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Billstam: – The Swedish Champs Long is my choice

– It got all the characteristics of a good long distance race, the reigning World Champion on the long distance Annika Billstam (Sweden) says about her choice for the course of the year 2011 – the Swedish Championships long distance.

Annika Billstam is full of praise for the Swedish Championships long distance course.
– It is seldom that there is more than one long leg in a women’s course – this time we had two!

Course of the Year 2011

Which course will take the prestigious top spot this year? The search for the course of the year  will be fun, for sure as it was last year! The rules are simple: Suggest a course from a competition or training in 2011 (click here to get to the suggestion page), and state the reason why you think this course deserves to be “The course of the Year 2011″. The best among all the suggestions will be chosen – and there will be a voting process among the readers of “World of O” in order to name “The course of the year 2011″. Prizes from sponsors make it more fun to be in on the suggestions and voting – Croatia Open, Lipica Open, Fjord-O and EOC Tour are sponsoring “The course of the year 2011″ with starts (see below).

Technically demanding

Back to Billstam and her choice for “The Course of the Year 2011″. Part of the reason for Billstam choosing the SM Long distance, was that in addition to the long legs with route choice alternatives, there was both technical orienteering and a physically demanding finish.

– The last loop was very physically demanding, and still technically demanding. Even though it was close to the finish area (including a spectator control). And the terrain was very nice.

The Swedish Champs long distance has already been analyzed in some detail here at World of O – but focus was on the men’s course. Below one of the long legs in the mens course is showed with a “dot-analysis”.

– Few interesting and demanding route choices

We also did a short interview with Billstam to hear more about her 2011 season with respect to maps and courses.

WoO: What is the worst course you run in 2011?

The results showed more the running speed of the competitors than anything else

The Postfinance Sprint in Switzerland. Of course I might be a bit coloured by my performance. The mapped area was very interesting for making a challenging sprint course, with different levels of roads and a lot of stairs and narrow passages (see the southeast part of the map). The course we met had few interesting and demanding route-choices, and the results showed more the running speed of the competitors than anything else. If you are a course planner, you should also avoid making too “complex line- and control ring fuzz”. In this competition the ring of the 5th control is crossed by 4 lines which easily could have been avoided. Control number 8 is in addition placed on the map with a building behind, making it look like a 6th at a fast glimpse.

WoO: A good course is one thing – enjoying a race or training another. What is the race or training you have enjoyed most in 2012?
Middle distance is my favourite distance, but not yet my best. I really enjoyed this one – the Elitserien in Mora. I had a nice flow and feeling all along : )

(Editors comment: click here to see to the full map – below you see an autOanalysis comparison from 2DRerun between Billstam and Lena Eliasson from the race which Billstam won ahead of Eliasson.)

Q: What is your favourite map (from the top of your head)?

Lunsen, Uppsala, Sweden. (Editors comment: You can see the map here – a popular map with more than 100 entries in World of O Maps)

WoO: Have you got a tip to young and inexperienced course setters out there about how to make a good course?

Ask more experienced (your favourite) course setters about advice, and ask them for creative feedback! Study courses and how they are planned, on World of O Maps. Could you improve them in any way?

annikabillstam_WOC2011MiddleFinal 4
Picture: Annika Billstam on the way towards WOC Long Distance gold medal

WoO: What are your goals for next year – and how do you change your training and focus in order to reach your goals in 2012?

EOC in Sweden. WOC in Suisse. Especially give it all trying to win the relay together with the girls! Keep my physical level, and develop my technical skills, which means keep the ingredients which worked for my physical training and increase the amount and quality of my technical training.

To do this I decided to become a professional orienteer.

WoO: Thank you very much for the Interview, and good luck with the winter training!

Prizes from our Sponsors

Prizes from our Sponsors always makes it more fun! There will be a prize for the course setter in “The course of the Year 2011″, a prize for the first one suggesting the course which ends up becoming “The course of the Year 2011″, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. The sponsors will be presented in more detail later on – for now you can see some information about them below.


For the record: All sponsor gifts/income related to “The Best Course of 2011″ goes directly to the WorldofO.com readers.

About Jan Kocbach

Jan Kocbach is the founder of WorldofO.com - taking care of everything from site development to writing articles, photography and analysis.

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