Helsinki O-Games will be arranged this year as a spectator race of the Orienteering World Cup Round 1
Have you ever thought how the life of a course planner looks like? Janne Heikkinen has thought about this for many years and wondered how it is possible to fit a perfectly suitable course for a particular race and terrain.
“I have previously made courses for Aberdeen University Orienteering club in Scotland where I studied. Last summer, after moving back to Finland, I wanted to be part of the Helsinki O-Games (HOG) Course Planning Group 2019. When I got into the group, I noticed that this summers HOG brings some extra excitement, because the World Elite will be orienteering at the same time in the same forest. The extraordinary obvious challenge has been the layout of the courses around the World Cup courses. Overall, this process has been long yet eye-opening and fun, and I would not change this experience for anything!”
In HOG, Mikko Laakso is the planner for Saturdays middle distance races and Janne Heikkinen is responsible for the long-distance races on Sunday. The forest is similar to the terrain of this year’s Jukola and Venla Relay in Kangasala.
“Jukola Relay will be just one week after HOG, so I want to offer competitors what they could face also in Kangasala – long and challenging,” Janne Heikkinen explains his courses.
In HOG, the navigation tasks are focused on rhythm. There are long route selection legs, which are followed by demanding shorter legs, so the orienteer cannot really relax at any point – after cross the finishing line, only then one can rest!
“When designing the courses, I focus on the type terrain and the runnability so that I can offer the best possible for competitors.”
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