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Jansson: – I pick a good, old long distance

– A good old long distance, few controls and just lots of hard work. I didn’t fully appreciate it while running, mostly I was just really tired, but it is such a good feeling afterwards when you reach the finish and have fought your way through that whole long course, all by yourself, Helena Jansson (Sweden) says about her choice for “The Course of the Year” – the Swedish Elitserien Longdistance 24th of april.

Of three World Orienteering Championships medalists from 2011 asked about the “Course of the Year 2011″ so far, all have chosen a map from Sweden. And two of them have chosen a long distance race. It looks like there has been a lot of interesting orienteering in Sweden this year…

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).

Interview with Helena Jansson

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

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

I had a horrible day and for the first time ever I didn’t finish the course because I couldn’t find one of the controls

Difficult! I almost always enjoy orienteering, and I am not that good in criticizing courses, mostly I like them even when maybe I shouldn’t. I don’t know about worst course, but the worst race for me was the Norwegian and French WOC-test-long-race. I had a horrible day and for the first time ever I didn’t finish the course because I couldn’t find one of the controls. Maybe that was actually a sign the course was good, bud for me the whole day was a disaster.

(Editors comment: Below Øystein Kvaal Østerbø’s map from this race is included)

Q: What is the race you enjoyed most this year?
The WOC sprint finals. Sprints is something special when in old cities crowded with people. You can never copy a race like WOC in a training, and is was just so much fun with the start, map exchange, finish, all squeezed in to that small marketplace. For me it wad the first good competition race whole summer, such a good feeling that I knew how to read the map properly, and that my legs seemed to want to run pretty fast. I enjoyed every second of it- just so happy to be on the startling of a championship-final!

Q: What is your favourite map (from the top of your head)?
Asplövberget, between Piteå and Älvsbyn. Just last week I was there for the first time, it is some 260 km from Umeå, but it was beautiful, I could go there any time, despite the distance!

(Editors comment: The map below is found in omaps.worldofo.com – I hope I found the correct one)

WoO: Have you got a tip to young and inexperienced course setters out there about how to make a good course?
I myself am a lousy course setter, mostly I guess because I like running orienteering, but all the other stuff around it- mapping, courses, analyzing- not really my thing. I think the best thing is to just think about who your client is- that it is a challenge and something demanding for those who are going to run, and of course- that is seems like a fun course to run!

Picture: Helena Jansson.

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?

My primary goal is to stay whole and healthy! Zero new injuries! And after that comes making it ti the World Champs, and when I am there- trying to enjoy myself as much as I possibly can. That said, the best way to really enjoy a WOC is to be well prepared and fit for fight- preferably a fight for medals! I will not change that much in my training, but I will make sure to keep a better balance when it comes to how much I run and how much I train alternative things. I’ll also try to work on my speed a bit, Lausanne will demand both fast brains and fast feet I think!

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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