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Coach Profile: Raphael Ferrand

Raphael Ferrand

Born 1986
Hometown Grenoble, France
Currently living Oslo, Norway
Club Grenoble Université Club
Occupation Orienteering and physical coach, and web designer

Please list your best and proudest orienteering achievements to date.
As an athlete when I was in the French group. And as a coach each time one of the athletes I coach manages to reach his/her goal, no matter how “high” it is.

What is your first orienteering memory?
The first time as a competitor was with my family. My brothers came willing to show off their athletic skills, wearing running shorts and sleeveless tee-shirts, fighting with the organisation to be allowed to run the hardest class route. They came back all covered in blood from feet to head. So late that everybody was already home.

What is your favourite orienteering story or experience?
I remember two particular stories from Orienteering that could be on cinema.

The first takes place in the last leg of the 2005 Tiomila, between Petr Losman running for SNO and Tore Sandvik for Halden. Because of the non-forking, of the Swedish relay rules, and of the level of his opponents, Petr tactic was to follow Tore the whole leg, not letting him 1 meter. Tore who understood Petr tactic faked a head-lamp problem in order to let some distance between them two and not having Petr following him. But sticking to his tactic, Petr waited for him walking in the starting corridor. The whole race’s been like this. Petr not even pretending to do orienteering. Not even when Tore told him off or when he pretended to be lost. No. Assuming the whole time that he was following him. And so arrived the last control. Tore, a few meters in front, maybe because of the anger and the lack of focus, took a bad lane. And Petr just sprinted in the good one and won the Tiomila 2005. Who said Orienteering cannot be entertaining?

The second one is a nice one. This one takes place in 2009, in the WOC relay, last leg. The Swedish runner leading, Martin Johansson got penetrated 12cm deep by a stick. But the Czech Michael Smola, the Norwegian Anders Nordberg and the French Thierry Gueorgiou stopped there their race to help him, one going to call for help while the two others were applying some compression to the wound with their GPS harness and their shirt, and carrying him to a road. Letting go away the medals.

Is there a particular map/area where you could never get sick of orienteering?
Sisteron-Forcalquier area in France.

If you could fly anywhere in the world to orienteer, where would you go, and why?
Tepuy Roraima in Venezuela, the inaccessible House of Gods.

If you could get orienteering coaching from anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Thierry Georgiou, because he’s an orienteering technique brainiac. And Emil Zatopek for his love of sport and fair-play over the results.

Aside from orienteering, what other sports do you do on a regular basis?
Xc-skiing, trail running, and mountain-bike.

What is your favourite pre-race breakfast/snack?
A big fat poutine ! No, I try not to have too many routines, it makes us weak.

Tell us something that we might not know about you….
I can touch the tip of my nose with my tongue.

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