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Interview Miika Kirmula about Course of the Year 2019

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– In these kind of races, the TV-production doesn’t set any limits so it is easier to make the whole course really challenging, Finnish rising start Miika Kirmula says about his two favourite forest races of the year.

Read on to get to know more about what kind of courses Kirmula enjoyed the most the past year.

This interview is part of the “Course of the Year 2019″ contest organized by World of O. In the introduction article you can suggest YOUR favourite course for “Course of the Year 2019″ – there are prizes to be won worth more than 6000 Euro.

Interview Miika Kirmula

Q: What was the best forest course you run in 2019- and why?
I must say it is quite even between the two Finnish selection races for WOC, the long distance and middle distance selection races.

In these kind of races, the TV-production doesn’t set any limits so it is easier to make the whole course really challenging.

Awesome “untypical” Finnish terrains with a lot of bigger and smaller route choices even on really short legs. Both races were really challenging orienteering all the way from the start to the finish. In these kind of races, the TV-production doesn’t set any limits so it is easier to make the whole course really challenging.

[Editors comment: Here is one of the most interesting legs from the long distance race.]

Here are the maps (with GPS-tracking) from the two events:

Finnish WOC selection race 2019 Middle M21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com
Finnish WOC selection race 2019 Long M21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What was the best sprint course you run in 2019 – and why?
I think i ran only 2 individual sprint races during the whole season, so it’s not that hard to say that it was the Finnish sprint champs. Just a normal small town, but with good route choices and high speed.

Just a normal small town, but with good route choices and high speed.

I think it is nice in sprint that you can keep really high speed after making tricky route choices. I think the organizers did a great job to make this kind of course in so”basic”terrain.

Finnish Champs Sprint 2019 - M21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2019 – and why?

For sure the terrains in the Czech Republic preparing for WOC 2021. Really tricky areas, but also you need a lot of speed and power in the terrain.

2019-10-02 I Long M I Skalacek

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com
[Editors comment: A leg from this training was chosen for today’s Route to Christmas]

Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2019?

Finnish selections for WOC 2019. Also the Finnish champs middle distance is worth mentioning. Really sad I couldn’t run a race in this great terrain in the northern Finland.

Finnish Champs Middle 2019 H21

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2019? Did you take the right choice?

Probably again coming from the selection race middle distance 6-7 leg. This leg was also directly after five short legs so there wasn’t so much time for perfect planning ahead. After making the bigger routechoice you could win or lose A LOT with small micro route choices due to really steep parts and big cliffs. I missed the right choice and lost 22 seconds to the fastest split. I think it seemed like a risk to run a really steep slope descending to a lake and big cliffs in the end.
However the fastest split was made running the leg from the right. [Editors comment: See Route to Christmas Day 6 for all you need to know about this leg.]

Q: Did you set any courses in 2019? If so, is it possible to share the best (in your opinion) with World of O’s readers?
I didn’t set any.

Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2020?

I think next years international calendar looks really interesting! Of course all of the international races will be races to prepare well, but the priority is mostly at WOC and EOC. Also Jukola will be really interesting next year for sure.

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 2020?

Both WOC and EOC. In EOC I am aiming for a top 6 in the individual races and for the team a medal in the relay. I don’t know really what my potential is in sprint, so it is a nice big challenge. I haven’t been able to train sprints due to a lot of injuries, but this year was the first year almost injury free, so patience was the key with this years training. Hopefully I can train more sprint-like trainings during the spring and be well prepared for the WOC.

Q: Have you got any comments about the development of international orienteering?

I think it was a really good idea after the final world cup in China that there should always be a recently retired former elite orienteer with the event advising team.

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 2019″, 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: Five Days of Italy 2020 – June 28th – July 3rd (Italy)

  • Prize offered: BIG competition and hotel package for two persons, consisting of competition fee and hotel accommodation for 7 nights, half board. Value 1.520 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • You are welcome in the Dolomites to  5 days Italy 2020 in Paganella Mountain, Fai della Paganella and beautiful “Dolomiti di Brenta”, amazing Trentino landscape. Read more at www.5daysitaly.it

italy5

Event sponsor: 53rd Kainuu Orienteering Week Finland (KOW), June 28th – July 3rd 2020 (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 2020. Total value up to 800 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Kainuu O-Week is the biggest Finnish orienteering week, and it has been held annually since 1966 in Kainuu, Finland.  The 2020 event will gather 5000-6000 participants from all around the world. The 2020 competition terrain is very suitable for all categories and perfect for running and orienteering – the orienteers will be running in the fast and beautiful pine forest terrain of Haverinen, consisting almost exclusively of pine forest of varying ages, in certain areas the contours are with small features. The visibility is mostly excellent, in some seedling areas slightly poorer. The ground is solid and clean; it is not stony. One river (Varisjoki), a few mires and ponds bring their own contribution to the orienteering tasks and landscape. For more information see www.rastiviikko.fi.

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Event sponsor: Andalucia O Meeting – February 8th – 9th (Spain)

  • Prize offered: Competition and Training Package with accommodation for 4 persons. The package includes entry to AndaluciaOMeeting 2020 for 4 persons, 3 nights accommodation in 4p Apartment Leo Deluxe and Training Package if you want to stay longer. Total value 650 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Fun organized (Sportident) trainings and competitions in surprising Huelva! More info at https://sun-o.com/en/event/andalucia-o-meeting-2020/ & https://sun-o.com/en/camp/huelva-organized-camp/

LOGO_AndaluciaOMeeting_2020

Event Sponsor: EGK Swiss 5 Days 2020, May 20 – 24, 2019 (Neuchâtel, Switzerland)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages, each for 2 free entries for the entire Swiss 5 Days Orienteering 2020 and spectator access to the 3 World Cup races. Total value 600 EUR, transferable to other persons.
  • More information to these exciting races under: www.swiss5days2020.chNeuchâtel, the place to discover!

swiss5

Event sponsor: Hungaria Cup – August 19th – 23rd 2020 (Hungary)

  • Prize offered: 3 entry + accommodation packages, each for 2 persons. Each package consists of 2 free entries for all 5 days in any class at Hungaria Cup 2020 + accommodation. Total value up to 500 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • More information: Hungaria Cup is Hungary’s biggest orienteering competition, held annually since the year 1967. This year we set camp at lake Velence close to Budapest. Terrains will include tricky open areas, mixed forests and a botanical garden. Those interested in more special orienteering challenges can try Paddle-O, Biathlon-O, Mobile-O and Beer-O. Come to enjoy orienteering and all kinds of leisure activities. Did we mention that we also have great wines? For more information see http://hungariakupa.tajfutas.hu/en

Hunaria

Event sponsor: Bergen Sprint Camp 2020 – March 20th-22nd (Norway)

  • Prize offered: 2 full packages, each for 2 people. A package consists of 3 high quality sprint races, 2 sprint trainings and 1 dinner + presentation for 2 persons. Total value around 375 EUR.  Transferable to other persons.
  • The BSC organizing team warmly welcomes you to the 9th edition of Bergen Sprint Camp. This time as a World Ranking Event, as well as opening of the Norwegian Sprintliga 2020. Friday is the training day, followed by races in the weekend. All race maps will be updated to the new international sprint map standard. We always try our best to make maps, courses and the overall event as good and interesting as possible for every runner, from beginners to elite. All info at bergensprintcamp.com.

BSC

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 2019 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.

OCAD2019

Event sponsor: OOCup 2020 – July 28th-August 1st (France)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 people – consisting of: Entry for the complete 5 days OOCup competition plus OOCup 2020 T-shirt for each competitor. Total value around 325 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • In 2020 OOcup goes back to France again – repeating the great success from 2018 in new and interesting terrains! There is good reason for that: Tricky terrain like what we found in the South Jura Mountains (AIN) in France is what OOcup always tries to deliver; ultimate orienteering challenge in beautiful natural surroundings. More at oocup.com.

OOcup

Event sponsor: WOC 2020 spectator races – July 6th – 11th (Denmark)

  • Prize offered: A spectator & race package for two persons for entry for the complete WOC 2020 Tour – including 3 forest races and 3 sprint races.  Add to that a free WOC running top for each. Value about 260 EUR. Transferable to another person.
  • Description: Use this unique opportunity to watch the World’s best orienteers in the first ever sprint World Orienteering Championships while enjoying orienteering in great terrains – both forest and urban. For the three sprint races, the WOC2020 arenas will be within walking distance or shared with the spectator race arenas. The forest races will be staged in varied terrain ranging from open heathland, inland dunes and coniferous forest to hilly beech forest. All maps are drawn by the WOC2020 mapper. More information at woc2020.dk/woc-tour/.

woc2019

Event sponsor: Kapa 3-days 2020 – June 26th-28th (Latvia)

  • Prize offered: Two family entry packages including camping & parking. Each family entry package includes an entry for two adults and two children, space for a tent at the event camping and a car parking voucher. Value 250 EUR. Transferable to another person.
  • Kapa 3-days is the largest orienteering event in Baltics with 2000 participants from around 20 countries. It’s a special o-weekend Friday to Sunday 26th to 28th of June 2020 in Latvia. The terrains of 2020 have not been used for orienteering ever and are mainly pine forests with different runnability and a lot of special relief forms. As always – a great atmosphere and even live music in the evening at the main Baltic orienteering festival!

Kapa2016_reklama_071215

Event sponsor: Wawel Cup – July 8th – 12th 2020 (Poland)

  • Prize offered: Entry + accommodation package for 2 people. The package consists of entry to full Wawel Cup 39th edition (competition + additional indoor race + training maps) + accommodation on camping/hard-floor + Wawel Cup O-shirt. Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Wawel Cup 2020 is about the return to Jura Krakowsko- -Czestochowska; to the place which is unambiguously associated with Orienteering. We will start the competition with the mass start on Błędów Desert and for the next four days we will face interesting and diverse terrains with lots of rocks. Loads of attractions, additional contests, handicap, emotions, medieval castles, rocks and foremost… good fun – this mixture will let every competitor remember Wawel Cup for long!

Wawel

Event sponsor: Portugal O-meeting 2020 – February 22th – 25th (Portugal)

  • Prize offered: 2 packages – each for 2 persons – consisting of full entry fee for Portugal O-meeting 2020 (2 model events, 4 forest stages, 2 sprint races and Trail-O). Value about 250 EUR. Transferable to other persons.
  • Portugal O’ Meeting is already a well-known established international event, perfect for a season start. It’s common to see POM Super Elite winners on the podium of the following international events. The 2020 Edition will be held in Santiago do Cacém and Sines, the southwest coast of Portugal. Terrains are typical Mediterranean forests on all stages. More info at www.pom.pt.

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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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