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Athlete Profile: Louise Oram

Photo credit: World of O

Born 1984
Hometown Vancouver, British Columbia
Currently living Oslo, Norway
Club Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Scientific Programmer, lecturer
Training log Attackpoint

 

What was one of the highlights of your 2016 season?

Racing NAOC back in North America, as I have missed the sense of community of the events in NA.

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

Tiomila, and hopefully some other fun relays.

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Hmm… I want to go back to the karst terrain in Slovenia, and also maybe orienteering on the French coast or in the rocks near Fontainebleau (the combination with French food makes this tempting).

Tell us one fun fact about yourself.

When I visit other countries, I like to see if I can find bubble tea…

What are some of your 2017 goals outside of orienteering?

Develop my career. Learn more Norwegian.

What orienteering technique are you currently working on to improve?

Being more aggressive in races.

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

Currently helping with our club’s attempt to get more people active outdoors in their own neighbourhood. “Stolpejakten” – which is a large area with easy posts we put out with QR codes and you can get a really big map and find as many as you want.

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Work on developing good habits early, like folding the map and looking at/using the compass often. Also, try to analyze your races and trainings – try to get to the root of what types of mistakes are you making, but also give yourself credit for what you did well.

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

Analyzing races (using GPS, or just drawing my route on the map). Looking at maps of areas where races will be and visualizing controls.

Describe one of your favourite training exercises.

Before WOC 2016 I tried to do more tempo runs in the terrain, even with different speed people the faster ones can zig zag a bit and others can cut. Good to work on running technique in the terrain.

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

Trying to use GPS more to analyze my races, particularly nice now when more and more races seem to be using livelox. For example:

https://www.livelox.com/Viewer/T-ffen/Herrer-T-ffen?classId=55286                                 

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

Athlete Profile: Michael Svoboda

 

Born 1999
Hometown Calgary, Alberta
Currently living Calgary, Alberta
Club Foothill Wanderers Orienteering Club
Occupation Engineering Student
Training log Attackpoint

What race are you looking forward to in 2019?

JWOC in Denmark, and possibly WOC

What is your favorite orienteering event that you have done so far?

The middle distance is my favorite because it’s the most interesting.

Which map in Canada do you think all orienteers have to try at least once?

Bow Valley in Alberta. Otherwise…. there are good maps around Ottawa and in the Yukon/Whitehorse. Whistler has approximately 2-3 good maps, and I haven’t been to other provinces.

How do you normally prepare for an important race?

I train consistently and correctly for the years coming up to it.

What do you like to do outside of orienteering?

Climbing. Studying.

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Michael S is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2019 High Performance Program

Coach Profile: Toni Louhisola

ToniLouhisola

Hometown Kirkkonummi, Finland
Currently living Helsinki, Finland
Club TuMe
Occupation Coach, Entrepreneur, Student

Please list your best and proudest orienteering achievements to date.
The big victory is still to come!

What is your first orienteering memory?
I was around 10 years old and our neighbour did orienteering. He used to run to work and back five days a week. It was 18 kilometers one way. From the beginning it was clear to me that orienteering is a tough sport.

What is your favourite orienteering story or experience?
There are many – the best stories have good characters who struggle in the beginning. They navigate through various challenges until the hard work starts paying off and they enjoy success and friendship.

Is there a particular map/area where you could never get sick of orienteering?
Plenty of good areas around the world – but to name one area: Southern coast of Finland in the spring time is still great.

If you could fly anywhere in the world to orienteer, where would you go, and why?
Can not wait to fly to Canada.

If you could get orienteering coaching from anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Walter/Wayne Gretzky or Jari Litmanen. Would be interested in learning from them.

What races are on your 2013 calendar?
Tiomila, Jukola, WOC, Nighthawk in August near Oslo

Aside from orienteering, what other sports do you do on a regular basis?
Xc-skiing, cycling/mtb, hopefully getting into surfing

What is your favourite pre-race breakfast/snack?
Some porridge or a banana, coffee.

Tell us something that we might not know about you…
I am left footed and right handed.

 

Coach Profile: Brent Langbakk

BrentLangbakk

Hometown Whitehorse, Yukon
Currently living Whitehorse, Yukon
Club Yukon Orienteering Association
Occupation College English Instructor
Training log Attackpoint
Blog www.langbakk.com

Please list your proudest 2012 orienteering moment.
JWOC Women’s Relay 13th. All of the athletes performed really well.

Please list your best and proudest orienteering achievements to date.
YOA Junior Program. Being the first Athletes’ Rep and helping establish the HPP.

What is your first orienteering memory?
I didn’t start orienteering until I was 29 and I was a decent runner. It’s not the very first but one of my earliest memories was running Ontario Relay Champs with GHO. Somehow Mike Waddington found out the first leg wasn’t forked so he told me to follow Mark Tarnopolsky around the course. At one point Mark made a small mistake and stopped to relocate. I just stood there and waited for him to figure it out. I had no idea where we were. Mark tagged off first and I tagged off second about 2 steps behind him.

What is your favourite orienteering story or experience?
As a coach, it was watching Emily Kemp finish 3rd in the JWOC long. As an athlete WOC was always special but running World Cup during Oringen in front of 15000 spectators was a unique experience.

Is there a particular map/area where you could never get sick of orienteering?
Long Lake, Whitehorse. I have run on this map over a hundred times. Still if we have a meet there, I make a point of going.

If you could fly anywhere in the world to orienteer, where would you go, and why?
Venice. The street race looks amazing. I am no longer seriously competing so it would be as much for the tourist experience.

If you could get orienteering coaching from anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be, and why?
Lars Lindstrøm and Olivier Coupat because they have done incredible things with their respective national team programs.

What races are on your 2013 calendar?
JWOC
Canadian Champs
Yukon Champs

Aside from orienteering, what other sports do you do on a regular basis?
Cross-country skiing
Mountain biking
Badminton

What is your favourite pre-race breakfast/snack?
I usually have cereal with banana and soy milk but I’m not that particular as long as I eat at least three hours before I race.

Tell us something that we might not know about you….
I represented Canada at WOC 5 times. I was Sport Yukon’s Coach of the Year in 2010.

Athlete profile: Robbie Graham

Born 1996
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Ottawa Orienteering Club
Occupation Unemployed
Training log Attackpoint
Twitter @thekilograham
Instagram @robbiejaroslav

What race are you looking forward to in 2019?

Team trials in Harriman State Park and hopefully the WOC Long distance!

What is your favorite orienteering event that you have done so far?

Jukola 2016 with a team (almost) completely from Ottawa! Between the mud and the mosquitos, it was one of the most interesting orienteering experiences in my life.

Which map in Canada do you think all orienteers have to try at least once?

Lewes Lake, used for the NAOC Middle Distance. The mix of positive and negative topography made for some really interesting navigation.

How do you normally prepare for an important race?

Focus on getting in the zone mentally. Going over in my head my plan for the race, what types of I’m going to focus on. Chug 6 energy gels, blast Nic Manfredi, send it.

What do you like to do outside of orienteering?

I like cross country skiing, biking, hiking, canoeing, and camping. When I’m not outside I like listening to cool music and I’m a big fan of Marvel movies and TV shows!

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Robbie is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2019 High Performance Program.

Athlete Profile: Pia Blake

Born 1996
Hometown Whitehorse, Yukon
Currently living Burnaby, BC
Club Yukon Orienteering Association, but training with Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

What race are you looking forward to in 2019?

I am looking forward to POM and Lipica Open this spring, and hopefully competing at WOC this summer!

What is your favourite orienteering event that you have done so far?

This past summer when YOA hosted the NAOCs was a definite highlight of the year, but the atmosphere at the bigger Scandinavian relay races cannot be beat!

Which map in Canada do you think all orienteers have to try at least once?

Either Lewes Lake or Long Lake in Whitehorse, although everyone who came to NAOC/COCs got a chance in 2018!

How do you normally prepare for an important race?

I like to start months in advance, with training on similar terrain and studying maps of the area.

What do you like to do outside of orienteering?

As I am in Whitehorse this winter, I am loving being able to cross-country ski again!

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Pia is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2019 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Adam Woods

Born 1994
Hometown Coquitlam, BC
Currently living Coquitlam, BC
Club Greater Vancouver Orienteering Club
Occupation Software developer
Training log Attackpoint
Twitter Name @_runwoodsrun

What race are you looking forward to in 2019?

The long distance race at the World Orienteering Championships – it’s the one I’m training for.

What is your favorite orienteering event that you have done so far?

The 2016 World University Orienteering Championship Sprint at Lillafured. The tiered garden with impassable wall made it feel like orienteering in a maze.

Which map in Canada do you think all orienteers have to try at least once?

The Cypress River Sandhill map in Manitoba is a fun but challenging map that’s entirely, contours, yellow + green.  Since the 2017 Western Canadian Orienteering Championships were criminally under attended, a lot of Canadian orienteers have yet to experience this unique terrain.

How do you normally prepare for an important race?

The reviewing old maps of the race area and planning course on them. That said, my most important race prep is ensuring I get enough sleep in the weeks leading up to the competition. It’s very helpful to start a race rested and healthy.

What do you like to do outside of orienteering?

I play board games every chance I get, and went to my first board game convention this year.

I read 50+ books a year ( mostly Sci-Fi and Fantasy) and listen to a bunch of nerdy voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons via the Critical Role podcast.

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Adam is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2019 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Trevor Bray

Trevor Bray - Picture

Born 1995
Hometown Whitehorse, Yukon
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Yukon Orienteering Association
Occupation Student
Training log Attackpoint

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

Fishbones/COC races

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

NAOC and COC

Where is your favourite place to orienteer in Canada?

A tie between Ottawa and Whitehorse

What race/event is on your orienteering bucket list?

Jukola, 10mila, Nighthawk and the Scottish 6 day

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

When I’m not orienteering or doing school work you can usually find me hanging out or going on adventures with some friends!

What are some of your 2016 goals outside of orienteering?

Finish up my third year of my degree at university

What’s your favourite orienteering discipline and why?

Probably the middle distance because it is the most challenging and rewarding of all the disciplines.

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

I have done coaching back in Whitehorse as well as some coaching in the Sass Peepre Camp

What tip would you give a beginner or intermediate orienteer?

Don’t overcomplicate things. Simplicity is key to having a calm and smooth race.

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

I do lots of mental training exercises including relaxation sessions, map studying and focusing exercises

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

 

 

 

Athlete Profile: Alexander Bergström

Born 1995
Hometown Ottawa, ON
Currently living Ottawa, ON
Club Orienteering Ottawa
Occupation  Tree marker
 Training log  Attackpoint

What race are you looking forward to in 2019?
The Canadian champs taking place north of Montreal. I’m excited to run on news maps fairy close to home.

What is your favourite orienteering event that you have done so far?
JWOC 2015 in Norway. It was some of the best terrain I’ve ever orienteered in, plus some incredible scenery.

Which map in Canada do you think all orienteers have to try at least once?
The Hopewell Rocks in the Bay of Fundy!

How do you normally prepare for an important race?
Go to bed early, and have a big breakfast.

What do you like to do outside of orienteering?
Woodworking, and making and fixing things.

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Alexander B is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2019 High Performance Program

Athlete Profile: Tori Owen

Born 1991
Hometown Calgary, AB
Currently living Calgary, AB
Club Foothills Wanderers Orienteering Club
Occupation ICU Nurse
Training log Attackpoint

What race are you looking forward to for 2018?

I am really excited to head back up to the Yukon for NAOC and COCs 2018. Such a magical place!

When did you start orienteering?

I think we have a photo of me as a baby playing with my Mum’s map, so on and off most of my life.

What is your best orienteering memory?

I really like the community that is involved in almost every orienteering meet I go to. Whether it is a local meet or an international competition. Orienteers are such a neat enthusiastic group of people!

What is your fabourite type of orienteering event and why? 

I think we all live for that perfect middle or long race where the map is making sense and you’re reading ahead and it feels like you’re flying.

What’s the best orienteering advice that you’ve received?

If you start to be even a little unsure where you are, slow down. Seems obvious, but I think we have all been guilty of ignoring the little voice in our head!

What are some of your 2018 goals outside of orienteering?

I am hoping to start my master’s degree in the fall.

Tori is a member of Orienteering Canada’s 2018 High Performance Program.