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Johan Runesson about Course of the Year 2016:


– I really liked that the course had so many different parts and that it demanded you as an orienteer to be alert all the time, Swedish national team runner Johan Runesson says when describing his favourite orienteering course of 2016. – One second you were running full speed thinking it is so easy while the next second you completely had to stop running and read the map since it was difficult with the shifting in the terrain.

Read on for a long interview with Swedish star Johan Runesson – a runner who may very well go all the way to the medals in the big championships in the future. This interview is part of the “Course of the Year 2016″ contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2016″ – there are prizes to be won worth more than 5500 Euro.

Q: What was the best course you run in 2016 – and why?

The best course I ran was the middle distance on the first World Cup round in Poland. The terrain was maybe not that nice that I think many runners would appreciate when you should choose a nice terrain. But I really liked that the course had so many different parts and that it demanded you as an orienteer to be alert all the time. One second you were running full speed thinking it is so easy while the next second you completely had to stop running and read the map since it was difficult with the shifting in the terrain.

WCup Middle Men Poland

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2016 – and why?

The most interesting terrain for me is when I really get challenged on my technical, mental and physical skills at the same time. And where we had the Swedish league 3 and 4 outside Gothenburg I got this challenged since it was a though terrain to run in and also you had to concentrate when you read the map. And when you are running you get the feeling that you don’t run fast enough (because it is too tough) so you have to work with your mental thoughts about staying focused.

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?

Of course “boring” terrain is something that is very different for everyone, for me it is when the terrain only gives you the same problem all over again. For me the EOC long Qualification was a little bit like this. It was just about running and making route choices. We knew that the best terrain would been for the final so probably the terrain for the qualification wouldn’t be so good. But I think they did a great course with the terrain they had. I think the organizers did a great job with both the final and the qualification due to the terrain they had. And I think in the end the whole EOC was very good due the fact that they used different types of terrain for each distance which is something that doesn’t happen so often on championships for us in Scandinavia at least.

Long distance qualification MEN A

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What is the worst course you ran in 2016?

For me the worst course would be the DM lang 2016 since it was a long-distance race and there were not many good legs for route choices and we had 39 controls which makes it too much of control picking in my opinion. Maybe the terrain or maps was not that suited for a long… because we had the relay on the same area and that was very good!

Map with GPS-tracking here. See also map below.

Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2016?

The most interesting I ran in Sweden was the middle-distance race on the Swedish league 6 in Gästrikland. Of course the bad runnability due to all the stones on the ground made in hard to run and read the map. This made me frustrated and I couldn’t stay cool. In the end that made me just run and go on compass which was not so good. Afterwards I could see it was so obvious that the course setter lured me in his trap too start running fast in the easy parts and then let me lose control in the hard parts.

Q: Did you set any courses in 2016? If so, is it possible to share the best (in your opinion) with World of O’s readers?

I made one course for the Swedish team to train for before the World Championships. It is a middle-distance course, so I tried to think how the terrain would be on WOC middle and therefore made it more difficult in the beginning and then come close to the arena for a last loop. I think I manged quite well since it wasn’t the same map but a “similar” to the one on WOC.


Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2016? Did you take the right choice?

Definitely the first long leg on WUOC long in Hungary (control 3). It was a though terrain on a warm day. You had just two short legs were you had to orienteer all the way and then you had this long leg to the third control. I missed the first control so was a little bit stressed and was only thinking of not going up the big hill under the line (which was the fastest) so tried to avoid it and run in the reentrent slightly to the left.

Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2017?

Of course I look forward to the WOC in Estonia and particular the long distance. But also next year for the first time in my life I will have the opportunity to run in one of the big relays in my home terrain. Therefore I also look forward to 10-mila in Gothenburg ,and hopefully the long night which would have been awesome to run at the same place where I made my breakthrough in 2008.

Q: You have been training with the Danish team the last year – how has that worked for you? Has it improved any specific weaknesses of the past?’

Yes that’s right. I think it has been very good for me to get away from the Swedish forest and train a little bit more on harder ground and focus more on the physical part in my training, since that is also my weakest link that I still have to improve more. And I think it can be good for the next two years where WOC will be in more “Danish” terrain than I have in Sweden at least.

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 2017?

My goals are of course to improve myself and to be able to fight for good results during WOC and also the overall World Cup. This year I made more improvements than I have had the last years. I changed coach and training philosophy, and it gave me some good results in the beginning of the season. But during EOC I got injured, so it was a little set back. But otherwise I think everything had gone good, so I will continue and just try not to jump in to a cliff and get injured next year and hopefully the performance and results will come!

Q: Thanks a lot for a very interesting interview, Johan!

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 2016″, 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: MOC Training Camp. March 4th – 12th 2017

  • Prize offered: Package for 2 people consisting of accommodation in half board and entry fee for MOC Training Camp and MOC Championship 4th-12th March 2017. Value 1440 Euro. Transferrable to other persons.
  • More information: 5  days of training camp with head coaches Janne Salmi and and Jaroslav Kacmarcik – IOF will test new formulas of sprint! MOC Championship will be organized in two UNESCO sites, Archeological Park of Paestum and Royal Residence of Caserta Park! See Bulletin MOC camp and Bulletin MOC Championship.


Event sponsor: Fin5 2017. July 10th – 15th 2017

  • Prize offered: The traditional Fin5 Orienteering week offers one free Family package; participation for the whole Fin5 orienteering week includes max five starts for 2 adults and 1-3 children (age 16 or under) in competition series or in open courses. Transferable to other persons. Total value up to 645 euros.
  • More information: Welcome to Tampere, Finland to enjoy the Fin5 Orienteering Week arranged at the same time with the Junior World Orienteering Championships 2017! Competition areas and arenas for Fin5 will be the same as for the JWOC-races. Fin5 offers you orienteering along high class tracks at three different terrains. Two forest orienteering terrains are located within 30 minutes driving distance from Tampere center. Sprint arena is in the city center.  The largest inland city in Nordic countries offers versatile accommodation options and lots of activities during your visit. More information: 2017.fin5.fi.


Event sponsor: Estonian Orienteering Week 2017. July 1st – July 8th 2017

  • Prize offered: Estonian Orienteering Week package for 2 persons consisting of entries to all 6 races (with the maximum value of 240 Euro) and hostel accommodation in Tartu for July 1st – 8th (value of 350 Euro). The package will be completed with WOC 2017 souvenirs. Total value about 600 Euros.Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Estonian Orienteering Week is the spectator race for the Nokian Tyres World Orienteering Championships 2017 taking place in beautiful Tartu and Southern Estonia. Estonian Orienteering Week allows you to enjoy your own races and be a spectator in the World Championships. Tartu, the WOC 2017 host town is the home of culture and good flavours with many historical landmarks and outdoor cafés. Southern Estonia is characterized by rolling hills, deep forests, blue lakes and quiant towns with old churches, manors and castle ruins. Welcome to Estonia! Read more at woc2017.ee/eow.


 Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 12

  • Prize offered: One licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering 12″.  Value about 590 Euro. Transferable to other person (before activation).
  • More information: OCAD 12 Orienteering – Perfect to Produce Orienteering Maps. This edition is dedicated for orienteering map making with a step-by-step wizard for analyzing of LiDAR data, mobile geodata capturing, smart editing and drawing tools, generalization tools, desktop publishing, course setting and much more. Read more at ocad.com.


Event sponsor: Antalya Orienteering Festival 2017. October 29th October – November 5th 2017

  • Prize offered: One big Antalya Orienteering Festival package for one person: Accommodation + Entry for all 5 races + All Transfers. Value about 500 Euro. Transferable to other person.
  • Antalya Orienteering Festival will be held for the 3rd time in Antalya, Turkey. We provide 5 different terrains and challenging courses, good maps and good weather for orienteering holiday.  See more at www.antalyaofest.com


Event sponsor: Bergen Sprint Camp 2017. February 10th – 12th 2017

  • Prize offered: Package for 2 people consisting of free start for all 4 high quality sprint competitions and accommodation for 2 persons for 2 nights February 10th – 12th 2017.  Value about 450 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: For the 7th time, BSC is held in the city center of Bergen, Norway – established as one of the best sprint weekends organized, with several top WOC runners using it as part of their preparations. We provide all participants with challenging courses, good maps and interesting analysis of the sessions – hoping to improve the sprint orienteering technique for everyone. See more at Sprint-Camp.blogspot.no – including all courses and analysis from previous editions of BSC.


Software sponsor: Virtual-O

  • Prize offered: 10 licenses of Virtual-O Founder’s Edition with exclusive content. Transferable to other persons until you activate the license key on Steam. Value about 400 Euro in total.
  • More information: Try the new generation of orienteering simulator, and spend your next training in the virtual forest. Coming soon to Steam Early Access. More information at virtualo.org.


Event sponsor: Portugal “O” Meeting 2017. February 25th – 28th 2017

  • Prize offered: 3 packages – each for 2 persons – transferable to other person. Consisting of entry to complete 4 day Portugal “O” Meeting 2017 – 2 model event + 4 official races + 1 Urban Night (Middle, Urban Nigth, Long, Middle-WRE, Long). Value about 330 EUR.
  • More information: The Portugal “O” Meeting is a foot orienteering event, integrated in IOF’s World Ranking (IOF WRE) and in the Portuguese Orienteering Federation’s Cup. As in 2011 the POM 2017 is back to Alentejo where it merges with our event, North Alentejano “O” Meeting. Three neighbor Counties with excellent conditions for Tourism and Sports of Nature (Portalegre, Alter do Chão and Crato) join hands and work together to create an unforgettable event. Read more at pom.pt.


Event sponsor: Easter4 2017. April 14th – 17th 2017

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the Easter4 competition in Slovenia + 3 training maps each + 4 nights accommodation in hostel. Value about 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Slovenia will be the place to be in Easter 2017. The new Easter4 race was a success in 2016 – and is again organized with the same high quality maps and courses as you are used to from OOCup, Lipica Open and Bubo Cup. Late easter in 2017 means even better conditions. More at easter4.com.


Event sponsor: Kainuu Orienteering Week. July 25th – 30th 2017

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each consisting of 2 free participations for the whole week in any class at Kainuu Orienteering week 2017 (competition or open). Total value up to 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Kainuu Orienteering Week is one of the Finlands’s biggest orienteering week and the worlds’ second oldest orienteering week, as it has been held annually since the year 1966. Kainuu O-Week is held in the Kainuu region of Finland and traditionally the event is held in the beginning of July. In 2017 Kainuu Orienteering Week will celebrate the 50th anniversary week and it will be held exceptionally in the end of July. Come to enjoy the orienteering and holiday week for the whole family in the great sceneries and terrains and pure and beautiful nature of Kainuu region in Finland. First entry period will be closed on 30th of november 2016. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.


Event sponsor: Bubo Cup. August 1st – August 4th 2017

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 people consisting of entries for all 4 days of Bubo Cup 2017, Bubo Cup event T-shirt and training map for each. Value about 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: If you want to combine beach holidays under the Croatian sun on the island Cres with technical orienteering, Bubo cup is the perfect choice for you. Surprisingly enough you find very interesting orienteering here – partly Karst and partly the famous olive groves. Events are organized with early starts from 8 AM due to the heat – thus if not all of your family are orienteering enthusiasts, you can still have most of the day together at the beach. Read more at bubocup.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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