Home / Orienteering News / From Swedish mountain terrain to Czech sandstone: Gustav Bergman’s favourite courses and terrain of 2019

From Swedish mountain terrain to Czech sandstone: Gustav Bergman’s favourite courses and terrain of 2019


– There is something really nice about a very good long distance. You don’t get many of those in a year! Those are Gustav Bergman’s words about one of the best forest orienteering courses he ran in 2019 – one of the Swedish League races in the middle of April. Read on for more about the Swedish overall World Cup winner’s experiences from the 2019 season.

Bergman has had the best season of his career: He started the season in a perfect way with victories in the two first World Cup races in Finland. At the World Championships in Norway he secured a silver medal at the middle distance – and finally he also won the middle distance at the World Cup final in China. These results gave him the overall World Cup victory – what a way to crown a fantastic season!

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 Gustav Bergman

Q: What was the best forest course you run in 2019- and why?
I really enjoyed the Swedish League races in Grums in April. Both the middle and the long had good demanding courses in really nice terrain that was challenging both technically and physically. If I have to choose one, I’d go with the long. There is something really nice about a very good long distance. You don’t get many of those in a year!

[Editors comment: Here is the longest leg from the long distance race – including “the solution” to best routechoice]

img_2 (3)

[Editors comment: Straight clearly faster if you manage to run it well like Bergman]

img_1 (3)

Q: What was the best sprint course you run in 2019 – and why?
I haven’t run that many sprints this year, but one that stands out to me is the Swedish League in Fisksätra. We are not spoiled with good sprints in Sweden, but this time we got both a good course, a good map, and a good area (but unfortuntly not an espacially good performance by me).

It helps when an elite runner (Simon Hector) makes both map and course!

This race was quite special to me as well, since the arena was only 6.7 km from where I live!

[Editors comment: Below is one of the most interesting legs on this course, the leg to the second control. Can you spot the best route?]


Q: What was the most interesting orienteering terrain you run in in 2019 – and why?
I really enjoyed the sandstone terrain in Czech Republic, that will be used for WOC 2021. The most extreme parts are amazing – almost like a labyrinth!

I really enjoyed the sandstone terrain in Czech Republic, that will be used for WOC 2021. The most extreme parts are amazing – almost like a labyrinth!

Another really interesting terrain is the one in Nybo in the Swedish mountains (really close to the Norwegian border). The terrain is really open and nice, and at the same time interesting technically.

There are some almost unique areas of bare rock and a lot of small cliffs, created by a subglacial stream during the latest ice age

And on top of that there are some almost unique (for this part of Sweden) areas of bare rock and a lot of small cliffs, created by a subglacial stream during the latest ice age – which is enough to get a geography nerd like me going!

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Många småsjöar blir det… #Grövelsjön

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Q: What is the most interesting course you ran (or saw) in your own home country in 2019?
It is difficult to look past Obygdshelgen – the race I didn’t run that I was most sad about missing. The terrain looked fantastic, and it was organized by my friends Joakim Svensk and Jerker Lysell, so I was gutted to miss it!

Obygdshelgen 2019 Day 2

» See map in omaps.worldofo.com

Q: What is the most interesting routechoice leg you remember from 2019? Did you take the right choice?
The long leg to the 2nd control at the WOC long test race is of course a leg that stands out (Editors comment: See the leg in Route to Christmas Day 3).

I really liked the fact that you could play to your own strengths – if you are a strong forest runner straight is probably best, but you can lose a lot of time if you don’t execute it perfectly. There were also really interesting micro-routechoices in the beginning of the leg before hitting the path halfway, which was probably more decisive than if you choose the path or straight.

I think I took the right choice by going straight – but I had a very bad day and ended up quitting the race. It is amazing what being pre-selected can do for your motivation (in this case negatively)!

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 have set a lot of courses this year – as usual a lot for my club OK Ravinen, but I also have started working 20% as a coach at an orienteering gymnasium, which has meant that I have set a LOT of training courses. One of my favourites is this control picking in a really nice area in northwest of Stockholm.

Q: What is the race you look most forward to in 2020?
There is a lot to look forward to! Of course WOC is always a highlight, but I think that the World Cup final in Italy can be great!

[Editors comment: See embargoed area and some old maps below – more information at this link]




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?
I plan to shift my focus a little bit more towards sprint and try to take the next step and really compete for the medals.

I plan to shift my focus a little bit more towards sprint and try to take the next step and really compete for the medals.

My sprint capacity has been quite uneven through the years, from winning medals (EOC silver from 2016) to barely making top 30 even though I have made a quite OK race, so I’m hoping that my results will stabilize at a higher level!

Q: Have you got any comments about the development of international orienteering? 
This could be a whole essay – so I will keep it very short and simple: There are a lot of good things happening, but also some things I don’t agree with. I think in general that the IOF are a bit rash when it comes to deciding things (for example splitting WOC and adding a new sprint discipline). I feel like all consequences are not thought through and analyzed enough – this has good potential, but I see a lot of risks as well.
It also feels like the IOF are trying to expand and grow very quickly (which on its own is not a bad thing), but clearly we don’t have the resources to support new organizers and federations enough (just look at the disaster at the World Cup in China – and then we haven’t even started talking about the potential cheating and the humanitarian reasons to not place a World Cup there). I don’t know, but I get the feeling that we are a bit greedy and try a bit too hard. I don’t see the point of growing for the sake of growing if we can’t sustain a high level of both technical and ethical expertise.

Q: Thanks a lot for your answers, Gustav – and good luck with your sprint focus and the upcoming 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 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


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.


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/


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!


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


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.


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.


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.


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/.


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!


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!


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.


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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