Lundanes’ achievement, which gave him the award for the best orienteering achievement of 2016, was being the dominant forest orienteer at the World Orienteering Championships with two gold and one silver medal – only some meters in dark green forest from sweeping the table and taking all three forest gold medals. Behind Lundanes and Kyburz – two of the big names in international orienteering the last years, a new star from a young orienteering nation came in third; Roman Ciobanu from Moldova.
Q: Congratulations on being awarded “The Orienteering Achievement of 2016″. What an incredible season for you to be at your best at the most important races of the season! What were your expectations and goals ahead of the season?
Thanks a lot! It is a great honor to win “The Orienteering Achievement of 2016″, since there were so many other nominated runners to fight against. And it is nice that so many people think I deserved it! Before the season I had two main goals: WOC, and to show a high level during the whole season. WOC was of course the most important, and a long time goal for me. I am very happy to have succeeded there, but there are some decisions from the Middle distance I am think a lot about. The last years I have not managed to do many good races or races at all, except from WOC, so although I lost EOC I am happy to have run fast during the whole 2016 season.
Q: What are your main improvements compared to the 2015 season? Is it all about being free from injuries, or have you also taken steps in other areas?
Of course it is a lot about that I have been healthier than last season. But I have, as everybody else, been sick and injured also this year, and I think I have made big progress in the way I handle it. I know more about which trainings are most important to prioritize, when I can’t do everything I want. And I manage to stay calm and get the best out of the situation even when the situation is not optimal. Since I have managed to do more and better training, I therefore have managed to lift my physical level. The technical trainings [the last year] have been a lot WOC specific, and of course I have made progress in that terrain, but that will not help me so much next year.
Q: Can you name three key persons who were important for your achievements in 2016?
My girlfriend Ida is the most important person for my achievements, because she is always supporting me both practical things and with mental support when that is needed. It is hard to name anybody else, because there are so many that have a part in my medals. But of course the support from the rest of my family is important, and I have to thank both Halden SK and the other runners on the national team.
Q: The WOC relay victory was very much a team effort. How did you work and train as a team in order to prepare for that race?
It has been a long and very bumpy road to that victory, and I think all three of us where very happy with the gold medal. We have discussed a lot how we want to run the relay, and we have had some good trainings on the camps. We managed to do good races on a day where the terrain suited us, there was some real forkings for once and where the other teams made some mistakes. That was enough this time, but we have to improve to win in Estonia.
Q: You have moved from Norway to Finland ahead of the next season. How is life in Finland so far? Do you plan do to anything differently in your training for the upcoming season?
So far I am very happy with my life in Finland! It is a very nice training environment and good trainings, and it is also nice to try something new and different. There are a lot of training possibilities to choose from, and it is impossible and not so smart to join everything. And everybody who ran Jukola 2015 know that the terrain is nice, so I try to enjoy all the new maps. The language is the only problem, it is a bit difficult since I don’t speak fluent Finnish yet:) I think the home advantage was an important part of the success at WOC this year, and I have to improve if I want to be on the top also next year. I will of course change part of my training to be as good as possible in Estonia. I have started with some more strength trainings and I will do some faster intervals. But I will keep most of it as I have done it before, because I know it is working well. I have also done some measures to avoid some of the illness periods I have had the last years.
Q: What do your days look like now in the winter time?
No days are like the other, but in many cases I wake up at 7.30, and then we have some common training in the morning. When I come home I eat, sleep, relax and eat again before the second training. In the evening I eat, and then do some training analyze/planning/organizing etc. And then I eat again and sleep. There is not so much special happening, but I think it is a good life to improve as an orienteer
Q: Any final words to your fans out there?
Thanks a lot to everybody that has voted for me! And I wish everybody a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Orienteeringyear! We are doing an amazing sport that we should be very prod of, so enjoy your trainings and races also next year!
Q: Congratulations again – and good luck with your season preparations!
[Press Release: Orienteering Achievement of 2016 / WorldofO.com]