“So on the fourth day he rested from all his work ..." This is how Alasdair MacLeod managed his participation in the Portugal O' Meeting 2015. Winner of the three first stages in the Men Elite class, the Scot had the well-earned rest on the last day. A nice victory, although the athlete's great desire of running in the Super Elite class.
Are you unhappy for not being able to run in the Men Super Elite class?
Alasdair McLeod (A. McL.) - No, I'm happy. I just feel that I was very unlucky last year, I was injured, I couldn't run any World Ranking Events and I had a very low score. But the rules are the rules for everyone. Still I enjoyed the comparison between Men Elite and Men Super Elite but, of course, I would be pleased to run in the Men Super Elite if I could.
Did you think you could have won here as easily as you did?
A. McL. - My original plan was I expected to run here in Super Elite and I really wanted some good World Ranking points in Portugal. So my plan was to rest most of the days and not run them all, but when I ended up in Men Elite I decided I wanted to try to win as many as I could.
You planned to become year in this time of the season. Why Portugal?
A. McL. - These are the first races out in the Winter. I've done lots of winter training during the last three months and I really wanted an opportunity. We've been here for one week now with the Scotland Team, this is our second weekend of races, we did a training camp in the middle and this is the first great chance with quality events to get your technique and also because there are so many international people coming to Portugal races at this time of the winter. It's great competitions to see where you are, how fit you are, how your technique is. It's a great stage post before the season and some of the bigger races in Spring and Summer to see where you are.
Are you happy with your decision? What notes do you take from here?
A. McL. - It was a great decision and I've been very happy. This is the best I've run in a very long time, so at the moment I've got everything I wanted out of this Portugal trip.
A. McL. - Very motivated. This is a very big year to Scotland, the World Championships will be in Scotland and I'll try to be there. There's a lot of british people who are training very hard, that wanted very good results because it's a “home Championship” and, personally, I live very near from where the terrains are so, for me, it feels even more of a “home Championships” and I want to be there.
What do you need to go there?
A. McL. - I think that I need, in the next few months, more good orienteering trainings and to stay healthy and not injured would also be good in the next six months. It's the most important thing, yes, you have to actually be there on your top shape, you don't want to miss any training or self consistency.
How is the Bristish Team?
A. McL. - The british people are all very excited about this year. It's a very good team attitude, out of all the British Team a lot of people have known each other for a long time. It doesn't matter who ends up in the team, because everyone is training so well at the moment that whoever ends up there will be in a very good place to do well. There's a big sort of team feeling and support. It's not so much about individuals, it's about achieving as a group, which makes it much more fun.
What will be your intermediate steps until the World Championships?
A. McL. - After Portugal there's a really big race called the JK Orienteering Festival, in April. It will be, actually, a big international event because some teams are using it as test races before the World Championships and it's also our first british test race. We have multiple stages of British test races and that is the first one. And then the World Cups, later, in Norway and Sweden will be big races, and these will be the main events before the World Championships.
Are we going to see you in Portugal in the next years?
A. McL. - I think this is my third or fourth time in Portugal in the past five years and I really like it here. There are a lot of terrains that can be very complicated but you can still move very fast. It's great for orienteering and I think I will definitely be back next year.