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Athlete Profile: Rachel May

Born 1999
Hometown Salmon Arm, BC
Currently living Salmon Arm, BC
Club Sage Orienteering Club
Occupation Student

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Orienteering at two small meets in Norway.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

Canadian Orienteering Championships

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Junior World Orienteering Championships

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I can speak Norwegian.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

To place in the top 6 at Nationals in cross-country skiing in March.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Maintaining focus with the map in detailed terrain and being able to recognize when I start getting lost and losing contact with the map.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I’m not really involved in orienteering outside of running myself.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

I would tell a beginner or intermediate orienteer not to worry when they make mistakes and to try to figure out why and where their mistake started in order to avoid mistakes the next time around. Don’t let a mistake define your race because there is always a positive side to every race even if the most obvious thing is the mistake.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I use GPS in order to be able to better analyze where I went when I run and where I actually ended up when I make mistakes.

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Rachel is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Graeme Farrand

Born 2000
Hometown Hamilton, ON
Currently living Hamilton, ON
Club Don’t Get Lost
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

A highlight form my 2016 season was racing in the swiss o-week. It was really fun racing in an international event on different terrain than I am use to. Plus, I got to meet people on the Canadian Junior team who had come from JWOC.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I am excited for the Canadian Nationals in Ottawa, especially with the 150th of Canada, 50th of the nationals and 50th of Orienteering Canada.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

An orienteering race that I would like to do in the future is a 24-hour orienteering race. I think I would a good test of endurance and orienteering for me.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I am interested in computer programing and have made a program that can write music.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Keep up high marks in school as well as continuing to working my computer programing skills.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

I am currently working on visualization by thinking about the terrain I am in would look like on a map, especially when I don’t have a map of the area.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering?

I have worked at a running camp, which has orienteering as part of its program, for the past couple of summers as a counsellor.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

When you are running to a checkpoint keep looking at your map and follow long where you are on the map. This will get you more practice reading the map which is an essential part of orienteering as well as making you track your position making harder to get lost and easier to get unlost. It better to get to the checkpoint at bit slower than to run fast off and get lost.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

One of my favorite exercises is one I call Fibonacci stairs. Using a long set of stairs, you do repeats of the stairs with the number of stairs you do each time equal to where you are in the Fibonacci sequence (you do 1 step, 1 step, 2 step, 3 step and so on). Along with the stairs I like to do some core exercise after each repeat. This means you do more of the core exercise at the beginning when you are only doing 1 step but then by the end you are doing lots of steps.

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Graeme F is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: David Svoboda

Born 2000
Hometown Calgary, AB
Currently living Calgary, AB
Club FWOC
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

I had a great race at NAOC, coming in third and making few small mistakes.  I had made efficent route choices throughout the race and enjoyed the terrain.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

JWOC or JWOC Tour

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

JWOC or JWOC tour, OOCup, COC

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

I have many hobbies outside of sports such as playing guitar and drawing.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

I would like to excel in school and prepare myself for Business studies at the university.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on?

I am working on map reading and running at the same time time, gradually increasing pace

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizingevents…)

I contribute to the orientring community by volunteerring and helping to organize events.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

The most important factor is that you enjoy the race and have fun on the course.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

I analyze my own runs, draw the route I took and compare it to other competitor’s routes. I do armchair orienteering.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

I enjoy running on contour only maps.  It improves my contour reading.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites favourites.

I use GPS watch to track my progress and condes to design courses.

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David S is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: David Bakker

Born 1999
Hometown Salmon Arm, BC
Currently living Salmon Arm, BC
Club Sag Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

COCs in Canmore were definitely the highlight.  I had a couple of solid races and loved the maps and mountains.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

JWOC, if I qualify.  Otherwise, I am really looking forward to the mayhem of the sprint heats at the Seattle Adventure Running Tournament.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Jukola

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

The only time my older brother has beaten me in an orienteering event is when he walked entire course, and I mispunched.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Keep my GPA up in university, choose my major, and win a top-three provincial cross country skiing aggregate.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Precise compass bearings.  All of the terrain nearby is fairly detailed, so only rough compass bearings are really needed.  I really need to work on accurate bearings for other terrain types.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I have made about a dozen maps around Salmon Arm in the past few years, and organize several local events each year.  I also manage the Sage Orienteering Club website and Facebook page.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Make an orienteering map!  Your school, the forest behind your house, pretty much anything.  The process of making a map does wonders for solidifying the relationship between the map and terrain, and has the added advantage of forcing to learn the exact definitions of the different symbols.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I gps track all of my races and trainings.  When I get home from the event, I draw out my route before uploading the gps track to Quickroute and seeing exactly where I went.  I am also considering purchasing the new Virtual-O orienteering simulator for armchair training, but am waiting to see what more will be developed (currently there is a lack of maps – only two different ones!).

David is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Darya Sepandj

Born 1997
Hometown Calgary, AB
Currently living Canmore, AB
Club Foothills Wanders Orienteering Club
Occupation Athlete
Personal Sponsors Salomon

I started orienteering around the age of six with the Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club in Calgary. My first year consisted of holding my mother’s hand and eating cookies at the finish. The second year, I became more brave and started holding the compass. By my third year, I had mastered map holding. By the fourth year, I was willing to try Course 1 by myself. Following that I travelled around Canada and eventually found myself at the Swiss 5 days in 2012. I have been focused on biathlon for the past three years, but following the Icefields Parkway Orienteering Festival I have navigated back to orienteering (pun intended). I am now super stoked to be on the HPP team!    

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

My highlight of the season was running the last leg of the relay at the COCs and having my teammates running with me down the finish chute.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I am super excited for JWOC!!!

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

I’d love to run a sprint race in Venice.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

When I’m really excited I do cartwheels.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Outside orienteering my goals are the represent Canada at Youth/Junior World Championships for biathlon. As well as continue to pursue my education.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Route choice and map simplification.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I have done some coaching, mapping and have organized a couple of events. I even organized a biathlon orienteering event in the fall. I have also designed binder covers, a buff and a hat for FWOC and SOGO.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

My favourite training exercises are relocation exercises. Someone brings you to point on the map and you have to figure out where you are. It is very challenging and gives me the confidence to bail out when I need to.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I have been using 3DRerun by World of O. I can access maps from all around the world and compare route choices. It is a lot of fun and easy to use. I can run a WOC race at the comfort of my own couch!

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Darya is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program

Vote for Orienteering Achievement of the Year

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16 athletes from 10 countries are nominated for the annual poll to find the most impressive achievements in international orienteering. The poll is organized by World of O and voting is open until December 12th.

Winning a Gold medal at the World Championships is always a great achievement – but sometimes winning a Bronze medal or a 4th place (hint, hint) can be an even bigger achievement – based on what your starting point was. You can check out the background stories to “The Orienteering Achievement of the Year” to help you decide what you think are the best orienteering achievements of the year.

It is great for the sport to see excellent nominations for athletes from nations which are traditionally not on top of the result lists in international orienteering, like Belarus, Canada, Moldova and New Zealand. It’s very exciting to see Canada’s Emily Kemp on this list! All these athletes have accomplished exceptional orienteering achievements in 2016 – along with the nominated athletes from the more established top nations in orienteering Switzerland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland and Russia.

Voting is open from December 7th until December 12th using the following links:
The Orienteering Achievement of 2016 – Men
The Orienteering Achievement of 2016 – Women

There are some great prizes available too.

Save

Athlete Profile: Steffan Lloyd

Steffan Lloyd - Picture 3

Born 1990
Hometown Chelsea, QC
Currently living Umeå, Sweden (or Ottawa, ON)
Club Gotlands Bro OK
Occupation Web designer
Training log n/a

Which of your 2015 results are you most proud of and why?

I wasn’t competing seriously in 2015 for orienteering, however in skiing I had a number of strong finishes – in the 15 km classic event at the National Championships in Thunder Bay, I finished in 24th position nationally, which was a strong placing for me. I was also happy because I skied well, paced myself properly, and was able to really leave everything on the course.

I also had a 10th place finish in the Eastern Canadian Championships in Gatineau QC. This was also a very strong finish for me and a race in which everything went right, and I was able to race above my own ability.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2016?

A lot of this is all very new to me, so it’s hard to say! I’m excited to race in Orienteering races in Europe, which are so much larger than anything I’m used to. If possible, I’d like to join a team to do the Jukola. Obviously world champs as well :)

Where is your favourite place to orienteer in Canada?

P17, in Ottawa (meech lake valley)! Super fun course, not many trails and lots of interesting terrain and features.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Jukola

What do you like to do when you aren’t orienteering? Tell us about one or more of your hobbies/activites.

I come from a cross country skiing background, so obviously I love doing that as well as the usual other cross training sports – biking, running, etc…

I also enjoy cooking, baking, reading, or learning something new.

What are some of your 2016 goals outside of orienteering?

Do the vasaloppet! Also, I just moved to Sweden, so integrate and learn the language, etc…

What’s your favourite orienteering discipline and why?

I love doing Score-O’s – generally my weaknesses are technical these advantage me – plus the added difficulty of choosing your route through all the controls, estimating how many you’ll be able to get, all add a lot of fun to the event.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering?

Nothing as of yet… (although I do usually help pick up the flags after races, if that’s something).

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

Again, not having done much orienteering specific training it’s a bit tricky to answer this in a relevant way, but I really enjoy any kind of cross training that is new and fun. A particular favourite of mine while skiing was going backcountry skiing – still a very good workout, but technically very difficult to do on single track trails.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps  watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I am actually the owner/creator of SportLog.ca, an online training log that I made specifically for cross country ski athletes! And I’m also in the process of doing a major remake of the software at the moment.

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Steffan is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2016 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Brent Godman

Brent Godman - Picture

Born 1985
Hometown Rute, Gotland, Sweden
Currently living Visby, Gotland, Sweden
Club Gotlands Bro OK
Occupation Cadastral surveyor
Training log Attackpoint

Which of your 2015 results are you most proud of and why?

Helg utan Älg: Season ending two-days race on home soil against good Swedish competition. Ended third overall after two solid races. Not too great speed but very good orienteering with no more than 2 min mistakes during 2 hours runtime.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2016?

WOC middle distance and first leg on the WOC relay.

Where is your favourite place to orienteer in Canada?

Only ever orienteered around Kamloops when I was there in the fall of 2008. Very open and not too challengieng except for very hilly on some parts.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Scottish 6-days. A race at Cappadocia in Turkey.

What do you like to do when you aren’t orienteering? Tell us about one or more of your hobbies/activities.

Play around with my two kids, Lewis 3 years and Emmett 1 year. Also very active trainer to the 13-16 year olds in the club.

What are some of your 2016 goals outside of orienteering?

Have an awesome and laid back time when off ”duty”, if that is ski trip to the Alps in March, home with sick kids in May or partying during the WOC after party.

What’s your favourite orienteering discipline and why?

Hard question. I really enjoy all disiplines with probably the long as a favourite. But result wise I do perform best at sprint and middle distance as I tend to take good choices while under time pressure.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I have been involved with the youth training in my club the past two years. I have also been one of the main course setters for all club trainings.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Always try to analyze your race or training. Ask yourself the questions: What was the purpose of the training? Did you learn what was meant? Do you need to draw learing of eventual mistakes?

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

I most often try to recap my races and trainings to learn from what I did for mistakes and what I might need to improve.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

Rerun of older races, trying to optimize the route as best as possible.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, gps watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I have used a gps-watch since a few years back along with the sofware Quickroute for technical follow-up. With the new software Livelox is is now very much easier to follow-up on your race or training.

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Brent is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2016 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Christian Michelsen

Born 1999
Hometown Hamilton, ON
Currently living Hamilton, ON
Club DontGetLost
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

The only result I’m really proud of 2016 is the NAOC long, I made a few good size mistakes but had some good legs I was proud of as well. All my races went fairly poorly during jwoc, however the middle qualifier went the best since I somewhat recovered from a 2 minute mistake on the first control.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

I’d like to do Jukola and skip going to graduation if I can manage to write my exams early. Also assuming I make JWOC next year I am excited for the long distance.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Tiomila is a race I would like to attend at some point.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

….depends on your classification of fun

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Run track for the first time since grade 5, I would set a goal but I have no idea what time I should pick or exact race I’ll run yet. Other then that I don’t know, but if I feel like doing something, I’ll make sure I’ll do/achieve it.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

I am currently focusing on visualizing and knowing the features I want to use before I see them (having a plan rather than going with the flow). I’d also like to improve on focusing completely on orienteering when I’m racing and power through the tedious/simple sections where I stop focusing on orienteering.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (eg, coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

I volunteer and coach with DONTGETLOST’s adventure running kids program. I use to map the occasional sprint map, but none recently.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Most importantly have fun and only work on it as long as it keeps being fun. I think it is also important to get out to some major races in Europe if possible because the competition is so much bigger and better than in North America. It really shows you the level you should be at to truly be good. A key thing is also to find people to train with because this motivates you so much more and instead of becoming work it’s now fun.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

My favourite orienteering exercise would have to be Otervals. It allows me to orienteer at fast pace, preparing me for actual races, and in the case a mistake is made it allows me to start from scratch on the next interval and forget about the mistake..

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Christian is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program.

Athlete Profile: Tomas Graham

Born 1998
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Ottawa Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Competing at JWOC for the first time. Even though I was just an alternate, it was a totally unique and inspiring experience competing amongst the best in the world in such a beautiful area.

Which race/races are you most excited about for 2017?

JWOC of course. But especially COC because it’s going to be the 50th COC, on Canada’s 150th, and all taking place in my hometown!

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

The Barkley Marathon. A 5-day, 100-mile footrace through Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee. It’s been called the hardest race in the world and “the race that eats its young”.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

Outside of athletics, I enjoy music and play several instruments.

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

To do well in school and to excel in speed skating.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Mostly mental things like quick decision-making and pre-race relaxation.

Tell us about other ways you are involved in orienteering (e.g. coaching, mapping, organizing events…)

Although I’m often preoccupied with other affairs, I do my best to get involved with local orienteering meets. I might be putting up/taking down flags, preparing refreshments, and mentoring younger, first-time orienteers.

What sort of mental training do you do to improve your orienteering?

I sometimes get nervous before my races and lose my concentration and energy. To calm myself down, I try to remember tough races I’ve done in the past and think to myself “If I’ve finished all those race, there’s no reason I can’t do this one.” I might also use this technique if I think I’m panicking during my race.

How do you use technology tools or gadgets to enhance your training (software, apps, GPS watch, Catching Features, GoPro…)? Tell us about your favourites.

I regularly exercise using a Garmin Forerunner 220. It tracks distance, speed, heart rate, elevation, etc. It’s great for seeing what I’m succeeding in and what I need to improve on. There’s Attackpoint of course, where I can log all my training and view what other orienteers are doing. I also occasionally use QuickRoute, where you can overlay my GPS data of a run over a map.

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Tomas is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2017 High Performance Program