Martin Jullum's first contact with the Trail orienteering at the highest level was in Miskolc, Hungary, in the World Championships 2009 and since then we got used to see his name in the top positions of the the European and World Championships. The Norwegian is our guest today, leaving us a couple of impressions as a preview of the European Championships, in Palmela.
What have you doing since Vuokatti?
Martin Jullum (M. J.) - After the disappointing performances in Vuokatti, where I missed completely on the course setting style and felt like all the background work and technical preparations was a major waste, I really needed some time off TrailO. After a break in the summer, I got back and finished the season well, resulting in an almost perfect season, the WTOC performances being the only drawback. In addition I have spent too many hours at the University as a PhD student.
Doesn't sound strange to you the name of Portugal as the organizer of ETOC 2014?
M. J. - Not at all. I know you guys are very eager to learn and have excellent terrain for TrailO. You are also taking the organizing job very seriously, which is maybe the most important. In my opinion, the amount of time put into the courses and organizing is the key to a good TrailO competition, and I am actually very confident you have done some.
It will be your first time in Portugal? What do you know about this country?
M. J. - It will be my first time in mainland Portugal. I know that Portugal is Spain’s little brother and that you organize lots of excellent orienteering events during the winter time.
How did you prepare yourself for the competition?
M. J. - I have not focused as much on course setting style as previous Championships, both because I know too little about the course setter and since I messed up badly in Vuokatti because the course setter changed style for WTOC. Championship courses are always something special and cannot even be compared to regular high quality events. Also the maps from the area are so old that there is not much value studying them in detail either. During the winter I have planned courses for Norwegian Spring TrailO which is organized a week after ETOC (Advertisement: I promise high quality events, invitation here: http://norwegianspring.no/dok/2014/INVITATION_NORWEGIAN_SPRING_TRAILO_2014.pdf). During the last weeks I have trained on techniques that I believe will be important in Portugal and ruled out how I should behave, think and work during the course.
What kind of event do you expect?
M. J. - A mix between Hungary and France WTOC courses with a twist of Swedish course setting mentality.
Can you point the best candidates to the European titles?
M. J. - I believe that it’s time for Antti Rusanen now, but it is seldom that the favourite wins…
PreO or TempO?
M. J. - I believe that my gold medal chances are best in PreO, while the medal chances are best in TempO. I think of winning the PreO as winning the long distance – then you are the king of the Championship no matter what. Winning the TempO is like winning the Sprint – the adrenaline kick will be amazing.
In your case, what should be the perfect result?
M. J. - A picture of me on the top of the podium with a gold medal around my neck.
What is your main goal for the season?
M. J. - Good performances at the twelve international competitions that I plan to compete in, everything else is just training. If I am lucky, the best performances will come in WTOC, Italy.
Would you like to make a wish for the European Championships?
M. J. - A precise map with fair and demanding control setting where one does not have to guess the margins of the zero controls; and the perfect result mention above!