– This was a clear winner for me – I believe the terrain and the courses allowed for the full enjoyment of not just the spectators but also the runners, sprint specialist Tim Robertson explains about his favourite orienteering course this year. And it is not a sprint course.
Read on for an interview with New Zealand orienteering star Tim Roberton where he tells us about his favourite courses and terrains in 2018. Robertson took a very impressive silver medal at this year’s World Orienteering Championships Sprint in Latvia – the best ever for New Zealand!
We often focus on mapping areas close to or in the bigger cities because it is more convenient to hold races there. But one of the main reasons that I orienteer is to visit and run through places like Obertilliach.
Tis interview is part of the “Course of the Year 2018″ contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2018″ – there are prizes to be won worth more than 6000 Euro.
Interview with Tim Robertson
Q: What was the best forest course you run in 2018 – and why?
World Cup Final Czech Republic – Middle Distance: This was a clear winner for me. I believe the terrain and the courses allowed for the full enjoyment of not just the spectators but also the runners. We are seeing more and more often that arenas/courses at high level races are effected by the needs of making it ‘interesting for the spectators’. I believe here, it was perfect for both.
Starting by climbing up and old castle wall, running through beautiful forest and finding a way through the labyrinth of huge sandstone cliffs really reminded me of the reason why I orienteer.
Q: What was the best sprint course you run in 2018 – and why?
Austria Cup Obertilliach. A little village in the Austrian Alps. Small wooden houses with alpine meadows in-between. Almost every leg offered three or four different routes rather than the normal left or right decision we see in most sprints.
While running here I thought about the fact that there are thousands of other small villages out there undiscovered for orienteering. We often focus on mapping areas close to or in the bigger cities because it is more convenient to hold races there. But one of the main reasons that I orienteer is to visit and run through places like Obertilliach. For forest orienteering people are willing to explore and travel longer distances to find the best terrains. Something less common in sprint orienteering.
Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2018 – and why?
Cerkno Cup! After the World Champs I travelled to Slovenia and ran Cerkno Cup. It was held in very beautiful and challenging karst terrain. We were warmly welcomed by the organisers and the quality of mapping/course setting was world class. It would be nice to see a World Cup or World championships in Slovenia soon!
Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2018?
I haven’t been home for two years, but the New Zealand Champs Middle distance looked very interesting. I have never run on this map but it is on top of my list for when I visit New Zealand next ;)
Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2018? Did you take the right choice?
When I think about a route choice in 2018 it’s hard not to think of Timo Sild’s route to the 11th control at Jukola.
It was really exciting to be watching with the team and to see the reaction when Timo ran to the road. Although it may have been a slightly tense moment in the Koovee team camp the guys had complete trust in what he was doing and it was fun to laugh about after the relay was over!
I don’t think there are many orienteers who can think as wide as Timo does on a route choice!
Q: Did you set any courses in 2018? If so, is it possible to share the best (in your opinion) with World of O’s readers?
I did not set many courses this year. Most of my course setting is as preparation for competitions such as World Champs. Here is an insert of some sprint intervals I set for some orienteers in Graz.
Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2019?
World Cup Final in China! I have been competing in this area last year and will travel to Guangzhou again this year. I think the terrain is very special and the atmosphere that the Chinese organisers create at these competitions is unbelievable! It’s exciting for me that a World Cup will be held outside of Europe and Oceania, something that I hope to see more often in the future.
Expect the unexpected, they will be something different.
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 2018?
I am currently recovering from a second shoulder surgery. A week before Jukola (two and a half years after receiving surgery in New Zealand) I dislocated my shoulder again. I made the decision to complete the season and was operated two days after the World Cup Final in Czech Republic.
For 6 weeks I am not allowed to do any sport, and in December I have another operation to remove a screw that is currently holding a bone in place.
After this the main goal for 2019 will be to recover from this operation. The main goals for me in the 2019 season is 10Mila and Jukola with Koovee.
I have moved away from the city and live in an area closer to forest maps. I hope to use this opportunity to improve my orienteering in the forest.
I am also considering racing the World Mountain bike orienteering championships in Denmark.
Q: Thanks a lot for your answers – and good luck with surgery and the new season!
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 2018″, 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: WMOC 2019 Public Race. July 4th – 12th (Latvia)
- Prize offered: Competition + accommodation package for 2 persons including: 5 races (two sprints in Riga, 3 forest races), accommodation 8 nights with breakfast in twin/double room, 4-12 July 2019 . Total prize value: EUR 820.
- Watch the world’s best master runners in action and find out how good you are in the same terrains! Be equally prepared for a maze of narrow streets in Riga and a fast run in a perfect dune forest. Watch out – it may be 8 nights! And, certainly, enjoy the sun and beach immediately after your run! Read more: www.wmoc.2019.lv
Event sponsor: 52nd Kainuu Orienteering Week (KOW), June 30th – July 5th 2019 (Finland)
- Prize offered: 4 packages, each consisting of 2 free participations for the whole week in any class (competition classes or open courses) at Kainuu Orienteering Week 2019. Total value up to 800 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- Open and International Orienteering Week in Finland, Sotkamo, Tipasoja (WOC2013 terrain)
- More information: Kainuu Orienteering Week is the Finlands’s biggest orienteering week and the world´s 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 the week 27. In 2019 Kainuu Orienteering Week will go back to perfect pine forrest and moor terrains of the WOC2013 events. 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 2018. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.
Event sponsor: Murcia O-Festival. February 16th – 24th
- Prize offered: Competition and Training Package – including entry to Lorca-O-Meeting and Costa Calida WRE (6 events in total), 9 nights accommodation in Apartamentos Aixa, and a 8-map package to train on diverse terrains between the 2 events. Value about 680 Euro. Transferable to other persons.
- 9 days of fun trainings and high level competitions in surprising Murcia! More info at https://sun-o.com/en/camp/murcia-o-festival/
Event sponsor: MOC 2019 – March 15th – 17th 2019 (Malta)
- Prize offered: Competition and hotel package for two persons: Entry for two person at the 15th anniversary of MOC Mediterranean Orienteering Championship in Malta, including 3 nights accommodation half board. Value about 650 EUR. Transferrable to other persons.
- You are welcome to MOC 2019! The 15th anniversary Mediterranean Open Championship Orienteering 2019 is organized on March 15th – March 17th. Great events with World class runners with 3.000 euro of prize money! Follow the sub! Read more at the competition web-page and on www.orienteering.it and www.facebook.com/pwtorienteering
Event sponsor: Durmitor Orienteering Challenge 2019. August 27th – 31st 2019 (Montenegro)
- Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people– consisting of: Entry to complete 5 Day Durmitor Orienteering Challenge, + 2 x 2 special T shirts „My life, my sport-Orienteering“ product of Oland. Total value about 620 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- At the end of summer 2019, after WOC in Norway, you can visit the exceptionally nice and beautiful 5 Days of orienteering in the Montenegro mountain pearl Durmitor. For most orienteers this is a new area, offering much more than orienteering. Also excellent conditions for club trainings with new maps and terrains at 1500 meters altitude. More infomation: Dochallenge.me
Event sponsor: 5th Antalya Orienteering Festival 2018 – October 27th– November 3rd
- Prize offered: One Big Antalya O-Meeting package consisting of 1 complete Antalya Orienteering Festival package: Accommodation + Entry for all 6 races for one person. Value about 540 Euro. Transferable to other person.
- Antalya Orienteering Festival will be held for the 3rd time in Side by the Mediterranean coast of Antalya, Turkey. We provide 6 different terrains and challenging courses, good maps and good weather for orienteering holiday. See more at www.antalyaofest.com
Event sponsor: Sprint Scotland, June 20th-23rd 2019 (Scotland)
- Prizes offered – 2 complete packages for 2 people each – All training / races + event t-shirt. Total value around 400 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
Sprint Scotland will again host 4 days of high quality sprint orienteering in the Stirling/Edinburgh area. 2 training days with warm-up sprint races, followed by a weekend with 3 sprint/urban races (WREs), as well as three talks about sprint orienteering. Short travel from Edinburgh and Glasgow. More information here: http://
Software sponsor: OCAD Orienteering 3-year license
- Prize offered: One 3-year licence for the software “OCAD Orienteering″. Value about 350 EUR. Transferable to other person (before activation).
- More information: OCAD 2018 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: OOCup 2019 – July 24th – 28th (Slovenia)
- Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the complete 5 days OOCup competition plus OOCup 2019 T-shirt for each competitor. Total value around 325 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- In 2019 OOcup goes back to where it all started back in 2002. Stunning orienteering areas around Soriška planina will deliver memorable orienteering challenge for everyone. Even though Soriška planina is well known among orienteers, we’ve mapped a lot of new exciting areas, so there will be plenty of unseen for all participants. Gorenjska region with Lakes Bohinj and Bled and Triglav national part is considered as the most beautiful part of Slovenia by many. More at oocup.com.
Event sponsor: 22. International Thuringian 24-Hour relay. May 31st – June 2nd 2019 (Germany)
- Prize offered: Two packages, each package consists of one 6-person team for the 24-Hour-Orienteering Relay (min age 15) and one 4-person team for the youth relay. Included in the 24-Hour Relay is also opening party, parking, camping and open-air swimming pool. Total value about 300 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- Description. Be part of the world’s longest orienteering relay starting on Saturday June 1st 2019 at 9:00 AM and finishing on Sunday 2nd of June 2019 at 9:00 AM. The competition takes place in a typical German low mountain range in the middle of beautiful nature. More information here: https://www.24h-ol.de/en/
Event sponsor: VARIANT 5 DAYS – August 13th – 17th 2019 (Bulgaria)
- Prize offered: Package for two persons consisting of entry fee and accommodation for Variant 5 Days 2019 – 5 days of orienteering in Stara planina mountains, Kalofer, Bulgaria. Value about 270 EUR. Transferrable to other person.
- Enjoy an unforgettable orienteering holiday in the beautiful nature of Bulgaria.Five races in mountain terrain including a chasing start. Variant 5 Days is an affordable way to experience and explore the Stara Planina mountain region near Kalofer, just below the highest peak of the mountain – Botev, 2376m asl. Besides the great terrains there are many sightseeing options around including mineral pools, which makes it a perfect place to visit during the summer of 2019. Plan a trip to Bulgaria now and you will have a splendid vacation in August. Find out more at http://5days.variant5.org or email us at email@example.com. Visit also our facebook page at: com/variant5cup.
Event sponsor: Kapa 2019 – June 28th – 30th (Latvia)
- Prize offered: Two family entry packages to Kapa 3days, where each package includes entry for two adults and one child, space for a tent at the event camping and a car parking voucher. Total value around 250 EUR. Transferable to other person.
- More information: Kapa 3-days is the largest orienteering event in Baltics with 2000 participants from around 20 countries. It is a nice, long o-weekend for families – from Friday to Sunday. The best new maps and terrains are available, kindergarten at the event centre, fantastic prizes and great atmosphere, including live music in the evening. Just come with your family and relive WOC 2018 as the course planners are the same! This year’s event page: 2019.kapa.lv. Facebook page: facebook.com/Kapa3days, Facebook event page: https://www.facebook.
Event sponsor: Orienteering Adventure 2019. August 7th – 11th (Czech Republic)
- Prize offered: Entry fee for two persons with accommodation in hotel Lenka in the event centre during the competitions (6th -11th of August). Value: 250 EUR, transferable to other persons. Note that the package is available only until the first entry deadline (April 30th 2019).
- Orienteering Adventure take place in the biggest mountains in Czech – The Giant Mountains. It is a national park nicknamed as “Tundra in the heart of Europe”. You can expect clean mountain forest with poor path network, stone fields, a few rocks, one stage in poor visibility area, sprint in a mountain village, beer relay and even more. Read more here: http://www.o-adventure.cz (In English from early December)
Event sponsor: Easter4 2019 – April 19th – 22th (Slovenia)
- Prize offered: One package for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the Easter4 competition in the beautiful Izola & Kras regions, Slovenia + accommodation in pension (B&B). Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
- After the 2018 edition on Cres island, in 2019 we go back to Slovenia. The race will be organized by the same team and quality standard as you might be used to from Lipica open, OOcup and Bubo cup. Excellent mixture of tough karst terrain and one Sprint stage, partly on newly mapped areas. Did you know that Swiss star Simona Aebersold took part in all 3 editions so far? More at easter4.com.