored in all distances for the Vitalis Portuguese Foot Orienteering Cup 2016 and for the Spanish Foot Orienteering League 2016.

In the Women Elite class, Esther Gil (Colivenc) was the greatest winner, achieving the Iberian Middle and Long Distance titles by really strong margins. The Portuguese Mariana Moreira (CPOC) - defending here all three Iberian titles achieved last year in Pontevedra -, was faster than anyone else in the Sprint, being second placed on the remaining distances. Overall, the Championships assigned 27 Iberians titles, eleven in the Long and Middle Distances and five in the Sprint. The Portuguese athletes achieved sixteen titles, with the remaining eleven titles staying on the Spanish athletes. Individually, the focus are over the Spanish Kika Basáran (Toledo-O) and the Portuguese Filipa Rodrigues (ADFA), who achieved all the three titles, in the W16 and W20 classes, respectively. Also worth mentioning the Portuguese Beatriz Sanguino (CPOC) in W18 and Herminia Tavares (COV - Natura) in W60, with two Iberian titles each.

As for the Men Elite class, Roger Casal (Colivenc) also won the Middle and Long Distance stages, in the first case with a lead of 1:34 over Javier Ruiz de la Herrán (COMA) and in the second case beating Eduardo Gil (Tjalve ) by a comfortable margin of 3:58. Eduardo Gil won the Sprint stage, with the Portuguese Tiago Romão (GafanhOri) at 51 seconds. Reference to the victories in all stages for Jose Antonio Garcia (Lorca-O) in the M40 class, José Fernandes (.COM) in M55 class, Francisco Coelho (Club TAP) in M70 class and Joaquim da Costa (GD4C) in M75 class.


Middle Distance

Men Elite (4,5 Km 280 m 15 C)
1. Roger Casal (Colivenc) 34:29 (+ 00:00)
2. Javier Ruiz de la Herrán (COMA) 36:03 (+ 01:34)
3. Pau Llorens (COB) 36:25 (+ 01:56)
4. Tiago Martins Aires (GafanhOri) 36:33 (+ 02:04)
5. Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 36:44 (+ 02:15)

Women Elite (3,4 Km 195 m 15 C)
1. Esther Gil (Colivenc) 34:23 (+ 00:00)
2. Mariana Moreira (CPOC) 39:11 (+ 04:48)
3. Carolina Delgado (GD4C) 41:17 (+ 06:54)
4. Guadalupe Moreno (Monte El Pardo) 47:58 (+ 13:35)
5. Marta Guijo (Via Plata ) 51:23 (+ 17:00)


Men Elite (3,4 Km 140 m 23 C)
1. Eduardo Gil (Tjalve) 14:29 (+ 00:00)
2. Tiago Romão (GafanhOri) 15:20 (+ 00:51)
3. Pau Llorens (COB) 15:24 (+ 00:55)
4. Tiago Martins Aires (GafanhOri) 16:05 (+ 01:36)
5. Greg Ahlswede (Escondite-M) 16:22 (+ 01:53)

Women Elite (2,8 Km 110 m 18 C)
1. Mariana Moreira (CPOC) 15:40 (+ 00:00)
2. Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) 15:53 (+ 00:13)
3. Marta Guijo (Via Plata) 16:23 (+ 00:43)
4. Carolina Delgado (GD4C) 17:35 (+ 01:55)
5. Guadalupe Moreno (Monte El Pardo) 18:14 (+ 02:34)

Long Distance

Men Elite (11,9 Km 445 m 28 C)
1. Roger Casal (Colivenc) 1:23:35 (+ 00:00)
2. Eduardo Gil (Tjalve) 1:27:33 (+ 03:58)
3. Pau Llorens (COB) 1:33:03 (+ 09:28)
4. Javier Ruiz de la Herrán (COMA) 1:34:31 (+ 10:56)
5. Manuel Horta (GafanhOri) 1:35:18 (+ 11:43)

Women Elite (7,8 Km 325 m 18 C)
1. Esther Gil (Colivenc) 1:11:12 (+ 00:00)
2. Mariana Moreira (CPOC) 1:21:09 (+ 09:57)
3. Raquel Costa (GafanhOri) 1:23:18 (+ 12:06)
4. Carolina Delgado (GD4C) 1:26:46 (+ 15:34)
5. Marta Guijo (Via Plata ) 1:31:04 (+ 19:52)

Full results, maps, photos and further information at

[Archive photo]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, April 25, 2016

Lilian Forsgren: "I think and hope we are ready to replace Denmark"

With the World Orienteering Championships WOC 2016 taking place in Strömstad, this is, undoubtedly, a really important year for Sweden. The Elite athletes, in particular, face a tremendous challenge: to represent the national team, to compete next their own public and, of course, to achieve the best possible result. It's with a mix of emotions and also having the qualification for the Swedish team as her next major goal, that Lilian Forsgren spoke to the Portuguese Orienteering Blog.

How are you living this unique opportunity, with the WOC approaching so fast?

Lilian Forsgren (L. F.) - I think it's a great opportunity, and I can only see the positive parts of having a Championship at “home”. Great publicity, lots of friends and family watching and a chance to be really prepared for the terrain that awaits.

How are you managing your preparation? Have you had some good vibes so far?

L. F. - I had a good winter training and I have been several times to the terrains close to Strömstad. I live in Gothenburg just two hours south of Strömstad and I'm familiar with the terrain there which is actually quite similar to the terrain in Strömstad.

Do you prepare specifically the mental part?

L. F. - No not really, I like to be competing at "home ground".

In terms of technical and physical challenge, maps and terrains, what kind of competition will we have in Strömstad? Can you identify some similarities with the last WOC in Inverness?

L. F. - We will have, for sure, some tough races! Especially the forest races will be a challenge with steep slopes and heavy terrain. A little like the long-distance in Scotland.

Of all your previous experiences, which ones can be really helpful to the great challenges that you'll face ahead?

L. F. - The fact that I live in Gothenburg is probably an advantage. It is a little bit similar terrain that I'm very familiar with. But apart from that, I think it's previous Championships experience that will be most useful.

Are there some athletes that you admire the most at the moment? What do they have that you don't... but you would like to have?

L. F.
- I'm always inspired by other athletes and would like to improve in all possible ways. I'm admiring someone for their speed, someone else for their strength, someone else for the mental toughness or technical skills.

Is Sweden prepared to replace Denmark, getting all the gold in the Women competition?

L. F.
- I think and hope we are ready to replace Denmark, but we could never affect the other competitors' result. We just need to do as good performances as possible and then you never know how far it lasts.

What are your concerns regarding the next weeks?

L. F. - Longing to run the World Cup in Poland and then the European Championships in the Czech Republic, of course.

I asked you to leave a message to all those who will be in Sweden next August. And also to those who will stay home.

L. F. - Hope that all of you that will have the opportunity, come to Strömstad in the end of August! It will be a great week with both spectator races, beautiful terrains and surroundings but, most of all, exciting competitions! And for those who can't make it, I hope you will watch all the TV broadcasts!

Joaquim Margarido

Friday, April 22, 2016

Two or three things I know about it...

1. Daniel Hubmann and Rachel Friedrich achieved the Middle Distance titles during the Swiss Orienteering Championships last weekend. Daniel Hubmann spent 31:41 to run his course, against 32:26 from his brother, Martin. Florian Howald was third, with more than 2:03 the winner. Rahel Friedrich conquered her first national gold by winning with 31:49; Simone Niggli and Sabine Hauswirth were second and third, with more 00:42 and 01:01, respectively. The Swiss journey counted with three more race tests, qualifying the best athletes for the European Championships in the Czech Republic and the World Cup round in Poland. The Long Distance had in Matthias Kyburz and Elena Roos the big winners, while Daniel Hubmann and Rahel Friedrich won the Sprint. Finally, Matthias Kyburz and Rahel Friedrich Were fastest on the 3000 meters race. With this results, the Swiss Orienteering Federation called to the Selection Team Daniel Hubmann, Martin Hubmann, Matthias Kyburz, Andreas Kyburz, Jonas Egger, Florian Howald, Andreas Rüedlinger, Raffael Huber, Christoph Meier, Térence Risse, Baptiste Rollier, Alain Denzler and Florian Schneider, in Men, and Rahel Friedrich, Sabine Hauswirth, Sarina Jenzer, Elena Roos, Martina Ruch, Kerstin Ullmann, Julia Gross, Lisa Holer, Sina Tommer, Anina Brunner, Lisa Schubnall and Judith Wyder, in Women. All the information at

2. The city of Vila do Conde hosted the Portugal City Race 2016's third stage. The event was organized by the Grupo Desportivo dos Quatro Caminhos, Municipality of Vila do Conde and Portuguese Orienteering Federation. After two triumphs in a row for the Spanish Maikel Rodrigues, João Novo (.COM) won the Men Seniors class, meeting the 8800 meters of his course in 38:35. Maikel Rodrigues (AROMON) spent 54 seconds more than the winner and reached the second position, while the third place went to Jorge Fernandes (NAST) with a time of 43:40. In the women's class, Joana Fernandes, from Clube de Orientação do Minho won for the second time a stage of the Portugal City Race 2016 with 38:14, after the triumph in Barcelos, in the opening stage of the Circuit. Tânia Covas Costa, from the same club, and Sara Miranda (Individual) occupied the immediate positions with more 2:45 minutes and 9:21, respectively, than the winner. Maikel Rodrigues and Joana Fernandes are the leaders od the respective rankings. Everything to read at

3. Jan Kocbach opened an interesting debate about the estimated winning time for women's Long Distance, after the IOF Foot-O Athletes' Commission's survey [HERE]. Would you like to know the best athletes's opinions on the subject right now? Just take a look at and see for yourself. From lots of messages, we can see Annika Billstam's sentence: “Just because we always done it this way doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s uncomfortable to change, but change is what makes progress.” And also Eva Jurenikova's opinion: “I wish this change came 10-20 years ago, it is too late for my own elite career, but I still want and I will continue to make effort to make our sport better and to increase the choice for the female athletes of the current and coming generations.”

4. The Swedish Trail Orienteering League started last weekend in Skåne region with two PreO stages. Almost one hundred competitors entered for the event, 44 of which in the Elite class. The Swedish Marit Wiksell (Rehns BK) won the first stage with 18 points and just one wrong answer. With 17 points there was 9 competitors and here the timed controls made the difference. William Rex (OK Landehof) performed better than the concurrency and was second, followed by Lennart Wahlgren (Rehns BK), Martin Fredholm (OK Linné) and Jens Andersson (OK Roslagen). The Norwegian Lars Jakob Waaler took the sixth place and was the first non-Swedish in the standings. On the second day, Marit Wiksell was 13th, 1 point less than the leading group. The winner was the Swedish Michael Johansson (Vänersborgs SK) with 19 points, the same number of points as 9 other competitors. But the former European and World Champion in 2014 solved the two timed tasks in 9 seconds and was the winner, with Clara Jakobsson and Robert Jakobsson, both from Tidaholm SOK Sisu, being second and third and close 3 and 4 seconds, respectively. Clive Allen (Silkeborg OK), from Great Britain, was this time the first non-Swedish competitor in the standings. Full results at

Joaquim Margarido

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Javier Arufe and Natalia Pedre: "All maps are suffering"

The passion for animals and for Galicia's green spaces are just two of the many ties that bind Javier Arufe and Natalia Pedre. Another of these ties is the cartography. They were responsible for the map where the Spanish Trail orienteering Championships took place and this was the starting point of a really pleasant conversation. About maps and TrailO, naturally!

How did you know each other? Have you find each other, mapping in the forest, and it was like “magic” or this cartography “thing” came later?

Javier Arufe (J. A.) - It wasn’t that romantic (laughs). I'd been drawn maps and it turned out to be an almost natural process that Nati joined me. Mapmaking is a very demanding job, it requires lots of time and dedication, so we realize that, rather than being apart from each other, we would commit ourselves to cartography.

Natalia Pedre (N. P.) - Moreover, the forest delights me. Since my childhood, I love the contact with nature and this was also a way to explore the forest in its most interesting details.

What is it, “making maps”?

J. A. – I started making maps as a personal challenge. I realized that this could be my place as member of a club that organizes events. We have the courses, the start, the finish, the logistics, and we have, of course, the map. The challenge was trying to understand how an athlete could become a cartographer. The truth is that I'm already on it for 20 years.

What are the most important resources during the map making process?

N. P. - Well, I just work on it for 10 years now but I believe that’s a process with several stages and that has improving a lot recently. Since the paper sheets, with coloured pencils, to the transparency paper and then with the new technologies that Javi controls so well. Step by step, we started bringing with us the computer to the field work. Everything has its pros and cons, but working directly on the computer in the field allows you to save a lot of time in terms of homework and gives you a much more precise results, something that we couldn’t expect when designing on paper. Another important support technology is the GPS.

In your experience as cartographers, I’m sure there will be some pleasant moments and some not so, some maps that you proudly recall, others that brought you nothing but headaches...

J. A. - All maps are suffering. I'm not professional and, after 20 years making maps, the effective time in the cartography turns out to be really much less. It’s the work, the family life, the sport, the training… all of it doesn’t leave you too much time to making maps. The best map I've done so far has resulted from a quiet walk in the forest, without having in mind some plans about maps or anything else. But the map making is a quite suffered process and the most suffered so far was undoubtedly the last one, for the Spanish Trail orienteering Championships, in Castiñeiras Lake. It was a tremendous task, demanding all our knowledge in order to give the competitors the information they need, which in Trail orienteering is… everything. When I make a map, I always have in mind the elite - not that the other classes, particularly the youngest ones, stay out of my concerns. I want them to realize that the reentrant is visible, the vegetation is perfectly readable, the colours are correct. I want to make sure that I'm able to provide the appropriate information and feel, in the end, the athlete's happiness. But this approach, in Trail orienteering, is not as simple as that and turns out to be highly demanding for any cartographer.

N. P. - Of course, the whole process of drawing a map has a subjective part. Where the doubts begin, begins the suffering. To draw a map from start to finish, following strictly a defined criterion, it’s tremendously stressful. Just because it's another day or we are more tired, the map drawing style cannot simply change. Still, in the end there will always be room for some subjectivity and therein lie the cartographers’ fear.

In the final part of your work on the Castiñeiras Lake map, you could count on the presence of the course planner and the controller. How did you see this multidisciplinary approach?

J. A. – The multidisciplinarity is always very positive. There’s someone setting the course and designing the tasks, someone supervising, someone drawing the map and, together, it’s possible to set a criteria that will prove to be very important for the final product. At least in some small details, this map would be different without this work together. The definition of common criteria turns out to be something really interesting.

Have you ever felt, for some reason, that a map was taking care of you, invading your personal sphere, demanding the time and availability that you didn’t have?

N. P. - Some maps are more demanding than others, even from a physical point of view. Some maps challenge you so much that you reach the end of the day completely exhausted. It may seem nonsense, but even the fact that you take the computer to the forest makes you reach the end of the day practically unable to move your arm.

J. A. – I’m willing to give up from maps, just because of the level of demand they require, the time they impose. Otherwise, there’s a commitment to the club and you can't disappoint the people who trust you and count on you. At the beginning you have an empty sheet of paper and it will be necessary to fill it up. This is really hard. You start to reach some enthusiasm when you see the map growing, the paper begins to colour up. This means that the mapped surface is growing every day. The end is approaching and you say to yourself that you can do a little more, there is a particular area that deserves one final effort. But, at the beginning, things are always very difficult.

N. P. - Yes, the first day is always the worst. As we are not professionals, we need some recovery time to embrace the challenge of a new map. And when that day arrives, you look like a duck (laughs).

The map’s construction follows some kind of logical principle? Firstly there’s a path, for example, which works like an axis, and you draw the whole from there?

N. P. – Things can vary a lot. We may choose a small area and we draw it. Sometimes we take the paths and, from there, we draw all the vegetation. It is very variable.

J. A. - When we left to the terrain, we usually have some ideas heard from people who did some previous visits. Based on these information, we have to establish the map limit, which depends on the course itself, if it’s a Middle Distance or a Long Distance, for example. After that first moment, the plan is set from home, on the computer. Little by little, we try to fix the time we have, according the working area, but the truth is that things never happen as planned. We start in a certain place, then we go to another, the work estimated in two hours will last four or five, we need to constantly readjust the project and all this turns out to be very complicated, and especially because we have deadlines to meet. For me, as a cartographer, the hardest part is to find the best way to take the next step. From where I am, how do I finish the closest areas of the map and how can I make sure that nothing is left behind. This is the most complicated part.

Working together and knowing each other so well, what are the most valuable qualities that you see in the other?

N. P. - Well, besides having much more practical than me, Javier is also much more in love with cartography. He works much more efficiently, he’s quicker making decisions about what symbols or colours should be chosen. And I’m not just speaking about the field work, but at home he devotes much more time than me to the mapping work and the use of computer programs, which turns out to give him the easiness that I don't have.

J. A. – Nati’s advice is often really important because she reminds me about the rules. As I mentioned before, it is essential to keep homogeneity in terms of criteria when drawing a map and I should say it's very easy to forget these principles in some circumstances. It’s in those moments that she reminds me what things should be done, according to this or that principle, and everything become clear again. If we escape from the criteria, the result is the impoverishment of the map quality. It is therefore important to keep a cool head throughout the work and Nati’s collaboration turns out to be precious. In this point, she’s better than me.

Let's talk about Trail orienteering. Despite all the suffering that you've mentioned before, will you come back to a TrailO map?

J. A. - Yes. It's true that, every time we finish a map, we swore to ourselves that is over. But we ended up coming back. When a big event, like the Spanish Trail orienteering Championships, comes to an ending, we are able to ensure that we won't embrace another adventure like that, but the next week we are already looking for new challenges. And with the mapping is the same. We are committed with the Trail orienteering's promotion in Galicia and this leads us to admit that, surely, we'll come back to the maps and to the Trail orienteering events. We have to attract people, start with simple tasks, basic problems. And we are sure that, little by little, things will evolve, people will demand more and the bar will rise.

So, you're optimistic about Trail orienteering in Galicia, in the near future.

N. P. - I think so. The number of participants in this event was very important and motivating. Many volunteers, despite their small knowledge of TrailO, showed a great interest in learning more in order to help better. People will realize the challenge behind TrailO. The fact that it also open doors to people who, until now, couldn't practice any kind of sport, makes that Trail orienteering can be seen in a very special way. We can't find this inclusive value in any other sport.

J. A. - Above all, it's a way to integrate people that occurs naturally. It's amazing that people with reduced mobility can participate in the same way as the so-called “normal people”, facing the same demanding challenges and fighting for the best possible result at the same level. In Trail orienteering everybody is equal, there are no differences and this is the most important. It integrates, in fact, the person as a whole and not just in the specific aspects related to the practice of Orienteering.

N.P. - Furthermore, it allows to length the sport life. Speaking about Trail orienteering and thinking only of people in wheelchairs is a terrible mistake. There are people who have walking problems but they don't need, necessarily, wheelchairs to move from one place to another. There are competitors moving at their own pace but, for reasons of health or age, are forced to reduce or abandon Orienteering. To them, Trail Orienteering can be the solution to hold the sport they love.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Overwhelming success for World Orienteering Day

Orienteering will be in every corner of the world on 11th of May. World Orienteering Day is an event to unite the whole world of orienteering. The project has gathered huge interest from all over the world, and right now there are now 873 locations, in 60 countries, already registered.

Notable among the registered locations, which are spread over all continents, are events in exciting places such as Greenland and New Caledonia. The events will take place in cities, parks, forests and in school yards. Most of the participants will be youths and school children, but people of all ages are encouraged to take part.

There are many ways to practice orienteering, as indicated by the four main disciplines governed by the IOF, namely Foot Orienteering, Ski Orienteering, Mountain Bike Orienteering and Trail Orienteering. Creative ways of organising such events include night orienteering, using headlamps or flashlights, and indoor orienteering, using artificial landscapes of obstacles.

Support from the IOC

It is not only schoolchildren who have seen the potential of this event. The IOF recently received a letter from the IOC President Thomas Bach himself, in support of the first ever World Orienteering Day. In it, he highlights the importance of inspiring young people with the values of sport, and also notes that the activities of World Orienteering Day are well aligned with the key objective of Olympic Agenda 2020: engaging youth through sport.

- Not only is this important considering the Olympic ambitions of orienteering, but it also underlines the importance of the sport in inspiring a younger generation to embrace the values of sport that orienteering represents, says Brian Porteous, president of the International Orienteering Federation.

More locations and countries are being registered every day on the digital map, you will find it here:

For more information and press photos, please contact

[Press release from the International Orienteering Federation 2016-04-20]

World Orienteering Day: Letter from the IOC President

The next 11th May promises to become historic for Orienteering. The President of the International Olympic Committee, Thomas Bach, underlines the importance of the initiative and doesn't hesitate to say: “Your ambitious program will put orienteering on the map.”

In three weeks, we'll celebrate the first World Orienteering Day and the number of adherents to the initiative increases every hour. There are more than 800 preregistered locations yet and the number of countries where the day will be signed is close to sixty. The aim is simple: Overcoming the current record from WOC 2003 in Switzerland - when 207.979 young people at 1381 locations ran an orienteering course - and set the target to 250.000 young people.

In a message of congratulations and support to the initiative, Thomas Bach, President of the International Olympic Committee, is keen to see in the World Orienteering Day an opportunity to inculcate in young people around the world, the values of sport and healthy lifestyles. Bach goes further: “The activities that the International Orienteering Federation is organising on this occasion are well aligned with a key objective of Olympic Agenda 2020: engaging youth through sport. The strong focus on involving schools and teachers around World Orienteering Day is an innovative way to combine sport and education.”

Wishing “much success in your quest to establish a new record in participant numbers on World Orienteering Day”, Thomas Bach couldn't be more optimistic: “It is thanks to such efforts and using the power of sport to bring people together that orienteering will have a bright future.” Thomas Bach's last words assure the importance of working together looking forward the same goal: “To promote the practice of sport and make it available to everyone, everywhere.”

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Spanish MTB Orienteering Championships: Toll Clos and Aguilera take it all

Pointing the best way an excellent start of the season, David Toll Clos and Monica Aguilera achieved the Spanish MTB Orienteering titles 2016 in the whole three distances - Long, Middle and Sprint. With the presence of more than one hundred and fifty competitors - including some of the best Estonian elite athletes - the event took place in Requena, west of Valencia, and was organized by the Club Correcaminos, with the collaboration of the Club ADCON.

Taking a look on the performance of Monica Aguilera (Tierra Tragame) in the Women Elite class, three victories by margins around eight minutes each say everything about the overwhelming dominance of the athlete on her most direct rivals. Aguilera repeated the Middle Distance and Long Distance titles achieved in 2015 and succeeded to Amparo Gil as Spanish champion in Sprint. In the Men Elite class, David Toll Clos (Go-Xtrem) had to work harder for the victories, against Jesus Bermejo Cristóbal (Randobike), Francisco Javier Costoya (Adventure Addict) and José Ignacio Franco (ASON), the runners-up in Long, Middle and Sprint, respectively. David Toll Clos thus renews the Spanish title of Long Distance and succeeds to Angel Garcia in the Middle Distance and Sprint.

On messages left on their Facebook pages, Monica Aguilera and David Toll Clos couldn't be more explicit when celebrating the three achieved titles. “The Spanish MTB Orienteering Championship is over and I'm very satisfied with my performances. In addition to the achievement of my third title of Long Distance, I also managed to get the win in the Middle and Sprint. Adding to this the really good maps and great friends as rivals, it seems to me that I cannot ask for more. My only regret is that Angel Garcia and Ivan Delgado Trigales haven't been able to fight hard as they always do”, said David Toll Clos. Monica Aguilera also made a point, leaving her testimony: “I am very pleased that, after so many years competing, I'm still able to continue racing in these events with the same passion as fifteen years ago and valuing enormously the chance to win.”


Long Distance

Men Elite
1. David Toll Clos (Go-Xtrem) 1:30:48 (+ 00:00)
2. Jesús Bermejo Cristóbal (Randobike) 1:33:13 (+ 02:25)
3. David Tarrés Villegas (COB) 1:33:34 (+ 02:46)

Women Elite
1. Monica Aguilera (Tierra Tragame) 1:42:08 (+ 00:00)
2. Sea Soler Puig (Tona Bikes) 1:51:01 (+ 08:53)
3. Veronica Montes Villar (Adventure Addict) 1:53:30 (+ 11:22)

Middle Distance

Men Elite
1. David Toll Clos (Go-Xtrem) 1:14:18 (+ 00:00)
2. Francisco Javier Costoya (Adventure Addict) 1:17:34 (+ 03:16)
3. David Tarrés Villegas (COB) 1:18:35 (+ 04:17)

Women Elite
1. Monica Aguilera (Tierra Tragame) 1:17:33 (+ 00:00)
2. Sea Soler Puig (Tona Bikes) 1:26:21 (+ 08:53)
3. Veronica Montes Villar (Adventure Addict) 1:41:44 (+ 24:11)


Men Elite
1. David Toll Clos (Go-Xtrem) 22:31 (+ 00:00)
2. José Ignacio Franco (ASON) 22:48 (+ 00:17)
3. Francisco Javier Costoya (Adventure Addict) 23:16 (+ 00:45)

Women Elite
1. Monica Aguilera (Tierra Tragame) 26:16 (+ 00:00)
2. Tania Lopez (Gallaecia Raid) 34:10 (+ 07:54)
3. Maria del Mar Delgado (SABON IES) 34:34 (+ 08:18)

Full results and further information at

[Photo: FEDO /]

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, April 18, 2016

Tomáš Leštínský and the ETOC 2016: "Everything in forest is ready and completely under control"

The European Trail Orienteering Championships 2016 is fast approaching and we keep on following closely all its developments. The Portuguese Orienteering Blog met, this time, one of its most prevalent names, looking forward updating the event's status. With the greatest delicacy and the utmost honesty, Tomáš Leštínský welcomes us and answers all our questions.

The ETOC 2016, in Jesenik, is quickly approaching and you are one of the leading names of this important event, as course setter. How did it happen? What led you to accept the challenge?

Tomáš Leštínský (T. L.)
- It was quite easy. I'm member of the organizing club, I'm map maker, I do TrailO, I'd organized several TrailO competitions before, so I thought I'd have some skills how to do such a big event. The choice was really simple. Accepting the challenge wasn't, maybe, the point. I always try to prepare a good competition. What are the differences between national or local competitions and an event like ETOC? Maybe some fancy stuff around, but still the same competition and the same goal - to prepare a good race. I can't say I feel more pressure or nervousness.

Would you like to tell me something about your career in Trail Orienteering?

T. L.
- My career started with some minor FootO competition in which the organisers were preparing a sample PreO race. Till then, I'd thought about TrailO as a simple sport for poor wheelchair people. As I had some spare time, I decide to show everyone what “awesome” competitor I was. I still keep in my mind some controls till now. In one of them - statue statue between -, the statues were so distant from each other and there was three flags so close together that I thought: WTF? Everyone is “between”, what a stupid discipline! There was more two or three controls like this one, some very easy, and I proudly handed out my card in the finish and was very surprised about the half of the controls wrongly answered. But why? TrailO has some really strange rules. Oh, give me a brake!

Then I decided that I would to check out what happened. To attain the same level of knowledge, to have the same condition, to win. And then I won. And again, and again. And it tasted good! The TrailO competitor was ready. My best result since then was in France the 4th place in WTOC PreO and in Italy the 6th place in WTOC Tempo.

From all the courses you’ve set until now, is there one with a special meaning, in personal terms?

T. L.
- TrailO offers lots of fun if you're not afraid of doing things in a different way. Some time ago, I prepared a TraiNO race, where the point was to put the competitors into a train, give them a map and a control card and let them go from one station to another and back with the controls around the track. Why? For fun! :)

In 2014 I've prepared an ECTO competition in a golf playground. Handling the control cards and copy the answers to an excel table from more than one hundred competitors took me there, at least, three hours. It was a very unpleasant experience, not just for me but surely for the competitors too, waiting for the results. So I decided to use SportIdent for the results in TrailO. Last year I've been using a prototype of this new kind of punching to improve it and to learn how to use it in a big event like ETOC, because I've knew, at that time, that I would organise it in 2016. The system was designed to allow live results just right the competitor reads out his/her SI card. I'm happy that it works and I can use it on ETOC 2016.

Judging by the amount of complaints and protests at the end of many Trail orienteering events, the competitor seems to be very critical on the planner’s work. Your experience as a course setter has increased your tolerance level as competitor?

T. L.
- I never complain. Since the beginning. When I started to preparing competitions, I started to become very angry about people complaining on every competition. It went so far last year that I was forced to ban a competitor to entry every future competition I'll organise for constantly distorting the smooth run of each race. Generally I don't understand protesting people. They quickly lose their values in my point of view. Why they should express that they don't understand some situation the setter prepared just if it doesn't fit with their philosophy? Imagine Foot-O. The course setter set the control to some thicket or swamp or wherever similar else. And some competitor, not so skilled or not so proud, decide on the course that this is unfair because of the swamp (he's afraid of water) or because of the thicket (he hasn't seen the flag so he lost there five minutes). What will happened if this kind of competitor starts complaining in the finish? Everyone around will laugh out loudly. Why don't we do it in TrailO too?

It doesn't mean that every planned control is well done. Of course everyone can make a mistake (not being so precise setting the flags in the terrain, but this is not the kind of protest I'm talking about), but generally the course setter isn't trying to set a wrong control. If the competitor makes here a mistake, he just don't understand the course setter. There are no reasons to complaints or protests in such situation. The map, the most important tool for us, can be “strange” in some parts. But it's not a geometrical plan against we compete to, it's a generalised picture of the terrain. And as the picture can be drawn in thousands ways, so the map can be too. It only pushes the competitor out of his pleasant shell. putting him under pressure. Again, no reason to complaints or protests.

What are the major challenges that a course setter has to face? What “traps” he/she needs to avoid?

T. L.
- Don't try to make it hard at any cost. Technically, TrailO is a quite simple discipline. Which flag is in the circle centre? Nothing more, nothing less. If you start to think how to make it harder, you're taking the risk to prepare an unfair competition.

Are there some course setters that you particularly admire?

T. L.
- There are none. I don't care too much about who is setting the race I'm competing on. My experience from FootO is that even the best course setter can prepare a bad competition. I don't expect the TrailO is different.

Even knowing you won't reveal too much about your current work, I would ask you to tell us something about ETOC 2016. Were the terrains your choice or imposed by the organization?

T. L.
- One of the first thoughts about this Championship was to make it together, EOC and ETOC, both equal. The same terrain, the same arena. I was suggested to the terrains where the TrailO should take place. After a first visit, it was quite clear that it wasn't feasible. No paved paths, very hilly, bumpy grass in arenas, boring terrain... everything was bad. So, together with the National Advisor Pavel Dudik, I started to look for some more suitable terrains. Unfortunately the natural surroundings of Jesenik offer poor possibilities for TrailO. The only luck for us was a mining history of this region (quarries of lime stone and gold). After some visits, we choose two terrains that we consider both suitable and challenging. The competitors may expect fair courses, focused on not using weird zero tolerances. And about the challenge... After the last terrain inspection, I realised that last Croatia PreO1 race determined the way how we shall compete ever after. Despite this abroad muddy success, we're now trying to push the forest's owners to repair the tracks.

The geographical proximity of EOC and ETOC areas put you some difficulties or the coexistence is peaceful?
T. L. - The only one arena in Jesenik Spa will be the same for both EOC and ETOC. But I'm talking about different days, so with no influence to each other. The rest of the competitions are in very different places, so with no influence too. In some way I think the coexistence is very peaceful - we almost don't meet together.

Throughout this process, what have been the biggest tasks? How many hours of sleep have already lost because of ETOC?

T. L.
- Right now, everything is almost ready. The biggest task was to find out an organising team. This isn't still satisfactory, but I hope we will do it somehow. As I mentioned before, for me ETOC isn't more important as any other competitions, the workflow is similar and if I prepare everything in time, there is no reason to loosing my sleep.

How it has been to work with Lars Jakob Waaler and John Kewley, respectively the IOF Senior Event Adviser and the IOF Assistant Event Adviser?

T. L.
- I have to say that these guys are perfect. Especially JK is not afraid to point the things that we'll keep in mind during the preparation work. I like this cooperation.

Don’t you fear that, once again, the EOC completely overshadow the ETOC? Are there some strategies planned to tell people that Trail orienteering also exists?

T. L.
- It definitely will do so. I can see now that everything is focused to EOC. ETOC had to adjust to EOC in all aspects, like time schedule, prize giving ceremonies, maximum time for each event, amount of available organisers, amount of available material, etc. I've been trying to convince the group leader about the TrailO specifications and specialities that he can't find in FootO and which he doesn't understand. Unfortunately I haven't been very successful so far. The public TrailO events that I've planned were canceled due to program changes and for expected pointless because, at the same time, EOC guys are competing somewhere else. So, for now, I don't know about any TrailO promotional efforts during the Championships.

Those who set courses and organize events, do it with the competitor in mind. Being one of the best athletes in the world, you accepted, this time, stay out of the competition. Don’t you regret to lose the chance to compete in your home country?

T. L.
- Not so much. I like maps and organising. Competing is fine too, but, in my personal scale of values, setting and playing with controls it's even further forward. If I do a good job preparing any competition and people remain satisfied then, this feeling is much more pleasant than the one while competing.

In a month we’ll have the big event. Is there everything under control?

T. L.
- Everything in forest is ready and completely under control. I mean maps, tasks, flags, electronic punching system, this is ready now. Other things which I can't influent (like assistants for Para competitors, personal for TempO like timekeepers, umbrella men, etc.) seems now not so satisfactory. I hope these things can be solved soon, because if don't, then I'm afraid the ETOC turn into a shame despite the courses being ready.

Would you like to share with us your biggest wish?

T. L.
- My biggest wish is that, on 29th May, I can feel happy that all the preparation process concluded successfully, culminating the best way all our effort.

Joaquim Margarido