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Olle Boström: – A relationship with the course


– A real long distance is a unique adventure every time you do it, Olle Boström says when asked about the Course of the Year 2015.  – You get a type of relationship with the course you do not get in the other distances. And thus Boström chooses a long distance as his favourite course of the year. 

Read on for a long interview with Olle Boström. This interview is part of the “Course of the Year 2015″ contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2015″ – there are prizes to be won worth more than 2500 Euro.

Q: What was the best course you run in 2015 – and why?

When I look back on the season 2015 I find three candidates, three long distance courses. I think each distance has its own charm, but a long distance is something extra and it has always been my favorite. I think because of the longer competition time and longer legs a real long distance is a unique adventure every time you do it.  You get a type of relationship with the course you do not get in the other distances. The three courses are the WOC Long distance in Scotland in August, the World Cup Long distance in Halden in June and the Swedish League Long distance in Fengersfors in April. If I would choose the “competition of the year” it would be the WOC Long distance, of these three this is for sure the competition I will remember most. But the course that was best using the forest and terrain I think was the World Cup in Halden, so I choose that for the “course of the year”.

I think this long distance was a very well planned course with almost a purpose with every single leg. When I picked up the map to the first control I directly had to start planning the long leg to the second control. I had to evaluate how fast the forest was compared with the road. To do this you had to be prepared for the terrain and have done your trainings before in similar terrain. I also think it was an interesting long leg to the sixth control, and smaller but still important route choices to control nine, eleven, twelve, fifteen, 21 and 23.  Between these controls it was still tricky shorter legs. I think the arena was planned in a smart position with orienteering value all the way to the last control and with an arena passage that still gave an interesting last loop. Overall I think the course setter used the terrain and area in an excellent way.

World Cup Halden Long 2015 - M21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2015 – and why?

The most interesting terrain was the final weekend in Swedish League in Umeå north of Sweden in the end of May.  This is a dream terrain for orienteering. The terrain is very detailed with very difficult hillsides. There are a lot of bare rocks up on the hills where you can run very fast. Still the forest is wild without so much human influence. Between the hills you have tough forest with marshes and some green and dense areas. This also creates possibilities to plan legs with very interesting route choices. Usually bigger national competitions are only organized here in the late spring/early summer, which use to be a very nice time for running orienteering. Maybe because of that my memories are very good from this terrain.

Q: Usually the courses in interesting terrains are the ones you remember. But can you remember a very good course you ran in “boring” terrain this year?

The elite sprint at the rest day in O-ringen use to be a competition with a purpose of being more a show for the audience than a really interesting sprint competition. This year I think the course planner did an amazing job to combine these two. He set a really interesting and technical first part of the course, where I think a lot of the runners became a bit surprised. He also found a good solution with a passage through the arena and a last loop where the audience could follow the runners but still was a bit technical for us.

Borås City Sprint O-Ringen Etapp 3

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What is the worst course you ran in 2015?

One competition I am a little bit disappointed with is the Swedish League Middle distance in Säter in May. First of all I do not like when you plan a course after the possibility to use the same arena as the sprint the day before. Already there you are compromising with the possibility to create the best possible courses. I also think that some part of the map was a little strange drawn and a lot of runners had problem understanding both the green and semi open areas. I usually think that a map is just a map drawer’s interpretation of the terrain and it is the runners’ responsibility to use this material in the best way as possible. You shall not complain on the map drawing, it is a part of the game to understand “bad” maps. But of course there is a level when a map becomes too bad to use. When controlling the courses in Säter before the race I think someone would have found out that a lot of runners will find these areas strange and then I think you should avoid having controls there.

This was for sure not the worse course during the whole year, but the course in bigger competitions I am most disappointed with.

Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2015?

I would choose the Swedish League Middle distance in Umeå. It was a very fun middle distance. At a first look maybe you do not find so many route choices on the longer legs, but it differed more in time than I had expected if you ran up on the hills, down in the dense forest or straight in the slopes.

Q: Did you set any courses in 2015? If so, is it possible to share the best (in your opinion) with World of O’s readers?

I actually set quite few courses during 2015, less than I usually do. I did not set any course to a competition or bigger organized training. Often when I was away on training camps I also had most trainings set for me. So I do not have so much to share. Though, I did some trainings on home ground but it was not any extraordinary, but I can share one of these. This is a type of middle distance training I like to do, with intense orienteering. I think it is good training to pause after an interval, evaluate and improve to the next interval. Then I often feel that I improve during the session. This is north of Stockholm quite close to where I grew up and my parents still live.

OL-intervaller Ladvik

Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2015? Did you take the right choice?

I think one very good routechoice leg was the sixth control at the fifth and last stage of O-ringen in Borås. It was hard to find a good routechoice at all, and if you saw a good solution in the beginning of the leg it led you into a bad and tricky second half of the leg. Interesting was that we made quite different choices but ended up with similar time on a leg with winning time of 18.5min. I think the best routechoice was to go quite straight. I chose a route a little to the right, but had problem with the track in the last marsh. It was more wet and slower than I had expected.

O-Ringen 2015 - Stage 5 - H21E

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: You had a fantastic 2015 season with success at WOC in Scotland. In your opinion, what are the three key factors which have helped you reach these amazing achievements?

The most important factors during the last year before WOC in Scotland was that I stayed healthy and injury free. I actually trained a bit less than earlier years but could absorb the training better and improve week by week, month by month. I think I have been more efficient in my training than earlier. If I sum up some factors that I have found out are very important for me, it would be.

  • Stay healthy and injury free.
  • Be dedicated, hold on to my dreams and do not give up.
  • Be efficient, put the focus on the right things.
  • Have patience.

Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2016?

For sure the WOC in Sweden is a competition we have been talking about for many years now.  It will be something extra for us Swedes. I am most looking forward to the Middle and Long distance, and hope I will be in the shape of my life and do my best races ever 23 and 25 August 2016.

Q: What are your goals for next year – and do you plan to change your training and/or focus in order to reach your goals in 2016?

I actually do not have any specific goals. I have learned that my body and especially my feet are quite weak. Even though I have been careful with my training the last year, I managed to force my body a bit to hard before WOC in Scotland and have had some problems with the left foot since the week after WOC. So I will stay focused on training in a sustainable way, strengthen up the parts that are weak. I will keep working with my physios that I have had the last year. So I am not planning any bigger changes, but of course more specific training towards the terrain that awaits in Strömstad.

Prizes from our Sponsors

Prizes from our Sponsors always makes it more fun! There will be a prize for the first one suggesting the course which ends up becoming “The course of the Year 2015″, and prizes drawn among the ones suggesting and voting. All prizes are transferable to other persons (you don’t have to travel yourself).

Event sponsor: Antalya Orienteering Festival 2016 – 29th October – 5th November
  • Prize offered: One big Antalya O-Meeting package consisting of 2 complete Antalya Orienteering Festival packages: Accommodation + Entry for all 5 races + All Transfers + The program consisting of presentations held by Håkan Carlsson. Value about 495 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Antalya Orienteering Festival will be held for the 2nd time in Side by the Mediterranean coast of Antalya, Turkey. We provide 5 different terrains and challenging courses, good maps and good weather for orienteering holiday. Swedish National Team Head Coach Håkan Carlsson will join us for analysis and lectures about Sports psychology & Mental training. See more at www.antalyaofest.com


Event sponsor: Fjord-O 2016 – 13th – 17th July
  • Prize offered: 3 packages – each for 2 persons – for the full Fjord-O 2016 consisting of entry for 4 races in beautiful terrain with fjord view.  Value about 450 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • The race courses are set among the most spectacular sceneries in «Fjord Norway», with the slogan «with a view to the fjord». Fjord-O Vest is 4 days of competitions allowing time for you to explore the beautiful nature in this area during your holiday. Stryn and Ålesund have many exciting attractions such as the Jugend town of Ålesund, the Geiranger Fjord, a hike up the longest uphill track in Norway to the Skåla summit at 1849 above the sea level or a visit to the famous Briksdal Glacier. See more at fjord-o.no.


Event sponsor: Portugal “O” Meeting 2016 – February 5th-9th 2016
  • Prize offered: 4 packages – each for 2 persons – transferable to other person. Consisting of entry to complete 4 day Portugal “O” Meeting 2016 – 4 official races + 1 Urban Night (Middle, Urban Nigth, Middle, Long-WRE, Long). Value about 390 EUR.
  • POM is the world’s biggest winter time orienteering event, and is considered by many as the official opening of the competition season for its high quality organization and for receiving the top runners of the world. We expect to have 2000+ runners – last year POM had 2300 runners! Besides new maps, challenging terrains and courses you’ll be able to experience the rich gastronomy, as the famous cheese, olive oil and honey (considered among the best in the world). Have a chance to enjoy the friendship of locals and explore the beautiful and untouched nature. The WRE day will be the long distance on 8th Feb.More at  http://www.pom.pt.


Event sponsor: Slovak Karst Cup 2016. 21st-24th July 2016
  • Prize offered: 3 packages for 2 people – each consisting of: entry for 4 competitions (2xmiddle, 2x shortened long), accommodation for 4 nights in camping, 3 training maps, Event T-shirts and headtube.
    Value about  360  Euro, transferable to other person(s).
  • Slovak Karst Cup is the favorite multiday o-event in Slovakia. It is usually organized in karst terrains of Silická planina (plateau) or Plesivecka planina (plateau), which are located in National park Slovenský kras. You can find many depressions, mixed forest, semiopen or open areas there. And also lots of natural and historical attractions in surroundings after competition. For Karst Cup 2016 we have chosen one of the most attractive terrains, which where used partly for JWOC 2012 (open or semiopen areas of Silická planina) and fully for WUOC 2006 (forest area of Plešivecká planina). The competition can be a very good opportunity for training for WUOC 2016 participiants. More at http://www.tuke.sk/obeh/karst


Event sponsor: SIVEN MOC 2016 – March 4th – March 10th 2016
  • Prize offered: Full package for 1 person consisting in package for SIVEN MOC camp + entry fee for SIVEN MOC Championship in Bulgaria – March 2016. The package includes 7 trainings as shown on the program, 3 competitions of MOC Championship, 8 nights accommodation. Value about 349 Euro. Transferable to other person. 
  • XIV edition of MOC, with main sponsor SIVEN, for the first time in Bulgaria. Event centre in Bansko. Find your Bulgaria! MOC stands for Mediteranian Orienteering Championship – MOC is an annual event organized at the beginning of spring season, in southern countries with softer climate. More info at www.sivenmoc.com and www.orienteering.it


Event sponsor: Orievents / NAOM 2016. 13th – 14th February 2016
  • Prize offered: Competition + training package for 2 persons, consisting of: Entry for NAOM 2016 (13February  2016 –  Middle distance + Night Sprint ; 14 February – Middle Distance WRE) +  training camp (6 trainings) + 3 days of accommodation in half board. Value about 320 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Orievents / GD4C’s Training Camps “Alto Alentejo” are an excellent training opportunity for Orienteering of good quality during the winter. Start the new season in training camps in Alto Alentejo, Portugal! More at www.naom.pt and about the training camp at Orievents.


Event sponsor: Lipica Open 2016. 12th – 16th March
  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry to complete Lipica Open competition + hard floor accommodation in Postojna. Value about 320 euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • In 2016 Lipica open will again be organized as a 5 day event. Again some great terrains! Training conditions in this part of Europe are now better than ever – both on forest maps and on sprint maps of nice little towns on the Adriatic coast! More at www.lipicaopen.com


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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