Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Park World Tour in China

In the last half of October I spent a week in China participating in Park World Tour. This was the fifth time I was going for PWT in China, and it has always been one of the seasons highlights:-)

The tour this year was called Vasa PWT Orienteering Festival, and was arranged by Nordic Ways, that are organizing a lot of different events on China in typical nordic sports such as skiing, running, orienteering and biking.

The first races was held in Changchun, 1000 km north east of Beijing, where I ran PWT last year and also participated in the Chinese Vasaloppet in 2011.

PWT-prologue, Changchun
The first racing day it was held two competitions, and we started with a Prologue in the morning. It was 3 km course with a combination of middle distance and sprint character. I did an OK performance, but I lost some time to the winner Mårten Boström the last half of the course because of the route choice to the 8th control, a small mistake to the 9th control and generally to slow running speed.

Østerbø nummer 9 i Kina,

PWT-1 Sprint, Changchun
In the evening the first real PWT race was held as a Sprint in Changchun Sculpture Park. My race was again OK, even if I lost some seconds several places, but I felt the winner Yannick Michiels was running very fast.

The PWT China tour 2013 on the way,
- Manglet litt fart,

PWT-2 Middle, Changchun
The following day we ran a Middle distance in a really nice forest with mainly great runnability and several counter details.

My speed was good enough to fight for a top position, and I did also a good technical performance, but a huge parallel mistake to the 18th control destroyed a good result. I left the valley one spur earlier then I had planned, and was quite confused when I came to a control with code 48 in stead of 47. The control I came to was the 20th control, that I should have on the second loop, and in total I lost 1 minute on the mistake and a possible to 3 position. Edgars Bertuks won the men's class, and in the women's class Karolin Ohlsson won all the three first races.

China tour continues with middle distance,
Parallelfeil ødela for topplassering,

After two intensive days with three races in Changchun the plan was to fly to Beijing the next morning, and have the last race the same evening. Unfortunately it was very foggy, and we had to wait on the airport for 7 hours before we could fly to Beijing. The last race was therefore postponed one day.

PWT-3 Sprint, Beijing
The race in Beijing was a sprint held in the Ruins of Yuanmingyuan Park. It was a great area for a sprint race, and the water and bridges made it passible to make complex route choice legs.

After being too slow in the first sprint race I tried to open more offensive today, and succeed quite well. Unfortunately I lost a few seconds on some of the route choices in the first part of the race, but I did well in the control picking part and managed also too keep up the speed in the easier last part. My result was a 2nd place, 6 seconds behind Yannick Michiels, and it was great to end the tour with a good result.

PWT China tour 2013 concluded in Beijing,
Sekunder fra seier,

The Great Wall
After the race we went directly to the Great Wall. The weather was quite bad, compared to last year, and most of us was running on the wall to avoid getting cold. The wall is partly very steep, and it was quite slippery on the wet stones. In the evening we had a Beijing Duck dinner.

The following day I spent shopping and in the evening we had another fun night with good food and happy people. The last day I got a haircut and had a short run before the flight home.

I want to thank Nordic Ways (with Gåvert Wååg as General Manager), Jaroslav Kacmarcik (who had contract with the runners and fixed most with maps and curses) and all the runners participating for making this great trip possible!

In my Picasa you can find 200 pictures from PWT in China. My pictures from 2010 and 2012 can also be worth a look.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Busy autumn season

The last two month has been really busy for me, with a lot of competitions and several training camps. The short periods I have been home I have spent my time working, and unfortunately not had time to update this blog with maps and pictures.

Since the beginning of September I have had this program:
  • WOC 2014 training camp with the Norwegian National team in Asiago in Italy
  • Norwegian Champs on Kongsberg
  • Races in Alta Badia and WOC training in Asiago in Italy
  • Arranging and running Lidingöloppet home on Lidingö in Stockholm
  • World Cup final in Baden in Switzerland
  • WOC training camp with IFK Lidingö in Asiago in Italy
  • 25manna relay in Stockholm
  • Park World Tour in China
  • Smålandskavlen relay in Oskarshamn

Now I have my season break, and will finally have time to publish some maps, pictures and short reports. Yesterday I wrote about IFK Lidingö's victory in Smålandskavlen, and tomorrow I will write about PWT in China. I had planed to make some updates from China, but since many apps and websites (like Facebook, Twitter, Blogger and Picasa) are blocked there it made in difficult.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Victory in Smålandskavlen with IFK Lidingö

Last weekend I ended my orienteering season competing in the traditional relay Smålandskavlen in Oskarshamn south east in Sweden. The terrain was really nice, and I got a good feeling after Saturdays training.

Anders Carlsson and Filip Dahlgren gave us an excellent start of the relay, being 4th and 1st on the two individual night legs, and Niklas Serrander could start the first day leg in the lead. Niklas has been sick this autumn and is not in his best shape, but did an impressive performance doing almost none mistakes.

I started out on the 4th leg as 3rd runner, 3 min behind Scott Fraser (SNO) and 11 sec behind Jacob Lööf (Malungs). I lost 10 - 30 sec to both the 2nd, 3rd and 4th control, and got caught by Jere Pajunen (Kalevan Rasti) that started 50 sec after me. He held a good speed, but to the 7th control I passed him, and after that I was mostly first of us. I was accurate in my orienteering, and felt I ran pretty well.

The 14th and 15th control was forked, and I took over the lead, passing SNO and Malungs without knowing it. To the 17th I was running to the left of the march, and just before the control I met both KR, SNO and Malaungs who had been running to the right. To the 18th I ran too much to the right, and needed to use the last longer leg to catch up a 15 sec gap to the others. I managed to pass Malungs and KR in the run in, and could change over as 2nd team, 3 sec behind SNO.

Fredrik Johansson did an excellent last leg. Together with Malungs and SNO he managed to run away from Thierry Gueorgiou (KR), who was tired, and in the same forking where I took over the lead he took an other route then the others, increased his speed, and managed to come alone to the finish. It was a great feeling to end the season winning one of the big relays together with my mates in IFK Lidingö! Results and GPS tracking

Fredrik Johansson avgjorde Smålandskavlen,

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

WOC 2014 training in Italy

Last week I spent on a training camp with the Norwegian National Team in Asiago in Italy, preparing for the World Orienteering Championships held in july next summer.

In total I did 7 trainings in forest, 3 sprint trainings and one easy run to a peak in the mountains. The weather was great, the spirit in the team good and we had in total a really nice training week in the Italian mountains.

I have not uploaded my maps to DOMA yet, but you can find most of the maps on Silje Ekroll Jahren's homepage.

One of the days we spent in Venice, where the WOC Sprint Final will be arranged. As a second training that day I ran most of the Women's Elite course from the Venice Orienteering Meeting arranged in 2009. To the left you can see my competition map from the race. (The embargoed area for WOC is east of my map + the area north of the 23nd control.)

In my Picasa you find pictures from the whole week in Italy. Most of them are from Venice.

At the moment I'm having some easy days, before the Norwegian Championships on Kongsberg starts on Thursday. Long distance, Middle Qual and Final, and Relay will be held 4 days in row, so it will be a though weekend.

Friday, September 6, 2013

MNM and Norwegian mountains

In the end of August I spent one and a half week in the middle part of Norway. The first weekend I compeeted in the regional championship held a few hours drive south of Trondheim.

Friday’s sprint was held in Røros, where I ran my first WC race (in 2002, finishing 6th). Unfortenately the race this year was not held in the historical centre (on the UNESCO list), but in a combination of a slope with forest and a desert (the biggest in North Europe). Not that type of terrain I prefer for a sprint, and also a too long course, but still a nice race. I did mainly a good perforformance, but lost the lead to the last control, and finished 3rd, 5 seconds behind Magne Dæhli.

Saturday’s Long distance was held in a interesting area east of Os, with several different types of terrain, but tougher physical than it looks like because of undervegetation und rough ground. I did OK in the beginning, except a huge (2.30 min) mistake to the 7th control because I didn't trust my orienteering and stopped 30 m before the control. The last half of the course I was very tired, and did also several mistakes in the area from the 24th to the 28th control. Bjørn Ekeberg won, and I came 8th, far behind.

Sunday I skipped the relay (held on yesterdays map, but in a partly different area), and did in stead a long run from Røros, throgh Møllmansdalen, and over the mountain to the arena of the race. I did also parts of a relay course as training, and was in totalt running 33 km in 3 h 30 min. Pictures from MNM.

The first part of last week I spent in Trondheim, before I went to the mountains for some days. Wednesdays evening we drove to Rondane, and walked to Ronvassbu. Thuesday we hiked to the top of Rindeslottet (2179 m.a.s.l.). It was nice, and not too though. Pictures from Rondeslottet.

In the evening we drove to Turtagrø, and Friday we hoped to climb Store Skagadølstind, Norways third highest peak (2405 m.a.s.l.). The weather was nice and we got a great hike. But because you shold have climbing equipment, it was some ice one the rocks, and clouds on the skies we skipped trying to get to the highest peak, and turned after the North peak. The view was anyway great, as you can see on the pictures from Skagadølstind.

This week I'm on WOC 2014 training camp in Italy with the Norwegian team, and I will hopefully make an update in the beginning of next week.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Colombia - New York

After World Games in Cali I stayed one extra week in Colombia to explore more of the country. I was traveling together with the four Czech runners the whole week, and also the Norwegian coach Petter Thoresen the first days.

It was difficult to decide what we should do since Colombia is a huge country, Cali is not the most touristic part of it, and we only had 6 days. I could have liked to go to some of the high mountains (more than 5000 m.a.s.l.), but it was a bit complicated and dangerous. It could also have been nice to go the the Caribbean coast, but then we needed to fly some hours North.

The day after the relay and closing ceremony we decided to head West to the Pacific coast, and took a bus to Buenaventura. The plan was to continue directly with boat one hour North to a beach resort, since Buenaventura is seen on as one of the most dangerous cities in Colombia because most of the cocaine is shipped out from there. But the last boat had departed when we arrived, and we had to stay in Buenaventura for a night. That went fine, and we felt totally safe.

The next day we took the first boat to Juanchaco/Ladrilleros. It was a nice place, even if it's not the same standard as we have home, and I found it quite similar to Kenya and Zanzibar, where I was two years ago. We took it quite easy and enjoyed life. I tried wave surfing, that as expected was difficult. We also went for whale watching.

After two days we took the boat back to Buenaventura, and bus to Lake Calima, that is the best place for wind surfing in Colombia. I tried kite surfing, and learned how to handle the kite after two hours with a guide.

After two days with Lake Calima we headed back to Cali, and stayed there the last night. The city was now more quiet when during World Games. All people we meet in Colombia was very friendly and more open mined then I'm used to from home. But before I go back to South America next time I will try to learn some spanish, because that makes it much more easy to communicate with people. Pictures from the holiday in Colombia.

On my way back to Europe I had a two day stop in New York City. I have never been there before, and found this a good time to take a stopover, since I anyway had to change flight. New York was as expected a fascinating city, with a lot of opportunities. I was staying on central Manhattan, and tried to see  the most famous tourist attractions like Central Park, Empire State Building, Central Terminal, Rockefeller Center, the Statue of Liberty, Broadway, Times Square and Maddison Square Garden.

I did also two long runs in Central Park. The first run was more sightseeing and I took a lot of pictures. During the last run I did a 10 km long orienteering course. I could of course spent more days in NY, but I will save that for next time I'm coming back, then hopefully not traveling alone. Pictures from New York.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

World Games in Cali - Thoughts about terrains and general impressions

Yesterday I was writing about the World Games races held in Cali in Colombia the first week of August. The races was not the success I had hoped for, but World Games was still a great memory for me. Today I will start with some thoughts about the maps/terrains and than continue with some general impressions from the whole World Games in Cali. 

Maps and courses
I have seen some people complaining about the courses in World Games, and also other international events held the previous years. The main goal with an international event is not necessarily to serve the runners as difficult courses as possible in a nice untouched forest, but to show up the sport.

It's also very individual what type of terrain different runners prefer. Runners who only prefer to run in a specific type of terrain can stay home, or go to smaller races in terrains they like. But as an elite runner on international level you should be able to handle all type of terrains. I can admit that the terrains used for World Games was not the most interesting, but it was probably the best you could find in Cali, and it was still challenging and you needed to run fast, make good route choices and avoid doing mistakes.

If we want orienteering to be a global sport we can't have all big events in for example Scandinavian forest. Someone will always think a course is too easy or too difficult, too long or too short, or the the terrain has too good runnability or are too bushy or stony. But if we want orienteering to grow as a sport we have to think positive and see opportunities, and not just complain about all that we don't like.

Other sports
During World Games we where also able to watch some of the other sports, such as trampoline and acrobatic gymnastics, canoe polo, rugby, korfball and beach handball.

We were eating most meals in a big tent where they served food for all athletes, and it was cool to watch the different type of  body the athletes in different sports had.

Norway won bronze medal in the women's beach handball, and we were able to watch the finals together with them. Brazil won not surprisingly for both men and women.

Closing Cermony
Even if the orienteering competitions was the most imported of World Games, the closing ceremony is my best memory from Cali.

It started with that all the athletes entered the big stadium with a capacity of 50.000 spectators, and after some speeched is became a great party, with a combination of performances by some of the biggest artists in Colombia, among them Carlos Vives, and dancing.

After the 3 hours long closing ceremony, we were some athletes who manged to enter the party for the 3500 volunteers, before we continued to a salsa club. The locals was very friendly the whole week, and glad to try to teach us salsa and other Latin American dances.

After World Games I stayed one week longer in Colombia on holiday, and I will write some word about that later.

Monday, August 19, 2013

World Games in Cali - The races

The first week in August I participated in World Games arranged in Cali in Colombia. Before the event I was writing about what World Games is:
- On my way to World Games in Colombia
- Miami - Cali 

In this post I will write about each of the races, and tomorrow I will continue with some thoughts about the maps/terrains and some general impressions from the whole World Games in Cali.
Sprint - DSQ
The first race was the Sprint, that was held in a mix of park and street area. It was not any big challenges, and mainly to choose right or left, and run as fast as possible. I was not feeling so fresh as I had hoped, and lost some time because of my running speed the whole course.

At the 18th control I held the 11th position. But to the 19th control I had a bad direction, came too much to the right and lost 20 seconds. On the last control I did not get any electronically punching, even if the spectators could see that I punched normally with my SI card, and I was disqualified from a possible 18th position. This is the first time I have been disqualified for a missing punch, even if it has been a problem with Sport Ident for many years, and I' can just be glad it has not happed to me before and that it was not a top performance I was disqualified from this time. Matthias Kyburz and Annika Billstam won, while Anne M. Hausken Nordberg won a silver medal to Norway. Results, splits and GPS tracking.

Middle - 13th place
The Middle distance was held in a forest area along a river, and nobody knew exactly what we could expect before the race. The forest was mainly quite dense, and it was smart to use the paths as much as possible, even if it was OK to run through the forest some places.

I was running pretty well the first half of the race, and at the map exchange I held the 7th position, 45 sec behind Matthias Kyburz. But in the end I did five 10 - 30 seconds mistakes, and ended up in 13th position. Kyburz won clearly, but it was positive to see that I was not more than one minute from the silver medal. Results, splits and GPS tracking.

Relay - DSQ
The Mixed Sprint Relay was held in partly the same area as the Middle, but had also a part with more parkland. Norway had a strong team, and was in my opinion among five teams who had a good chance to win a medal.

Carl Kaas and Mari Fasting sent me out on the 3rd leg in 5th position, 1 min behind the leading group. I did an OK performance, except to the 6th control, where I according to the GPS tracking lost 40 seconds since I passed my control with a few meters and visited an other forking before I went back to my control. I don't like to complain about forkings, but as you can see in the GPS tracking it's quite big differences in length, and unfortunately I had the longest most places. M. Kyburz was able to give Switzerland a huge lead, but we were still in 5th position, and the other team was within one minute in front of us.

Anne M. Hausken Nordberg did a good last leg, and finished as 2nd runner, but unfortunately we were disqualified since Mari had visited a wrong control. It was the 6th control, the same as I missed, and also Sweden, Great Britan and Czech Republic was disqualified for exactly the same! So it went out to be easier then expected to win a medal, and Austria was definitively the most happy team, winning the bronze, their first ever relay medal in an international championship. Results and GPS tracking.

IOF's World Games page has results, splits and GPS tracking from all the races. In my Picasa album you can find more than 250 pictures from the whole World Games week in Cali.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Miami - Cali

On my way to World Games in Colombia I decided to take a two days long stop in Miami. Even if I have been traveling quite much in my life I have never been in North or South America, and I found this a good time to visit USA, since it would split up the long travel and at the same time I would get some more days with acclimatization to the new time zone and climate with high density.

I was staying at Miami Beach, and took it quite easy. I did some shorter runs, relaxed on the beach and visited some shops and restaurants in the city. My hotel was in the Art Deco District, as you can see on the buildings on some of my pictures.

Tuesday my traveled continued to Cali in Colombia, and I met the others from the Norwegian World Games team. Wednesday we did a short run from the hotel (highest building in town) and relax a bit. Before dinner we watched some other sport, as you can see on my pictures. The security is taken very serious here, with a lot of police men everywhere, but all local people we have meet have been really friendly to us.

Today we have been on the Model Event. It was close to the area for tomorrows sprint race, but no very interesting, as you can see on the map. Model Events is often quite boring, since they save the best areas for the races, but shows how the map is drawn.

You can follow the events live with video streaming and GPS tracking on IOF's World Games page. The sprint starts 17.00 CET on Friday.

Last week I answered some questions for the IOF site, and today I was answering questions in the IOF live chat together with Matthias Kyburz and Maja Alm

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

On my way to World Games in Colombia

The coming weekend I'm going to compete in World Games in Cali in Colombia. World Games is a huge event with in total 4500 participants from 101 different nations competing in 31 different sports. It’s a sort of Olympic Games for Non Olympic Sports.

Together with the World Champs held in Finland some weeks ago World Games is the highlight of the season, and something I have been looking forward to for a long time. Since it's only arrange every 4th year, and that orienteering is part of such an huge event, I find it very special.

The program is as following:
  • Friday 2nd August: Sprint
  • Saturday 3rd August: Middle distance
  • Sunday 4th August: Mixed Relay
Jakter medalje i Colombia,

I have competed in World Games two times earlier, and it was a great experience both times.

World Games 2005 was held in Duisburg in Germany. It went really well for me and I finished 3rd in the Middle distance, beaten by Thierry Gueorgiou and Daniel Hubmann. In the relay I finished first on the first leg.

On my old homepage you can read more and find links to all the maps. As you can se on the pictures we were also on the Opening Ceremony and watching some other sports.

World Games 2009 was arranged in Kaohsiung in Taiwan. The Opening Ceremony was held in the new stadium build for the event, with a capacity of 55,000 people, and involved 4,000 performers

In the Sprint I got a 4th place, in the Middle distance I came 6th, and in the Relay I won a bronze medal together with Lars Skjeset, Mari Fasting and Elise Egseth (which also won bronze in the sprint).

On my old homepage you can find news with maps from the Sprint, Middle and Relay. Last week I also finally managed to upload my pictures from WG 2009 to Picasa.

At the moment I'm in Miami, where I have a one and a half day stop on my way to Colombia. I will try to update my blog with short reports from the races the coming weekend.