Who is Who
Gillian Ingham, W50, NZL
(NOTE: In fact, it is an interview to Gillian and Malcolm Ingham M50 together, but, following the rules of this column, we had to put in evidence only one name and we chose Gillian's name, considering her career in Elite. Pictures also show their daughter Lizzie, who is main theme in the first part of the interview.)
Gillian and Malcolm, you had been awarded Coaches of the Year 2006 by New Zealand Orienteering Federation. What have you done to justify this distinction? How important is it in your sporting careers?
The award largely recognized the effort we have put into junior coaching. We have spent a lot of time coaching school teams from a variety of schools in the Wellington area, and organizing and running training/coaching opportunities for them. This has included running 2 NZOF national junior training camps (13-18 age group). We have also done a lot in recent years providing training opportunities for local members of the NZ Schools team (which runs in the Australian Schools Championships each year) and local members of NZ JWOC teams.
Your daughter Lizzie Ingham is an Elite star: "Best Junior International Performance in 2005" and quite good results in last WOC (20th in Sprint, 32nd in Middle, 42nd in Long, 14th in Relay). When has she begun orienteering and how did you prepare her to be a top Elite?
Lizzie is actually still a junior. Her results this year were JWOC not WOC and JWOC2008 in Sweden will be her final year as a junior. That said she is making an impact in W21E in NZ and hopes to go to WOC in 2008 as well. She has attended orienteering events since she was a baby, so it has been a natural progression. She probably ran her first courses on her own when she was about 7 years old. Her older brother was also a promising orienteer at about 15-16 years age but never really put the training effort in and has faded away a bit. I think she saw this happen (she is 4 years younger) and was determined that the same would not be true of her. She is also a top football player (regional representative level) and this has given her a good fitness base from an early age which has helped her enormously in her orienteering. She was actually disappointed with her results at 2007 JWOC as she felt (rightly I think) that she was capable of the top 10 in all 3 events.
Of course Lizzie has a personal trainer: Gillian? Malcolm? Both? A third one? What is necessary to "build" a champion?
We are both involved. Gillian very much as the mentor whereas Malcolm looks after the physical side of the training. Carsten Jorgensen (who lives in Christchurch) is also a strong supporter.
Lizzie is still a young athlete. How high can she fly next years in top Elite?
Potentially she can do very well, she is probably already in the top 4 or 5 elites in NZ, but of course in any competition it all comes down to what you do on the day.
Do you think New Zealand also can have one Hanny Allston in the next five or ten years?
It's possible. There is a particularly good stream of young women coming through the junior ranks of whom Lizzie and Amber Morrison (excellent results in Lithuania in 2006) have been at the forefront. The problem they face is that their opportunity for top international competition is quite limited (Europe is a long way away!) and experience of big events is therefore lacking.
How many people do you have in Wellington Orienteering Club? Do you have other athletes, not so good as Lizzie, but good runners anyway? Do you ever organize collective training?
WOC has about 150 members spread across all the ages. Elites are probably what we lack most although there are a number of promising juniors coming through. We also have some very good veterans. We don't tend to have organised collective training very often. Part of the reason for this is that we have very few local maps that are technical enough to provide something suitable. Technical training means travel.
Of course trainings must be planned in order to specific skills of each one, but you both are coaches of high repute, and maybe you can give us some general coordinates for a good training... Please, try to sketch a weekly program.
We have always believed that regularity in both physical training and orienteering is essential. Therefore running 5 or 6 days a week and in an event at every opportunity. All events, even low key ones, have something that you can use for training. For example if you can't read a map on the run in a street event then you will never be able to do it in a forest. Physically a good endurance base is essential and at the very least in the lead up to major competition speed work also. We tend to concentrate on strength work - one good session is what we refer to as a "sausage session" - choose a route of about 30 minutes running time which has hills, terrain changes etc and run it doing 2 minutes fast, 1 minute jog, 2 minutes fast etc. A bit like a fartlek session but run according to the clock. It does wonders in building up strength and mental toughness - it's surprising how often the time for a fast 2 minutes comes around just as you reach a hill. A lot of our training is done on the hills - we live right on the edge of Wellington and have bush covered country and farmland, including a 400 m high hill, on our doorstep We tend to measure time not kms, and until we approach a major event don't keep a regular programme, however a typical week might be Monday: 40-50 minutes steady, Tuesday sausage session; Wednesday 40-50 minutes steady, Thursday rest; Friday: 40-50 minutes steady; Saturday:1.5-2 hours; Sunday: local competition. As we get older steady gets slower!
How important is technical training? How can I train map reading if I live in a big city, far from woods and mapped terrains?
We think we answered this with regular attendance at as many events as possible. We are lucky in that we do have a beach house about 1.5 hours north of Wellington which is surrounded by technical sand-dune forest which we train a lot in the lead-up to events.
What do you recommend to prevent injuries?
Stretching and common sense!
Now about yourselves. What kind of training do you used to do?
We do a lot of running together and/or with Lizzie although we tend to slow her down now. Probably about 50-50 individually and together - roughly on the programme outlined above.
I can imagine that, 20 years ago, when Gillian was running in W21E, of course you should train a lot. Do you remember your hardest training weeks?
The biggest effort was prior to Gillian going to WOC in France in 1987 where we had a complete 4 month schedule mapped out day-to-day in the lead up. We still have the details somewhere. All we can remember is what hard work it was!
I saw an impressive list of Gillian's medals since 1982, when she start competing: as W21E - 10 gold, 10 silver; as W35 - 13 gold; as W40 - 16 gold; as W45 - 11 gold; as W50 - 5 gold. It means that Gillian has been leading, in different classes, the NZ Championships along last 25 years. Is it correct?
We're not sure where the medal count comes from! Gillian has won plenty of age grade titles at NZ Champs in W35, W40, W45, W50 but her best in W21E was 3rd! There have been plenty of wins in regional champs though in all the age grades.
Gillian, what are the highlights of your career?
WMOC NZ 2000, British Champs 2007, JK2007 (proving she can still foot it in the old country!), WMOC unofficial sprint in Austria in 2006.
And you, Malcolm? How and when did you discover orienteering? And what highlights did you have?
I got into orienteering at university where I had a friend who was a British junior international. It took a long time for me to slow down enough to think though. Since turning 35 I've won numerous NZ age grade titles and an Oceania title. The best effort though was WMOC in NZ in 2000.
In Relays, Gillian ran last leg in WOC 1985, when NZL team got 10th place. Do you still remember this race?
I still remember it. Our son was 15 months old and Malcolm brought him across to Australia for WOC. I also ran first leg for a NZ team in a World Cup relay in Australia in 1984 and marveled at how no-one seemed to read their map until the first person got lost!
I noticed two good results for Gillian in Masters with a gap of 15 years: 11th in W35 in Tasmania 1992 (when the event still was named Veteran World Cup) and 25th in W50 in Austria 2006. Can you tell us something about these races and the memories you have from these trips.
You've missed a few here. Gillian was 7th in W40 in WMOC2000 here in NZ. The splits showed that she was actually in 2nd place with about 4 controls to go until she made a single mistake which she still regrets. She was also well placed in Italy in WMOC2004 although she wasn't well at the time. Gillian also won the unofficial W50 sprint at WMOC2006 in Austria too!
Malcolm also had been in these two races (17th in Tasmania; 8th B Final in Austria). Did you keep any good memories from these events?
Again, the best was a 7th in M45 in NZ in 2000, where like Gillian a single mistake was costly. I also qualified well in Italy but had a bad final. Austria was a disaster for me, I never got to grips with the track networks. We're both still trying to hit that one good run in the final.
[Note: regrettably, the records from several World Masters Orienteering Championships seem to have disappeared from the Internet. The list of results in the official IOF website lacks the following WMOC: Denmark 1999 and New Zealand 2000, although the names of the NZ 2000 medalists are available in the Italian branch of the Wikipedia. We call on the Federations of those countries to repair this omission.]
In March 2006, Malcolm, Gillian and Lizzie did the same course in Otari and all you were winners. Malcolm was 1st (absolute winner), Lizzie was 4th (1st lady) and Gillian was 6th (1st Vet. lady)...
Otari is a bit unfair to pick as Malcolm and Gillian mapped it in 1992! Still it is fun having 3 (or 4 with our son) of us running. There is plenty of good natured family competition!
In October 2007 Gillian won Oceania/Australia Sprint. Next June, WMOC will have for the first time an official Sprint race (Qualifying and Final). Do you think you have special abilities to this discipline? And in Long Distance, what will be a good result for you?
We think we'll keep the goals to ourselves! We've been there before and as we said earlier ultimately it does all come down to what you do on the day.
And you, Malcolm? What goals do you have for WMOC 2008?
Malcolm's problem is that he'll be in Alaska, with no orienteering available, from April until mid-June, so he'll be a bit under-done in terms of technical training! We'll have to see!
Before coming to WMOC, you will have New Zealand Orienteering Championships, in March. Malcolm is the planner of Long Distance race; Gillian, the controller of Relay; Lizzie, the planner of Relay. And the planner of Sprint is another Ingham, Chris. All the family involved! How important are NZOC? And why are you so involved?
We (Malcolm and Gillian) have always been involved in the club organization. Lizzie and Chris, who have both had wonderful support from the club for their endeavors (4 JWOC's between them), felt it was the opportunity to give something back. At the NZOC the Long distance has always been regarded as the main event, but the Middle is now taken very seriously by the elites and top juniors. The Sprint is very recent addition but has a keen following again among the elites and juniors. To be honest the relay is more of a fun occasion at the end of the weekend.
You both also have coordinated a Junior Training Camp for NZ Federation. Did you try any innovating work in this camp? Was that experience enriching also to you?
It's certainly rewarding although a lot of the work is in coordinating a large team of coaches. As the camp caters for all levels of technical difficulty and is basically non-selective in terms of ability it is a big job to make sure that everyone is catered for appropriately. The most innovative thing was getting all of the juniors to the 2nd Lord of the Rings movie 1 night after it opened!
How can you describe in half a dozen lines the present situation of orienteering in New Zealand?
The numbers are not huge, maybe 400-500 for the NZOC, but the level of competition and ability of the top juniors bodes well. We tend to have only 4 or 5 major event weekends spread through the year with most of the competition on a local basis. Orienteering is very much a minor sport here though and we face a lot of competition from multi-sport and adventure racing.
What are your favourite websites?
The Wellington Orienteering Club site! [http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/ingham/woc.htm]
What do you expect from WMOC 2008?
Sunny weather, friendly people and nice sand-dune terrain!
Can you give a message to the other participants of WMOC 2008?
For those in the northern hemisphere New Zealand is a wonderful place for a winter holiday. In early 2009 you can take in the Oceania Championships in January in the South Island.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2007 Dec. 12th.)
[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