Who is Who
Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE
Picture: "World Champion 1995", in his website http://www.algonet.se/~smol/joma/joma.htm .
What is your date of birth and where do you live?
I was born on December 4th 1959 and I live in Vikersund, Norway (married to a Norwegian girl, Hege, since 1991, 4 kids).
The 90's were golden years for you. In WOC Classic Race (long distance) you were 1st in 1991 and 1995, and 2nd in 1993 and 1997 (at that time, WOC was held each 2 years). Also 2nd in Short Race 1995. Among many other events, you won O-ringen 1996 and 1997, WMOC 1996 (M35), Park World Tour 1996, Swedish Marathon 1993. Let's begin by World Championships: which were in WOC your most perfect races and why?
1991 and 1995 was equal. I won by bigger margin -91 but the course was longer than in -95 so I got bigger margin at the end. It was very warm both -91 and -95 (as -97 and also later years like Japan and Ukraine) and that together with hilly courses made many runner's suffering... I was very well prepared those years both mentally and physically (after many years of good preparation) and only some injuries/diseases (like TWAR -93) gave me problems.
Which was your best season (year)?
1995! It was a bit strange as we got twins in March-95 and already had one kid just 1,5 years old.
I had very good preparations that year even if it was not much sleep during periods with 3 small kids at home... 2 gold medals at the Nordic Open (classic and relay) followed by gold, silver and bronze at the WOC was fantastic results that year at the most important events.
You won your first Junior Swedish Championship in 1977. And in 1997 you got a silver medal in WOC and won O-ringen 5 Days. How could you maintain in top Elite for such a long period?
I loved to compete and to train hard. I was lucky that my body was "made for" hard training and many events.
What kind of training did you use to do at that time?
I did most training in the forest, with or without map. In wintertime it was both skiing and a lot of running in deep snow in the forest... I got mentally stronger through the years as well.
Besides training, what else is necessary to make a world champion?
More training... patience, motivation, curiosity, fantasy, friends/family that "understands" and back you up.
You had 3 gold and 1 silver medal in O-ringen. You won it for the first time (1981) when you were 21 years old and the last time (1997) when you were 37. What did you feel participating and winning in an event with so many people?
O-ringen is very special as the biggest O-event in the world. As I had a long career and took part in many of those events I also spread some good results in a long period. It was as fun and exciting to win in -81 as 16 years later. The atmosphere in the finish-area is something extra with so many people...
Which was the most difficult triumph in O-ringen?
I had a big fight with a group of very strong competitors as we came together on the final day -97. They caught me [chasing start] after some mistakes from my side but I trusted my ability by a fast decision from the third last control and run to a new victory at the very end.
You also have a rich story in Jukola (1st in 1981, 1984, 1985) and in Tiomila (1st in 1985, 1988, and 2nd in 1982). The most people living outside of Scandinavia maybe never have seen a relay like these. Can you remember the atmosphere and the circumstances of some of your team victories?
It's something hard to describe but easy to understand if you've been to these events. To win Jukola is probably harder than to win Tiomila as you have to beat so many teams, but when I won Tiomila in 1988 with a club-team consisting of just one national team-runner (myself) it was something more than a strong team-work! It was like David beating Goliat.
How did you discover orienteering?
I went to see what my older sister had started with when I was 9 and she was in a new beginner-course. Next year, 1970, when I was 10, I started in the same new beginner-course together with 40 other kids and I was hooked...
Did you learn orienteering with or without a compass? During a normal race, how often do you use it?
I learnt the base without a compass. I was the first person, together with Øyvin Thon and Kjell Lauri who started to run with Nor Compass, the thumb-compass that more or less all new orienteers use and since 1980 I run all events (also in night-orienteering) with such a compass.
I use the compass more when there is not many details or of course in night-orienteering than otherwise.
Do you remember when did you cross the gap from a normal to an exceptional orienteer? I mean: when did you feel that you could become a champion?
I understood I had a good potential when I won the junior-champs-78 by more than 10 minutes on a better km-time than the M21. That gave me an invitation to the WOC-selection-races and I was no. 5, 1 and 2 in the three races giving me a start at the WOC-78 as the youngest man ever, just 18 years old. 1977 I moved to Sandviken to an orienteering high-school and got a lot of good training that I missed earlier as the areas around Sandviken had more hills so I became much better in reading contour-lines.
You have a daughter who also practices orienteering. How old is she? And how good is her orienteering level?
I have twin girls, Anna and Heidi, 12 years old. Anna is a "horse-girl" but likes also orienteering. Heidi is more competitive and a good runner but still more or less a new beginner in orienteering. She is very sporty but it's hard to say if she will do orienteering or another sport on an elite-level in the future.
Do you have any orienteers else in your family? How did your family support your sporting career in the past?
My father practised as a junior but then stopped. He was supporting me and my sisters very much when we started with orienteering and he has done a strong work in the local club and as one of the founders of Park World Tour elite-series through many years.
I read that you have run orienteering in 78 countries. Can you select some stops in this long odyssey?
Now I have practised orienteering in more than 90 countries (after some new in Africa and Caribbean) and it is very exciting to explore new places as an orienteer. It's hard to mention a favourite among all countries and areas I have visited but the Yunnan province in China is a wonderful place for both orienteering and tourism.
The "4-nations in a day-event" we organised in Zimbabwe-Zambia-Namibia-Botswana in November is maybe the most exciting project I handled together with Jaroslav Kacmarcik. We prepared maps and courses the day before and printed during night. First stage was before breakfast at our resort in Zimbabwe at Victoria Falls. 07.00pm we drove by buses to Livingstone in Zambia. Race and Livingstone-museum and then 09.00 to Namibia via 2 ferries and 2 border-controls as we passed Botswana. 3rd race 11.30 on an island in Zambezi River. Ferry back to Botswana, border control and last race at 14pm! Shower and lunch at 15pm so we did the 4-nations before lunch! After the lunch we also had a great safari before we turned back to our hotel in Zimbabwe.
You have been many times to Portugal? What maps/areas did you enjoy the most?
Me and my colleague Jens Kopland introduced training camps in Portugal already before 1998, so we have been a proud part of the strong development in Portugal by taking many groups to this beautiful country. Nowadays there are many persons/clubs working with training camps in Portugal but we are happy to have been first. That gives us a good experience and strong network for future projects such as POM and WMOC. There are so many nice areas around the country but the WMOC-area is one of our favourites and perfect in June/July to combine with the sea.
Which best events have you participated?
I am very proud of some of the PWT-races through the years that we have organised around the world with an arena-concept developed by Sepp Hartinger from Austria. The WMOC 2006 in Austria had influences from that and I think that is one of the best organised "mass-events" in orienteering so far. Atmosphere, arenas, service, information, maps, courses, TV-screen on final day, professional speakers and result service made it a very strong concept. Now with sprint added to the WMOC-program it will be an even better opportunity for to make a high level event!
Since 1984 you and Peo Bengtsson work together in World Wide Orienteering Promotion. Now you have the Park World Tour...
We started together with WWOP but split after some years. Since the early -90's I have worked together with Jens Kopland and we developed PWT Travel to what it is today with most focus in travels where orienteering or XC-skiing is a part of the program. PWT Travel has put much focus on the wishes from our traveller's and that has been very successful.
Which were the last travels and which are the next projects of PWT?
We had a big trip to southern Africa (8 countries) with 150 persons in November and that was very successful. The coming trips are most to Ski-events but in early February we have as usual a group to POM! [Portugal "O" Meeting starts just one day after publishing this interview]. Biggest projects in 2008 are of course WMOC and a chartered cruise in November with Caribbean 5-days as a part of an exciting program...!
What do you do in a typical PWT travel?
We try do deliver a high level of service within all areas like transportation, accommodation, tourism, sport-events, social events etc. We also try to put in some new type of arrangements and places of interest that most people haven't tried before. Many of our frequent travellers have become very good friends with us and that is also very nice.
How many people (and from where) are you bringing to Portugal Masters?
Around 600 and most of them are from Norway and Sweden but also from other countries.
We cannot forget that, in next June, you will be in Portugal also to compete in M45. Who else can win this class?
Regarding my problems last years with different injuries and just a few trainings my wish is to be able to take part the whole week. There are for sure a lot of good runner's in all categories but I have no idea who is best prepared...
What do you expect from WMOC 2008?
Fantastic areas for orienteering and a nice atmosphere because off all visitor's, WMOC-organisers and Portugal as a great country!
Can you give any message to other competitors of Portugal WMOC 2008?
I look forward to meet a lot of old and new friends in Portugal 2008! I am sure we will join the result of the WMOC-organiser's hard work during an exciting and friendly week in a very nice part of Portugal.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2007 Dec. 21st.)
[2008-06-20] Carlos Monteiro, WMOC Event Director
[2008-06-20] Dieter Wolf, M55, SUI
[2008-06-19] Timo Teinila, WMOC speaker
[2008-06-19] Jorge Simões, WMOC Event Director assistant
[2008-06-18] Blair Trewin, M35, AUS
[2008-06-18] Mariett Matias, WMOC Media responsible
[2008-06-17] David May, WMOC Senior Event Advisor
[2008-06-16] Gottfried Tobler, M60, AUT
[2008-06-16] Tuulikki Salmenkylä, W45, FIN
[2008-06-16] Arvo Majoinen, M80, FIN
[2008-06-14] Fernando Costa, WMOC Marketing responsible
[2008-06-13] Sarah Dunn, W40, GBR
[2008-06-12] Santos Sousa, WMOC planner
[2008-06-11] Sigurd Daehli, M55, NOR
[2008-06-10] Alexandre Reis, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-09] Nick Duca, M40, CAN
[2008-06-07] Tiago Aires, WMOC mapper and planner
[2008-06-06] Irina Stepanova, W55, RUS
[2008-06-05] Luís Sérgio, WMOC mapper
[2008-06-04] Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN
[2008-06-03] Rui Antunes, WMOC Mapping coordinator
[2008-06-02] Jon Musgrave, M45, GBR
[2008-05-31] Jacinto Eleutério, WMOC Course coordinator
[2008-05-30] Rune Carlsson, M70, SWE
[2008-05-29] Åke Jacobson, IOF President
[2008-05-29] Augusto Almeida, POF President
[2008-05-28] Jurate Uleviciene, W55, LIT
[2008-05-26] Vladimir Ioffe, M70, ISR
[2008-05-23] José Fernandes, M45, POR
[2008-05-21] Ezio Paris, M55, ITA
[2008-05-19] Gabriella Györffy, W40, HUN
[2008-05-16] Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP
[2008-05-14] Tomas Zdrahal, M55, CZE
[2008-05-12] Paulo Becker, M45, BRA
[2008-05-09] Ingrid Roll, W70, NOR
[2008-05-07] Jerzy Parzewski, M55, POL
[2008-05-05] Hugh Moore, M60, AUS
[2008-05-02] Martin Checkley, M55, GBR
[2008-04-30] Etienne Bousser, M60, FRA
[2008-04-28] Andreas Grote, M40, SUI
[2008-04-24] Liudmila Labutina, W65, RUS
[2008-04-22] Freddy Sillien, M60, BEL
[2008-04-17] Tomislav Kaniski, M35, CRO
[2008-04-14] Eero Tuuteri, M85, FIN
[2008-04-10] Lena Nordahl, W80, SWE
[2008-04-07] Albano João, M45, POR
[2008-04-03] Tom A. Karlsen, M55, NOR
[2008-03-31] Kayoko Sakai, W55, JPN
[2008-03-27] Finn Arildsen, M45, DEN
[2008-03-24] Anne Nurmi, W45, FIN
[2008-03-20] Peo Bengtsson, M75, SWE
[2008-03-17] Alida Abola, W50, LAT
[2008-03-13] Matti Railimo, M60, FIN
[2008-03-10] Cornelia Eckardt, W35, GER
[2008-03-06] Joaquim Sousa, M35, POR
[2008-03-03] Birgitta Olsson, W75, SWE
[2008-02-20] J. Salmenkylä, M75, FIN
[2008-02-18] Torid Kvaal, W65, NOR
[2008-02-15] Mykola Bozhko, M55, UKR
[2008-02-13] Pavlina Brautigam, W45, USA
[2008-02-11] Ferran Santoyo, M35, ESP
[2008-02-08] Sole Nieminen, W80, FIN
[2008-02-06] Stefano Galletti, M40, ITA
[2008-02-04] Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL
[2008-02-01] Jörgen Mårtensson, M45, SWE
[2008-01-30] Tom Hiltebrand, M50, SUI
[2008-01-28] Baiba Ozola, W40, LAT
[2008-01-25] Eddie Harwood, M55, GBR
[2008-01-23] Marje Viirmann, W45, EST
[2008-01-21] Alexander Afonyushkin, M40, RUS
[2008-01-18] Paulina Majova, W55, SVK
[2008-01-16] Björn Linnersjö, M65, SWE
[2008-01-15] Lillian Røss, W85, NOR
[2008-01-10] Tapio Peippo, M55, FIN
[2008-01-07] Elizabeth Brown, W90, GBR
[2008-01-04] Erkki Luntamo, M90, FIN