Sunday, December 23, 2012

Trondheim – Oslo – Stockholm – Hong Kong – New Zealand

At the moment I’m on my way to New Zealand, where I will spend a whole month, including running the World Cup races the second week of January. But I can start with a short summary of what I have been doing during the autumn, since I have not been updating this blog too often.

After I came home from the PWT in China I have spent most of my time in Stockholm. Since I hoped to be selected to run the World Cup in New Zealand I decided to end last season early. In the end of September and beginning of October I took a few weeks with less training, and more focus on my work and other social activities. From the middle of October I have been training well and without any problems.

In the beginning of November I spent 10 days on a private training camp in the South of Europe, including races and trainings in Barcelona, Primiero and Venezia.

I the beginning of December I was one week home in Norway. The first part of the week I spent in Trondheim visiting my family and fiends. I had planed to do some skiing, but it was unfortunately not enough snow, so instead I got some nice long runs in Strindamarka and Bymarka.

In the weekend it was planed a training camp with the National Team close to Alborg in Denmark, with similar coastal terrain as it will be in first race in the World Cup in New Zealand. But because it was too much snow in Denmark to get good technical orienteering training, the camp was moved to Oslo, with more focus on physical training. We got some good training, including track interval, a sprint race and a 3 hour long run in Nordmarka.

When I came back to Stockholm it was a lot of snow, and it was nice conditions for skiing both on Lidingö and other places. Last week I did a 7 day long interval block, with in total 10 high intensity sessions. Because of the snow I decided to do most of the training indoor, with 7 sessions on track, 2 on treadmill (uphill) and one with sprint orienteering. Hopefully the tough training will give my shape a peek to the World Cup races in beginning of January.

Now I’m sitting on Moscow Airport, waiting for my connection flight to Hong Kong, where I will stay 3 days before I continue to New Zeeland. The main goal for the stop in Hong Kong is to split up the long travel to New Zealand, but it will also be nice to see the city. The Hong Kong Annual Orienteering Championships, that is includes World Ranking Events in both Sprint and Middle Distance on the 25th and 26th December, will also fit in my program, and I will probably participate in both races as training. The 27th December I will arrive to Auckland. I will later write more about what I will do during my 4 weeks in New Zealand.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Barcelona - Primiero - Venezia

In the beginning of November I had a 10 days long trip to the South of Europe. My goal for the trip was to run some good competitions and training in warm weather, with main focus on sprint orienteering.

The trip started with the 2 day competition TICBCN in Barcelona, that I already have written about. After the races I stayed two more days in Barcelona.

Monday I took it quite easy, and did some work on my laptop in the morning, before I went to the city for sightseeing and an easy run in the evening. Tuesday I did 2 sprint trainings in the morning and a strength training in the evening. My team mate in IFK Lidingö Biel Rafols and his family was very helpful, and let me stay in their home during my time in Barcelona.

Wednesday morning I took a flight to Treviso in Italy, and continued with train to Primiero in the Dolomites, where I stayed with my friend Giancarlo Simion. JWOC was arranged in Primiero in 2009, and it is a lot of good maps covering nice terrains in the area.

The first night I did a sprint training, and on Thursday I was able to run on both the map from the JWOC Relay and the mens Long distance course on Passo Rolle. The view in the Dolomites is fantastic, as you can see on my pictures from Primiero, and I was also able to taste the local food and drinks.

Friday I continued my travel to Venezia, where I was running the Venezia street orienteering race, that I also already have written about.

I did also some trainings on my own in Venezia, to prepare for the WOC 2014 Sprint, that will probably be arranged in the east part of the city. Maps from all the competitions and most of the trainings can be found in my DOMA.

World of O has at the moment a competition where you can vote for Course of the Year 2012. A lot of courses I  have been running are nominated, and I was interview by World of O in connection with the nomination process.

Here you can watch a video from the race in Venezia:

Thursday, November 15, 2012

High tide in Venezia

Last weekend I travelled to Venezia to participate in Venice Orienteering Meeting. I thought it would be a good training for the WOC 2014 Sprint, that probably will be arranged in the east part of the city, and the race is also one of the most challenging and fun race I have been running. I have been participating in 2008, 2009 and 2010, with the results 1st, 2nd and DSQ, so I wanted to change the negative trend this year.

Saturday a open race was arranged in the area around the San Marco Square. I was choosing the longest course that was 5 km, so it was almost the double distance of a normal sprint race. I took it as a good training, without pushing too hard. The course was nice, but could have been more challenging. Results and splits

Sunday the traditional long distance race was arranged, with almost 4000 participants. In the early morning the tide was getting really high, and the organizers delayed the start one hour. When I was going to start as one of the first runners the water was still reaching to the middle of my legs in most of the streets, and over my knees on the middle of the San Marco Square. The organizers still decided to start people, but it was changed to free start time, so the time was taken from you did the start punching. They recommended the runners to take it easy, and walk where it was much water, and the elite runners to wait starting until the water had gone down.

But the race was unfortunately stopped by the police before half of the runners (and most of the best) in the mens elite class had started, due to that the early starting runners had been distracting the tourists and the locals trying to get the water out of their houses and shops. We where still able to get our maps, and I was running the course as a training (in 69 min), after the water had withdrawn from the streets. (In the splits I have got correct split times to all controls, except to the 1st one, where I have approx 3 h 30 min too long time, since the time is from I cleared my SI card before my original start time. The runners who got a time in the results started earlier then I did, when the conditions were worse due to the high water.) The course was really nice this year, so it was a pity the race was destroyed by the high tide. It was also perfect running conditions when I was doing my training, since it was not too much tourist in the streets. So if the organizer had just delayed the start some more hours I think it could have been a great event, but many would than probably not have been able to run before their planed travel home. Results and splits for the runners who were allowed to start, and had quite variable running conditions.

My pictures from Venezia gives a good impression about how it was in the city when the tide was high.

Politiet stoppet gateorientering i Venezia,

Sunday, November 4, 2012

TICBCN in Barcelona

This weekend I have been in Barcelona competing in a 2 day event called TICBCN. I was running the same event last time it was arranged, two years ago, and really wanted to come back. Here you can see my maps from 2010: Sprint, micro sprint and long.

Saturday a sprint was arranged in the historical center. I did a solid performance, and my only mistake was a 5 seconds time loss on my route choice to the 8th control. It was difficult to run full speed in the narrow streets with a lot of people, and you needed full focus the entire time to do a clean race without hesitation. I won the race with 7 seconds down to Yannick Michiels. Results

Sunday a shorter long distance was held from the Olympic Stadium on the Montjuic hill. It was the same place as the long distance last time, but partly a different part of the area. It was very hilly and the 8,4 km long course had more than 400 meters of climbing. I did a mainly good race, and tried to take safe route choices and avoid fences and walls that could be difficult to pass. To the 9th control I lost some time in the control circle and to the 10th control I had as most of the other runners problems to understand from the map exactly where I had to run to get into the castle. I was able to win also today (and overall) in front to Yannick Michiels. Oleksandr Kratov came 3rd, with a small margin down to Pieter Hendrickx. Results Long and Overall

I think TICBCN is a really nice event, and it's on a time of the year when the season is over in Scandinavia and the weather can be quite bad. So it's great to come here and run in short pants and t-shirt when it's 20 degrees and sun. Barcelona is also a very beautiful city, so I hope it will be more foreign runners here next time. I have not taken so many pictures this time, but my pictures from 2010 is worth a look. Then I visited some of the tourist attractions, such as the city center, the harbor, La Sagrada Família, Camp Nou, the Olympic Park and Parc Güell with Gaudí architecture.

News on
Feilfritt løp ga seier
Kvaal Østerbø med ny seier i Barcelona

Friday, October 12, 2012

PWT in China – Report with maps and pictures

In the last part of September I participated in Park World Tour in China. I have been in China four times before, three times on PWT and once on Tour de Ski China in cross country skiing, and also this time I got the opportunity to run some challenging orienteering races in combination with visiting some new and exciting places together with a nice group of international runners.

I had a quite though start of my travel, since my flight to Beijing left Oslo Airport three hours after I finished the Norwegian Champs in Long distance (where I came 4th, after a good performance). From Beijing I continued with a flight 1000 km north east to Changchun, where I met the other runners. We were 30 International runners in addition to the Chinese runners.

PWT-1 - Sprint
The first race was already the following day, with a Sprint in a nice park. I did a good performance, and was able to win the race in front of Matthias Müller and Tomas Dlabaja.

PWT-2 - Middle
The next day a Middle distance was arranged from the same place as the Vasaloppet China is held in the winter. The forest was mainly nice, but had partly reduced runability. I did several smaller mistakes, sometimes because I thought it was difficult to understand the map, and ended in 4th position. Timo Sild did a great race, and won with a huge margin. He thought the terrain was very similar to Estonia.

The Great Wall
Now we had three days until the next PWT race, and travelled back to Beijing with high speed train. In Beijing we visited the Great Wall, before we took a flight 1500 km south west to Chongqing where we were going to participate in the Chinese Championships. Chongqing is one of the World’s largest cities, with a population of 28 millions in the municipality.

"100 m Orienteering"
The first race in the Chinese Champs was something called “100 m Orienteering”. The course was actually 900 m, and the terrain and map scale like we know from “Orient show”. The race was held as a knock out sprint, with 12 runners in each heat/final, and each runner got his/her own forking. All the control circles and numbers on the map made the map reading intense. For the international runners the race was not counting as PWT, and we were just running an open course for fun.

PWT-3 - Sprint
The next race was the Chinese Champs in Sprint, held in Wansheng, the smaller city we lived in. The area was really cool and challenging, with a lot of small houses and narrow passages, and the rain made it even more difficult with slippery surface. We where allowed to cross cultivated land, as long as it was not growing anything there, so it made it a bit difficult to plan the best route choice in advance. I did a very good race, and won with more then 30 seconds down to Julian Dent and Máté Kerényi.

PWT-4 – Middle
The last race in the Chinese Champs was a Middle distance. The area was hilly, with a lot of cultivated land. Also this day we where allowed to cross it, as long as it was not growing anything there, but several places I thought it was difficult to know where I could run. It was also raining heavily, and we where running partly in mud. I did not do any major mistakes, but lost some time several places, and finished in 6th position, 3 min behind Tomas Dlabaja. After the race we traveled back to Beijing.

PWT-5 - Sprint
The last race was held in Beijing Botanical Garden. I was running well the first half of the race, and was then close to the lead. But in the last half I lost 5 – 10 seconds several places, partly because I was unsure where I could pass some flowerbeds, since there was some places more of them in the terrain than marked on the map. Afterwards I can see that I should have picked easier route choices (on paths), and not tried to run so much straight. My result was a 5th place, 37 seconds behind Yannick Michiels and Tomas Dlabaja, who shared the victory. After the race I went directly to the airport, to go home for the Swedish Champs in Relay.

In my Picasa gallery you find almost 200 pictures from PWT in China.

News from the races:
PWT-1 Sprint: and
PWT-2 Middle: and
PWT-3 Sprint: and
PWT-4 Middle: and
PWT-5 Sprint: and

Saturday, September 15, 2012


September is a really busy month for me this year, and I will be on travel the first 3 weeks of it. At the moment I'm in China where I will compete in Park World Tour the coming week.

The fist week in September I competed in the Nordic Orienteering Tour, witch was also counting as World Cup Final this year. I was doing stable performances in most of the 5 races, and ended on a 17th place overall, less than one minute from the 10th place. The highlight of the NORT for me was the 4th place in the Sprint in Holmenkollen in Oslo. In the overall World Cup I ended 21st. All maps from NORT can be seen in my DOMA.

After NORT the Norwegian Team stayed a few days more in Finland, to prepare for next years World Championship in Vuokatti.

From Finland I went to Oslo, where I ran the Norwegian Championship in Long distance last Thursday. The race went well, and I finished 4th after a technical very good performance. Physical I felt a bit tired after NORT. Results and GPS tracking

After the race I went directly to the airport, and took a flight to Beijing, where I arrived the next morning. The coming week I will compete in Park World Tour with in total 5 races held in 3 different cities. Today the first race was arranges in Changchon, with a sprint in a nice park. I was still feeling tired in my legs after the NM Long and the travel, but I did a technical good race and was able to win in front of Matthias Muller and Tomas Dlabaja On you can find a short news with link to the result, splits and map.

After the last race in China I will go directly back to Sweden, where I will run the Swedish Championship in Relay held in Gävle.

Monday, August 27, 2012

SM Sprint in Gävle

Last weekend I competed in the Swedish Championship in Sprint held in Gävle.

In Saturdays Qualification I wanted to get  a good feeling, and started almost as offensive as I wanted to do in the Final. I did a good performance, and won my qualification heat. Results

Godt sprintløp ga Kvaal Østerbø seier,

Sundays final went also well, and my only real mistakes was that I lost about 5 seconds on my route choices to the 1st and 18th control. My result was a shared 4th place, behind Jerker Lysell, Jonas Leandersson and William Lind. I was 25 seconds from the gold and 5 seconds from a medal. Results and GPS tracking 

Kinneberg med nytt SM-gull, Kvaal Østerbø nummer 4,

After all the health problems I had during the spring I am now really happy that I have been able to train well for a longer period, and that I am very close to some of the best sprint runners in the World when I do an almost clean technical races.

The Nordic Orienteering Tour are starting in Oslo on Saturday, and I am looking forward to 5 exciting races on Norway, Sweden and Finland. NORT is also the final for this seasons World Cup

- Vi sender hele Nordic Tour "live",

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

NC Sprint and NM Ultralong in Steinkjer

Last weekend a Sprint race in the Norwegian Cup and the Norwegian Champs in Ultralong was arranged in Steinkjer.

The Sprint was held in the city center, and I had a good run. My result was a 2nd place, 17 seconds behind Olav Lundanes. The race was also the final in the new Norwegian Cup in sprint orienteering, where I also finished 2nd, behind Olav. Results and GPS tracking

The Ultralong was held in a very nice terrain, with open and quite dry marches. The first 50 min of the race was the toughest, with a lot of climbing until we reached the highest peak on the map on the 7th control. I did mainly a good race, without any control mistakes. I lost some time on a few legs (most to the 17th control), when I was not running the optimal route, but was able to keep a stable speed the whole course, and was satisfied when I finished the 24 km long course after 2h 42 min. Olav won again with solid margin, and I finished in 5th position. Results and GPS tracking

Lundanes og Fasting med seier i Steinkjer,
Godt debutår, men mer å hente,
Lundanes med klart NM-gull på ultralang,

Last week I was also selected in the Norwegian team to the Nordic Orienteering Tour that will be arranged with 5 races in Norway, Sweden and Finland the first week in September. NORT also count as the World Cup Final this season.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

O-ringen in Halmstad

After WOC in Switzerland I travelled directly to Halmstad, south west in Sweden, where I competed in the O-ringen 5 days.

The 1st stage was a Middle distance. I was still tired after the WOC banquet and the travel from Switzerland the previous day. My performance was OK, except a 1 min time loss because I passed the wrong bridge to the 14th control. My result was a 30th place, 3 min behind Olav Lundanes.

The 2nd stage was also a Middle distance, this time held close to the coast in a quite flat and fast terrain. I did several 15 - 20 seconds mistakes, but held almost the same speed as the fastest runners, and finished on a 8th place, 2 min behind Olav and Thierry Gueorgiou, who shared the victory. Overall I advanced to a 12th place.

The 3rd stage was a Sprint in the center of Halmstad. I lost some seconds because I was a bit passive on the first legs, and on the long leg over the river I lost about 10 seconds compared to the right route choice. The rest of the race went well, and I finished in a 7th position, 27 seconds behind Jonas Leandersson. (Jerker Lysell was 34 seconds faster, but was disqualified for passing a forbidden wall.)

The 4th stage was a Long distance just North of Halmstad. I did several smaller and bigger mistakes in the beginning of the race, and in the part from the 7th to the 11th control I lost more than 3 minutes. To the 12th control Gustav Bergman caught me up. He helped me to increase my speed, and even if I lost contact with him I managed to keep a good speed and be more offensive in my orienteering the rest of the race. My result was a 13th place, 8 min behind Olav.

On the 5th and last stage I started as 11th runner in the chasing start. On the 2nd control I caught Erik Rost and Kalvis Mihailovs who had started 20 - 30 seconds in front of me. We were running mostly together for a while, but didn't keep so high speed, and did also some smaller mistakes. To the 15th control we where caught by a big group of William Lind, Olle Kalered, Mattias Karlsson, Johan Modig, Ola Martner and Erik Liljequist. On the long leg to the 19th control we split up, and I was choosing the road to the left. I think it was a pretty good option, and I think the 30-40 seconds I lost to William and the other guys running more straight was mostly because they had a higher running speed. I never managed to catch the runners who got a gap on the long leg, and could finish as 12th runner. An OK result taking into consideration my preparations, but I was still a bit disappointed since it was only 1 minute up to the 6th place, and 3 minutes to the 3rd place. Overall results

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Summary of WOC in Lausanne

My WOC ended almost before it started, since I didn't qualify for the Sprint Final, after beeing 1 second too slow in the Qualification. It was with mixed feelings I watched the Final, where Simone Niggli-Luder and Matthias Kyburz showed great performances. I tried to not follow the tracking on the big screen, because I wanted to run through the course the next day.

Sunday Emil Wingsted (Norwegian sprint coach) and I woke up at 6 o'clock to run the course before breakfast. I ran from our accommodation and did the Qualification course as a warm up, so we had been running 12 km before we started on the Final course. I did a good performance, with mainly good route choices and no really mistakes. Physical I didn't feel to fresh, but was able to push quite hard the whole course. My time was 16.28 and showed me that I could have fighted for a top 6 position, but it would have been really hard to win a medal, that was my goal before the season.

Monday Ulf Forseth Indgaaard and I drove to Champery, where we walked/climbed a Via Ferrata. It was not the most challenging, but a nice trip. Pictures from Via Ferrata in Champery.

Tuesday Ulf, Hans Gunnar Omdal and I ran from the arena for the Middle Final to the highest peak in the area, before we watched the race. It was cool that Latvia got their first WOC gold when Edgars Bertuks won. After the race Ulf and I ran through the course. I was quite tired after being out in the sun the whole day, but did a stable technical performance.

Wednesday Carl Waaler Kaas joined me and Ulf for a new Via Ferrata trip. This time we went to Leysin, and a route with a nicer view. Pictures from Via Ferrata in Leysin.

Thursday  I watched the Long Final, where Olav Lundanes showed up an outstanding performance when he won the gold. After the race I ran from the arena back to our accommodation at the youth hostel in Lausanne. It was a great place to stay during WOC, since it lived around 15 other nations there, and it was just a few hundred meters for the lake.

Friday I wanted to test my shape by running a 3000 m on track. I had hoped to get some other to help me keep up the speed, but ended up running along. After having the splits 2.53 - 2.57 - 3.01 I finished on the time 8.51. That tells me that my shape unfortunately is not as good at it was when I got my PB on 8.29 in February, after being 3 weeks in Kenya. That was not surprisingly since I was sick for 3 weeks in the beginning of June, and I'm quite satisfied that my shape has improved as much as it has the last weeks. I guess I could have been running 10 seconds faster now, and of course it helps to train in track, like I did during the winter, and to run in a strong field.

Saturday I watched the Relays, where Norway won bronze in the women's class and silver in the men's class. When Norway didn't manage to win the men's class it was really nice that the Czech team won the gold medals. In the evening the Banquet ended a great WOC week in Lausanne. Pictures from WOC in Lausanne.

Sunday I traveled to Halmstad in Sweden, where I last week competed in the O-ringen 5 days. I did 5 stable performances, and finished 12th overall. I will write some words form O-ringen later this week, but you can already now watch my maps in my DOMA.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

WOC Sprint Qual in Lausanne

This morning the WOC Sprint Qualification was held in the University area in Lausanne. We knew it some places was several levels and complex buildings, and expected the course to be quite tricky.

I tried to run as I use to do in qualification races, picking safe and easy route choices, and running fast without pushing maximum. When I finish I knew I could have lost a few seconds of some of my route choices, and that is was possible to run a bit faster, but thought still my race was good enough to qualify for the afternoons final.

My result ended up being a 16th place, one second from qualifying to the final, and 43 seconds behind the winner Frederic Tranchand. Afterwards it easy to see that the course was not as difficult as we had expected, and that it is runners from many different nations who are good in this type of sprint. Is really tight around me on the result list, and by running 15 seconds faster I would have been number 7. I did not do any big mistakes, but lost 5 - 10 seconds to control number 51, 62 and 64. Results and splits in the live centre.

This is the first time since my WOC debut 8 years ago I will miss a Sprint Final, and I am of course very disappointed. As I wrote some days ago I was sick for 3 weeks in the beginning of June, but the last weeks my shape has become much better, and I felt finally prepared to fight for a good position in the final.

Now I will soon go cheering for my team mates in the final, that we be arranges from 16.00 - 18.15 tonight. The race can be followed live on Norwegian television (NRK2) and on the WOC live centre.

Solid sprintkvalifisering av damene,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

WOC preparations in Switzerland and Trondheim

I have not been writing anything on this page for more than one month, and that is mainly because I was sick for several weeks in June, and it's not too motivating to write news when things are not going as you have planed. But the last weeks my training has worked well, and I now feel ready to run the World Champs sprint in Lausanne on Saturday.

In the end of May I got sick for one week in front of the Norwegian WOC selection races. I had to skip the long distance, was running the Norwegian Championship in Sprint without any success, then got worse again and also had to skip the middle distance. Anyway I was selected to run the WOC sprint and the WC in Switzerland.

The following week my shape was very up and down. I rested for some days before I felt fine and started with easy training. Then I felt worse, and took some more resting days before I started to train again. In the weekend I got really sour throat, and had to take several more days without running. To not risk being sick even longer I skipped the big Jukola relay, and started with very easy training when my team mates in Lidingö traveled to Finland.

After being more or less sick for 3 weeks I could finally start to train normal again in the beginning of the same week as the World Cup was arranged in Switzerland. It was decided that I skipped Saturdays middle distance, and was only running Sundays sprint. The days before the race I got some nice sprint trainings.

The World Cup sprint was held in the historical center of St. Gallen. It went OK in the beginning, but I started to feel really tired already in the big climb to the 5th control. To the 6th control I ran on the wrong side of an impassable wall, had to turn, and lost 30 seconds. The rest of the course I lost some seconds on each leg, without doing any mistakes. Maybe not so strange since this was my first hard session for more than 3 weeks. My result was a disappointing 31st place.

After the WC we stayed 4 days in Lausanne, and I got several good sprint trainings in the area. Even if I trained hard I felt better physical for each day, and also technical I got a good flow in my orienteering.

After the training camp in Switzerland I went to Trondheim for almost 2 weeks to visit family and friends and to do the last preparation for the World Champs. Last week I trained a interval block, with 9 hard sessions in 7 days. It was really though, and I was not feeling to well on all sessions, but the last days I felt strong and I got a good feedback on the last track session.

Tuesday I travelled back to Switzerland, and yesterday I trained my last hard session with sprint orienteering intervals in Lausanne. Now the training job is done, and I can just relax and prepare mentally for the WOC sprint in Lausanne on Saturday. The qualification will 9.00 - 11.00 and the final 16.00 - 18.15, and you can follow the final live on Norwegian television (NRK2) and on the WOC live centre. My picture gallery from WOC will be updated during the championship.

Vil være med i medaljekampen,