Thursday, May 25, 2017

Clare Durand: "I'm the only serious Trail Orienteer within a three hour drive"



To talk about Clare Durand is to talk about resilience. It’s in Lancaster, in the desert north of Los Angeles, in the United States, that we’re going to find her. Clare studied Geography and Computer Science, worked for the government making military maps, worked on movies and television as an assistant director and taught Mathematics. She’s now directing local musical theatre productions, is an active volunteer with the Girl Scouts and is writing a series of children’s spy novels. Enough? It seems not. She’s also building a small business, organizing local orienteering races and training. In the midst of this whole bustle, Clare doesn’t neglect her own preparation, as she’s one of the most prominent and committed North American Trail Orienteers.


How did Orienteering came to your life? Why Orienteering and why not Gymnastics, for example?

C. D. - As a child, I was a competitive swimmer. But I stopped swimming at the age of 15 to have more free time. I did a single trail-based orienteering event during college with a colleague but didn't pursue it. A few years later, I had moved to the East Coast and attended a beginner's event that I read about in the newspaper and was hooked. I've always really enjoyed maps, navigation, and hiking, so it's no doubt this was the sport for me.

Do you remember when you first did TrailO? Was it love at first sight?

C. D. - I first did TrailO at a demonstration event in Wyoming, around 2000. I did very well. This was exciting to me, because I am not a naturally talented runner, which makes it more difficult for me to have high placings in Foot Orienteering. But TrailO was something I could really excel in.

What do you see in TrailO that makes it so special?

C. D. - What makes TrailO special is it's availability to people of all mobility challenges and it's purity as a map reading challenge. But I think it does make it difficult to get people practicing TrailO. Most outdoor enthusiasts want to be more active, and I'm sure it must be difficult for someone who cannot enter the terrain to understand the map in the same way that those of us who also do FootO can.

We are used to see you representing the US team in the World Trail Orienteering Championships. How do you assess your results so far? Would you expect something better?

C. D. - I've been disappointed to not have some higher placings, especially in PreO. I have had a few really excellent single day performances, but have not accomplished this for two days in a row when it counts. I've been encouraged by my continued improvement in TempO. Last year I came close to making the final, which is a big jump from being near the bottom of the standings in Italy. It's hard to keep up with the amount of TrailO that goes on in Europe. My competitors are getting much more practice. I also have never won the U.S. Championships in TrailO. That's a big target for me.

What is the most difficult part of being Trail orienteer in the United States?

C. D. - Lack of events and training opportunities. The U.S. is a very large place with very few Trail Orienteers. I'm the only serious Trail Orienteer within a three hour drive, so there is no one to help me train near home. Any local events are put on by me, but since I am also putting on most of the local Foot Orienteering, it leaves little time for TrailO. Similar conditions exist for most of our team members.

Please, complete the sentence: For having a strong TrailO team, the United States would...

C. D. - (…) Commit to having many more TrailO events throughout the country and have Trail Orienteering training camps. Our team is not attracting new people. We need to attract more new orienteers and especially figure out how to bring Trail Orienteering to the Paralympic population who might be interested in our sport.

You were the course setter of the 2017 US TrailO Championships, recently said held in Camp Sherman, California. Are you happy with your work and with the overall event?

C. D. - I was very happy with the course. The competitors had high praise and really enjoyed it. I did have to throw out one control, but this was fine, since I agreed with the complaint once I looked at the situation. I wish we had a better turnout. Less than 20 people competed in the Trail Orienteering events. The last time I set the U.S. Champs (2009), we had over 50 people compete. So this shows how Trail Orienteering is on the decline in the U.S.

What are your goals for the season?

C. D. - I am hoping to go to Lithuania, but am having difficulty fitting it in my budget, so I'm still working on that. A trip from California to Europe is very expensive. If I can go, my goals would be to have two excellent PreO days, possibly reaching the awards level, and to make the TempO final.

Would you like to share your biggest dream with us?

C. D. - I have many big dreams related to my different pursuits. I dream that orienteering would become popular enough in the U.S. that we would have events every weekend in every city. In TrailO my biggest dream would be to achieve the gold medal in PreO at the World Champs.

Is there anything you'd like to add?

C. D. - I think that it is difficult to attract people to TrailO because orienteering is an inherently active sport and TrailO is not. I sometimes wonder if we should develop some sort of Paralympic wheelchair sprint event to bring more athleticism to the Paralympic format.

Joaquim Margarido

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Latin Countries Cup 2017: Victory for Portugal



With eight individual victories and 74 points overall, Portugal won the 23rd edition of the Latin Countries Cup which took place in Asiago, Italy. With two victories each in the Elite classes, João Mega Figueiredo and Andra Cecilia Anghel were prominent individual figures.


Sub-Regional event of the International Orienteering Federation, the Latin Countries Cup came back to Italy and to the beautiful scenery of the Asiago Plateau, for another edition. Included in the Highlands Open HOP 2017, the event was organized by A.S.D. Erebus Orientamento Vicenza and Italian Orienteering Federation, gathering teams from Spain, Portugal, Romania, Italy and Brazil. The program started in Turcio with the Middle Distance race, in which Romania achieved the lead in the standings with three individual victories, against two victories of Italy and one of Spain. However, the favouritism of Italians and Romanians would have an amazing response in the second stage, a Sprint that took place in Marostica, in which the Portuguese team got five individual triumphs, against one victory from Spain.

The stage of Long Distance took place in Monte Corno and, in it, Portugal returned to be the most effective team, adding three more victories to its own account, against two triumphs of Spain and one of Romania. In the sum of points reached in the three stages, Portugal registered a total of 74 points, achieving its second victory in 23 editions of the Latin Countries Cup, after the victory on home ground seven years ago. Romania with 65 points, Italy with 61 points and Spain with 56 points finished in the immediate positions. Brazil, winner of the previous edition organized in Chile, closed the standings with just 4 points. Italy gives now the testimony to Uruguay that will be in charge of the organization of the 24th edition of the Latinum Certamen, in 2018.


Results

Middle Distance
Men/Women Elite – Ricardo Scalet (Italy) and Andra Cecilia Anghel (Romania)
M/W20 – Mihai Andrei Tintar (Romania) and Ágnes Néda (Romania)
M/W18 – Enrico Mannocci (Italy) and Inés Pozo (Spain)

Sprint
Men/Women Elite – João Mega Figueiredo (Portugal) and Mariana Moreira (Portugal)
M/W20 – Ricardo Esteves (Portugal) and Beatriz Sanguino (Portugal)
M/W18 – Alvaro Casado (Spain) and Helena Lima (Portugal)

Long Distance
Men/Women Elite – João Mega Figueiredo (Portugal) and Andra Cecilia Anghel (Romania)
M/W20 – Ricardo Esteves (Portugal) and Beatriz Sanguino (Portugal)
M/W18 – Alvaro Casado (Spain) and Inés Pozo (Spain)

Latin Countries Cup 2017
Overall standings

1. Portugal 74 points
2. Romania 65 points
3. Italy 61 points
4. Spain 56 points
5. Brazil 4 points

More information can be found at http://www.fiso.it/.

[Photo: Jose Ángel Nieto Poblete / facebook.com/ja.np.56]

Joaquim Margarido

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

City Race Euro Tour 2017: Orienteering in focus in seven big european cities



Between 7th May and 12th November, 2017, Orienteering will be in focus in seven major European cities. Bringing together the efforts and interests of Paris, Antwerp, Bristol, Treviso, Porto, Barcelona and Bilbao, the 4th edition of the City Race Euro Tour puts sport and tourism once more hand in hand.


Paris was the venue chosen for the inaugural presentation of the 2017 City Race Euro Tour. Starting in the French capital on 7th May, the event will take in Belgium (Antwerp, 13th and 14th May), Great Britain (Bristol, 10th and 11th June), Italy (Treviso, 17th and 18th June), Portugal (Porto, 22nd to 24th September) with the finish in Spain (Barcelona, 4th and 5th November and Bilbao, 11th and 12th November). “Think hard, run fast, feel good” stands as the motto of these seven major Orienteering events in seven major European cities. The Tour targets everyone, leading competitors and also beginners.

The idea of creating the Euro City Race Tour was the result of a partnership established in 2012 between the organising groups of the London City Race and Porto City Race. The outcome of combining the social and sporting interests proved indeed heartening, and then to decide to extend the invitation to other organisations took only a brief moment. Edinburgh and Barcelona joined Porto and London in the first edition. Krakow and Seville joined the event in 2015 and Antwerp, Malaga, Firenze and Lille were ‘newcomers’ in 2016. With a good recipe for success, the European City Race gives the public and the media visibility to increase the popularity of Orienteering, attracting crowds to applaud runners in an urban environment.


First races in Paris and Antwerp

Held for the first time ever, the Paris City Race called to Montmartre, one of the main tourist attractions in the French capital, 393 competitors from 15 different nations. It was quite unusual to see people running, maps and compasses in their hands, through the little streets, parks, restaurant terraces and stairs, side by side with painters at Place du Tertre or tourists searching for the places where Georges Seurat, Erik Satie Vincent Van Gogh or Pablo Picasso lived about one century ago. It was in this nostalgic and, at the same time, life-buzzing atmosphere, that the French Juste Raimbault (CLSG Melun) and the British Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC) were stronger than their opponents, achieving clear victories in the Elite category.

One week later, the third Antwerp City Race attracted to Antwerp’s city centre 273 competitors from 18 countries. The event took place on the Het Steen map, a mix of old and new city centre with a passage on the Quay of the Schelde, towards the castle ‘Het Steen’ and the finish on Antwerp’s main square. In the Men’s Elite race, two of the best Sprint specialists fought hard for the victory, with the Belgian Yannick Michiels (TROL) getting a nearly two-minute win over the New-Zealander Tim Robertson (Fossum IF). In the Women’s Elite, the New Zealander Laura Robertson (Edinburgh Southern OC) was 43 seconds faster than the Spaniard Anna Serralonga (TROL) in taking first place.


Results

Paris City Race, 7th May 2017

Men Elite
1. Juste Raimbault (CLSG Melun, FRA) 1:03:23 (+ 00:00)
2. Fleury Roux (NOSE, FRA) 1:04:34 (+ 01:11)
3. Julien Le Borgne (Quimper 29, FRA) 1:04:43 (+ 01:20)
4. Pierre Boudet (Garde Rép., FRA) 1:05:12 (+ 01:49)
5. Maxime Chabance (NOSE, FRA) 1:08:20 (+ 04:57)

Women Elite
1. Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC, GBR) 57:04 (+ 00:00)
2. Celine Finas (T.A.D., FRA) 1:00:13 (+ 03:09)
3. Francesca Taufer (U.S. Primiero, ITA) 1:03:05 (+ 06:01)
4. Clarissa Ricard Borchorst (AC Beauchamp, FRA) 1:03:49 (+ 06:45)
5. Nathanaëlle Gerbeaux (GO 78, FRA) 1:04:28 (+ 07:24)

Antwerp City Race, 14th May 2017

Men Elite
1. Yannick Michiels (TROL, BEL) 31:42 (+ 00:00)
2. Tim Robertson (Fossum IF, NZL) 33:39 (+ 01:57)
3. Tristan Bloemen (C.O. Liège, BEL) 34:21 (+ 02:39)
4. Tomas Hendrickx (K.O.L., BEL) 36:00 (+ 04:18)
5. Benjamin Anciaux (TROL, BEL) 37:30 (+ 05:48)

Women Elite
1. Laura Robertson (Edinburgh SOC, NZL) 35:19 (+ 00:00)
2. Anna Serrallonga (TROL, ESP) 36:02 (+ 00:43)
3. Miek Fabré (Omega, BEL) 36:31 (+ 01:12)
4. Kim Geypen (Omega, BEL) 37:29 (+ 02:10)
5. Caroline Craig (North Gloucestershire OC, GBR) 40:28 (+ 05:09)

All information can be found at http://cityracetour.org/.

Text and photo by Joaquim Margarido


[See the original article at http://orienteering.org/orienteering-in-focus-in-seven-big-european-cities/. Published with permission from the International Orienteering Federation]

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Thermenland Open 2017: Jan Furucz wins TrailO competition



The Thermenland Open 2017 took place last weekend in Hungary, with some really interesting FootO and TrailO competitions. Susy De Pieri and Jan Furucz were the main figures in the PreO and TempO stages, respectively.


Organized on a basis of a cross-border cooperation between the orienteering clubs of Zalaegerszeg in Hungary, Fürstenfeld in Austria, Medimurje in Croatia and Slovenia, the Thermenland Open returned to Hungary after 2010, 2011 and 2014, for a two-day competition of FootO and TrailO.

Attended by 26 athletes from Slovakia, Slovenia, Italy and Hungary, the TrailO competition was arranged by Zoltán Miháczi, with a PreO stage in Zalakaros Park, and a TempO stage, in Nagykanizsa, a beautiful place near a boating lake. Susy de Pieri (Eridano Adventure), Italy, achieved the victory in the PreO stage, after a tight fight with the Slovakian Jan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava) and the Slovenian Emil Kacin (OK Azimut). All three competitors finished the course with 22 out of 23 possible points. The two timed stations, with three tasks each, were decisive regarding the winner, with De Pieri being one-second faster than Furucz.

Jan Furucz took his revenge on the next day, performing amazingly in the TempO competition were
he was not only the fastest - with 215 seconds spent in the six timed stations, with five tasks each, and an average of seven seconds of answering time per task -, but also the most accurate, with three incorrect answers. Jan Furucz's total time was 305 seconds, 266 seconds less than the Hungarian Fruzsina Biró (BEA), second placed. Suzy De Pieri and Emil Kacin finished in the third position with the same time, just one second after Biró. Jan Furucz was Thermenland Open's overall winner, Suzy De Pieri finished second and Emil Kacin got the third place.



Results

PreO
1. Susy De Pieri (Eridano Adventure, ITA) 22 points / 38 seconds
2. Jan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava, SVK) 22 points / 39 seconds
3. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut, SLO) 22 points / 194 seconds
4. Renato Bettin (Or Swallows, ITA) 21 points / 79 seconds
5. Ferenc Fehér (ZTC, HUN) 21 points / 91 seconds
6. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin, SLO) 20 points / 86 seconds
7. Fruzsina Biró (BEA, HUN) 19 points / 133 seconds
8. Alessandro Casarin (Or Swallows, ITA) 17 points / 114 seconds
9. (1. Junior) András Csertán (ZTC, HUN) 17 points / 161 seconds
10. Edit Palumbi (VHS, HUN) 17 points / 212 seconds
(…)
15. (1. Paralympic) Miksa Laáber (BEA, HUN) 15 points / 156 seconds


TempO
1. Jan Furucz (Farmaceut Bratislava, SVK) 305 seconds
2. Fruzsina Biró (BEA, HUN) 571 seconds
3. Susy De Pieri (Eridano Adventure, ITA) 572 seconds
3. Emil Kacin (OK Azimut, SLO) 572 seconds
5. (1. Junior) Barnabás Hargitai (ASK, HUN) 683 seconds
6. Krešo Keresteš (OK Trzin, SLO) 687 seconds
7. (2. Junior) Vid Keresteš (OK Trzin, SLO) 725 seconds
8. Ferenc Fehér (ZTC, HUN) 729 seconds
9. (3. Junior) Bertalan Kiss (SZT, HUN) 732 seconds
10. Renato Bettin (Or Swallows, ITA) 735 seconds
(…)
17. (1. Paralympic) Miksa Laáber (BEA, HUN) 900 seconds

Complete results, all maps and further information at http://adatbank.mtfsz.hu/esemeny/show/esemeny_id/6564.

Joaquim Margarido

Monday, May 15, 2017

Portugal City Race 2017: Raquel Ferreira wins in Santo Tirso and Vila Real



The Portugal City Race 2017 had its 4th and 5th stages in Santo Tirso and Vila Real. Raquel Ferreira was unstoppable, winning both stages in the Women Senior class. In the Men Senior class, José Lopes and Maikel Rodriguez got the victories.


After Esposende, Braga and Vila do Conde, the Portugal City Race 2017 continued, this time in the City of the Jesuits. The 4th stage, in Santo Tirso, was organized by NAST – Núcleo Associativo de Santo Tirso, gathering more than two hundred participants. With a weak entry on the map, which made him lose quickly two minutes to the lead, José Lopes (Individual) turned out to be the most regular on a grueling course, taking advantage of the successive mistakes of his direct opponents, achieving a surprising triumph in the Men Senior class with the time of 44:50, against 45:06 from Miguel Nóbrega (COV - Natura), second placed. As in Vila do Conde, in the previous stage, Raquel Ferreira (Individual) and Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) were the top protagonists in the Women Senior class, with the advantage smiling once more to Ferreira by a comfortable four-minute advantage.

The city of Vila Real hosted the 5th stage of the Portugal City Race 2017, in a race organized by the OriMarão Club which joined 150 participants. After a one-stage break, in Santo Tirso, Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) returned for another victory, the fourth in the Portugal City Race this season. The Spanish athlete spent 43:06, leaving his compatriot Ángel Soto (Aromon) more than 5 minutes apart. In the women's race, Raquel Ferreira and Daniela Alves played, for the third time in a row, an interesting duel, and once again the victory went to Ferreira with the time of 44:14, against 46:47 of her opponent. With five of the thirteen stages of Portugal City Race 2017 already contested, Maikel Rodriguez and Raquel Ferreira register four wins each and are in the lead of the respective rankings. Ángel Soto and Daniela Alves follow in the second position, while the third place is occupied by Miguel Nóbrega and Andrea Dumitru.


Results

Santo Tirso City Race, 07th May 2017

Men Senior
1. José Lopes (Individual) 44:50 (+ 00:00)
2. Miguel Nóbrega (COV – Natura) 45:06 (+ 00:16)
3. Pedro Rama (ADM Ori-Mondego) 46:52 (+ 02:02)
4. Gil Sousa Pinto (OriMarão) 47:56 (+ 03:06)
5. André Fonseca (COALA) 48:01 (+ 03:11)

Women Senior
1. Raquel Ferreira (Individual) 41:14 (+ 00:00)
2. Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) 45:21 (+ 04:07)
3. Candela Puime López (Budiñoraid) 46:30 (+ 05:16)
4. Sara Miranda (Amigos da Montanha) 48:55 (+ 07:41)
5. Cristiana Lagoa (NAST) 50:40 (+ 09:26)


Vila Real City Race, 14th May 2017

Men Senior
1. Maikel Rodriguez (Budiñoraid) 43:06 (+ 00:00)
2. Ángel Soto (Aromon) 48:31 (+ 05:25)
3. Miguel Nóbrega (COV – Natura) 51:25 (+ 08:19)
4. Luís Ferreira (AD Cabroelo) 53:53 (+ 10:47)
5. André Fonseca (COALA) 53:58 (+ 10:52)

Women Senior
1. Raquel Ferreira (Individual) 44:14 (+ 00:00)
2. Daniela Alves (AD Cabroelo) 46:47 (+ 02:33)
3. Alicia Perez (Aromon) 48:40 (+ 04:26)
4. Andrea Dumitru (Individual) 49:03 (+ 04:49)
5. Candela Puime López (Budiñoraid) 49:38 (+ 05:24)

Results and further information at http://www.cityrace.pt/.

[Photo: Susana Luzir / facebook.com/cityraceportugal]

Joaquim Margarido