Home / Orienteering News / Thierry Gueorgiou: – Truly incredible what nature can produce for orienteers

Thierry Gueorgiou: – Truly incredible what nature can produce for orienteers


– I am always amazed about this terrain, it is truly incredible what nature can produce for orienteers, Thierry Gueorgiou says about the best course he saw in his home country France this year, at the 5 days at Larzac. The best overall course the French star ran was however in Norway.

Read on for a long interview with Thierry Gueorgiou. 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?

Hard to say really, as I ran many good ones, but I will pick the long distance of O´festivalen in Sarpsborg. The course was using a couple of different types of terrains and was not suffering from the arena passage. It was a good mix of what I like in long distance – using different techniques, and trying to optimize every micro-route, which I obviously struggled with on that day (map with route here).

Norwegian O-Festival Long 2016: M21E

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

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

By far, the North American Orienteering Championships at Burnt Mountain, Hanover, USA. The forest was really special and very different from Europe I would say. When you see a map like this, and have been mostly competing in Europe, you expect a nice conifers forest, but in fact it was mostly deciduous. Which meant pretty fast running and nice ground, but it was all about your ability to interpret the map. I couldn´t stop smiling from the first steps in this forest to the last ones.


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?

It was hard to find one, as I am quite spoiled and mostly only run races on nice terrains. But I would pick Tiomila. I mean with the choice of Lugnet ski center as competition arena, it was impossible to offer good courses from start to finish, and there was lot of “transport” legs, but still I think the courses (and forking) were the best you could provide in this area.


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

 Pretty hard to say, as you never get all the information why a competition is organized this way (arena, landowner´s access, mapmaker, etc). Therefore, I don´t want to be too hard on the organizers, but for me, the WOC relay was not of the quality I expect at World Championships. The map was uneven, and the last loop wasn´t a great one (with also some problem with the map quality).


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

Well, I haven´t run any competition in France this year. But, of course, the highlight of the French orienteering season was the 5 days at Larzac. I am always amazed about this terrain, it is truly incredible what nature can sometimes produce for orienteers (RouteGadget; WorldofO-article about the race).

O-France 2016 - E5 (H21E)

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

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 am used to set most of my trainings, which means quite many courses at the end of the year. I was in Deeside a couple of days ago to organize a training weekend for the juniors from MAROC and Scotland. Here is one of the course:


I am not always focusing on achieving the best possible course, but it is more “goal-oriented”, and helping me to develop one specific skill. Here is the last one I use here in Le Caylar. Oh god, I wish there would be more international races on this type of terrain, it is terrific and always filling me with joy…


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

Well, the one I remember most is the longest leg from the WOC middle distance course, 11th to 12th. I wrote a bit about it in my deceased training log (#RIP):

I felt prepared. I was not.

I have maybe never felt that relaxed before a WOC race (too relaxed?), but the truth is that I understand not much of the terrain and the runnability. It doesn´t come naturally, and I quickly get frustrated. And for those who wonder why I choose this route for the 12th control, I recommend you to visit the model map and check the runnability in the “yellow with white dot” (symbol 404) there. Once again, we all had the same map, and I will not blame somebody else. I was not good enough. Dot end.

This leg will haunt me quite long [Editors note: Analysis of the competition here].


Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2017? Will you still focus on the long distance, or is it all in for the favourite middle distance now?

 Well, of course, I already have the 6th July in mind. But, at the moment, it is far more important to focus on the coming day. Training creates opportunity, and we´ll see later on how my competition´s schedule will look for 2017.

Q: Have you any big course setting jobs coming up either the coming season – or for the future?
As I said, my main course setting job is taking care of the quality of my own trainings, and it keeps me busy all the time. When I am preparing a camp, for example in Alicante, I am preparing about three courses for each day. It is seldom I am using the training package offered – how can you become better than the others if you train the same way?! ; )

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

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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One comment

  1. The WOC 2019 middle qualifiers will be in the terrain next to this years O-festivalen., So I guess T.G. will have to keep fit for another few years for that treat.