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Emily Kemp: – The type of orienteering course I dream about for a WOC


– The course really used the tough Estonian terrain to create a challenging race that kept me on my toes and adapting my technique the whole time, Emily Kemp explains about the course which she has chosen as the finest orienteering course of the year in the 2017 season.

Read on for a long interview with Canadian star Emily Kemp – a runner from a small orienteering nation who has really impressed the orienteering world with fantastic results the last years – and 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 2017″ contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2017″ – there are prizes to be won worth more than 4000 Euro.

Q: What was the best course you run in 2017 – and why?

WOC Middle distance was truly a pleasure to run from start to finish! The course really used the tough Estonian terrain to create a challenging race that kept me on my toes and adapting my technique the whole time. Micro route choices became important when considering the runnability and how steep some of the hillsides were. Even the control placements took advantage of the intricate contour details so that I had to navigate right into each flag. All of this was packed into 5.1km which had us passing through the arena twice (for spectators who were enthusiastic enough to climb out of the quarry) which made it an action-packed race for runners and spectators. This is the type of orienteering course I dream about for a World Championships – one that doesn’t let me take anything for granted and leaves me with a thrill of having faced the challenge head on.

Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2017 – and why?

The Canadian Champs long distance terrain was really neat! Part of what made it so interesting was the fact that it was just newly mapped and was a complete surprise to find such rich terrain so close to Ottawa. The map was on the edge of a mountain which meant that there were some steep, detailed contour areas as well as a plateau area on top with patches of bare rock and plenty of ponds. Add in some rock features, some wide open, fast forest as well as some trickier dense areas and you’ve got yourself a very exciting terrain!


Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2017?

I was fortunate enough to be able to run the Canadian Champs on home turf close to Ottawa. Canada doesn’t boast the type of intricate old towns that we find in Europe which means that making an interesting sprint course can be a challenge. The sprint in Perth, however, was a really fun and tricky course to run. There were difficult route choices, parts where I could push the speed, plenty of opportunities for spectators to see the runners and even a water crossing! Everything was unexpected which made it all the more fun to run!


Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2017? Did you take the right choice?

I ran the 3rd, unforked leg of 10mila this year and I was faced with a real challenge when arriving to the 5th control. I had three different route choice options to the 6th control and I didn’t know which one would be best!

Left was mostly flat with a lot of trail running but a longer distance, right meant more climb but a shorter distance, and straight was up and over but with the shortest distance. What was also interesting about this leg was that the choice had to made before exiting control 5 due to the wall of cliffs on the northwest edge of the hill. Right ended up being the best option and was 1.5 min faster than going straight or left. Those who chose right ended up catching the leading teams who had chosen left.

It’s not often that a leg in an unforked relay will bring the pack back together but that’s exactly what this route choice did. I was weirded out by having to back track the way I had come up to control 5 if I chose right so instead chose to go straight and exit along the line. Lesson learned that the course setter can throw anything my way!

10Mila 2017 - Women Leg 3

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: You’ve had impressive success the last years, getting closer and closer to the very top even with some struggles. Any thought about where the next seasons can bring you?

I’ve chosen to not think so much about next season just yet. It’s been really good for me to take a step back in order to process all of the emotions of these last two years and work towards being happy and healthy in sport.

 – What is the race you look most forward to in 2018?

I do at least look forward to racing at the North American Championships in Yukon, Canada next summer! I ran my first championships at the age of 12 in the same area and I have such wonderful memories! The wilderness, the mountains, even the colours, such as the deep turquoise of the glacier lakes, are all just breath-taking!

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 2017″, 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: Latvia O-week 2018. August 3rd – 12th 2018

  • Prize offered: Competition package for 2 persons – including entry to 6 races (two sprints in Riga, two middle distances in city Sigulda, a long distance in Sigulda and a long distance in Ādaži), 9 nights accommodation during World Orienteering Championships for 2 person in fully serviced apartment (from 4th to 11th of August, 2018). Value about 900 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • We invite you to the World Orienteering Championships 2018 and Latvia O-week! Latvia O-Week is the WOC2018 Spectator race, a six days long orienteering adventure in Latvia. Discover Latvia for yourself: It is a small pearl of the Baltic countries where you will be able to enjoy a very special flavour of orienteering in the cultural, architectural and historical aura of Riga and Sigulda. 2018 is the year of Latvia’s 100th anniversary. Special preparations for this occasion are on-going in Latvia, and LATVIA O-Week will be among the centenary celebration events. The participants of LATVIA O-WEEK will be the lucky ones to explore orienteering areas similar to those anticipated at the WMOC. More information at http://www.woc2018.lv/o-week/.


Event sponsor: MOC Training Camp + MOC Championships, Catalunya. February 18th – 25th 2018

  • Prize offered: Package for 2 people consisting of accommodation and entry fee for MOC Training Camp and MOC Championship 18th-25th February 2018. Value 900 Euro. Transferrable to other persons.
  • A great combination of the 6th MOC Sprint Camp (18th to 23rd February 2018) and XIV edition of MOC Mediterranean Open Championship Orienteering (23rd to 25th of February 2018). The camp inlcudes 8 organized set of trainings + seminars. Head coach: Emil Wingstedt. Lectures by Emil Wingstedt and Tim Robertson.  The Championship includes 3 races in Tarragona.


 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: Andalucia O-Meeting 2018 + Training package. February 26th – March 4th

  • Prize offered: AOM Competition Package – including entry to 5 events (night, prologue, middle, sprint, long), 5 nights accommodation in Apartamentos Leo and a 6-map package to train before or after the event. Value about 455 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • 2 WRE’s in sweet terrains and maps, a friendly atmosphere and mild climate! More info at andaluciaomeeting.com


Event sponsor: Wawel Cup 2018. July 4th – 8th 2018

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of entry to full Wawel Cup 37th edition + accommodation in hotel + Wawel Cup T-shirt. Value about 400 euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • After a couple of years, Wawel Cup is back in rocky terrains. Wawel Cup 37 comprises the biggest rocks in Jura (Poland), the possibility of seeing the medieval castles and beautiful surrounding nature! And foremost challenging terrains and orienteering… on the highest level. Together we will make it a real worldwide orienteering running feast!


Event sponsor: PIOM 2018. February 17th – 18th 2018

  • Prize offered: 4 packages – each for 2 persons – transferable to other person. Consisting of complete entry to PIOM 2018 – 3 official races (Middle, night sprint and Long WRE) + 2 model events + lunches at the Arena during 2 competition days. Value about 340 EUR.
  • PIOM 2018 will be organized the third Orienteering Weekend in Portugal during the winter time with one WRE Long Distance stage, just 3 days after POM 2018. February in Portugal 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 more than 1000 runners. Besides some new areas, updated cartography, 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 18th Feb. More at  http://eventos.coc.pt/piom2018/en/


Event sponsor: WOC 2019 spectator races. August 12th – 18th 2019

  • Prize offered: ’Competition Package for 2 persons – including entry to all spectator events during WOC 2019 south of Oslo, Norway. Value estimated to at least 275 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • Beautiful terrain and great maps with world championships atmosphere – follow the stars and run in the same beautiful area! Be among the first who are officially ready for WOC 2019. More info to come at woc2019.no


 Event sponsor: Easter4 2018. March 30th – April 2nd 2018

  • Prize offered: One package for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the Easter4 competition on the Cres island, Croatia + accommodation in pension (B&B). Value about 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • In 2018 Easter4 moves to Cres island, Croatia. The race will again be organized by the same team and quality standard as you might be used from Lipica open, OOcup and Bubo cup. Beautiful terrain of ancient Tramuntana forest will satisfy even the pickiest among orienteering enthusiasts. More at easter4.com.


Event sponsor: Bubo Cup. July 10th – 14th 2018

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 people consisting of entries for all 4 days of Bubo Cup 2018, Bubo Cup event T-shirt and training map for each. Value about 250 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: After 3 years on Cres island, Bubo cup is coming back to Slovenia where it was originally started. The concept remains the same; high quality orienteering very close to the Adriatic coast & early morning starts to let the participants enjoy the sun and the sea after the competitions. Read more at bubocup.com.


Event sponsor: Bergen Sprint Camp 2018. March 16th – 18th 2018

  • Prize offered: Package for 2 people consisting of free start for all 4 high quality sprint competitions March 16th – 18th 2017 + dinner + swimming.  Value about 210 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: For the 8th 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. This time the camp is moved to March. 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.



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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