Who is Who
Hugh Moore, M60, AUS
[Hugh Moore in a photo taken at Sweden 5 Days. The girl in the background is one of Australian juniors, Laurina Newman, who was at O-Ringen for the first time.]
You have been to New Zealand running in the 2008 Waitangi Summer Carnival (Feb 2nd-10th). Was it a nice event? Did you enjoy it?
Yes and yes. I'm a bit of an orienteering tragic these days, so I enjoy all my orienteering, no matter what my result. My theory is that you only learn when you push yourself past your limits and make mistakes, so I had a couple of good learning experiences in New Zealand. I specially had fun when I tested out the New Zealand dark green after I made a big 180-degree error and decided to explore the map instead of rushing to the finish - I needed to crawl on hands and knees to get through. Overall my results were only so so - probably typical for me overseas, where I always seem to make mistakes I'd never make in Australia - but I enjoyed myself and managed to be reasonably competitive at times with my NZ age class competitors - such as Alistair Stewart, Michael Wood, Derek Morrison, Max Kerrison, Rob Garden and Dave Middleton.
Do you have any particular memory from other else event in New Zealand?
Previous experiences in New Zealand have been similar. The terrain is very different from Australia, and quite varied, so I always enjoy the challenge. My memories of earlier events include a beautiful parallel error on a long leg that I managed to make fit for 25 minutes (a personal record) and getting locked behind a gate in a forest after I did some after event training. To get out required removing a fence post and getting a passing mountain biker to stand on the fence wires so I could drive my rental car over them to escape. The post was loose so maybe I wasn't the first to do this.
Now, Australia, your country! You won Australian Championships (veteran classes) in 1996, 2000 and 2004. Do you have any special adversary or is there a leading group and each one can win?
I'm one of about half a dozen in my age bracket who can win on any one day, depending on who makes the fewest errors, so it's always interesting. My aim is to always get a top three placing in all championship events I enter in Australia. I generally manage to do this. Recently my main rival has been Nigel Davies but I get clear of him in 2008 as he is a year younger. He has stated that it is his aim to be still competing as an M100 - and beating Hugh Moore! I got him at the Easter 3 Day last year, but he was well clear of me at the Australian Championships in July as I was coming back from injury (calf problems). He was still in good form at the subsequent Scottish 6 Days but I was improving and managed to be competitive on some of the courses.
Maybe your last event in 2007 was "Christmas 5 Days" that you won in Course C. Do you have "Xmas 5 Days" every year? What is the difference between these categories (A, B, C) and age classes (M55, M60...)?
In Australia we have a Xmas 5 Day every year, usually somewhere in New South Wales. It's a non-championship event without age classes and you choose the length category you feel like. Maybe I've been lucky recently to enter a category that hasn't had such a highly competitive fields. Anyway it's a fun event with a few hundred people and I specially enjoy it as you get to compete against people outside your age class (mainly younger in my case). The courses are good quality so I'd recommend it to anyone visiting Australia at that time of the year. We often have a few international visitors, as we did this year (including from Finland and Russia).
Rattall Creek, Barambogie, Littlechild... I've seen your name in a lot of races but I have no idea about how important is each one. Can you tell us a little about orienteering competitions in Australia?
Briefly, I live in the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), which has a population of only 300,000 but is surrounded by bush with a good range of orienteering opportunities. In Australia we have a State Championship for each State and Territory each year. Our two major ranking events are the Easter 3 Day and the Australian Championships Carnival and at each of these we can get up to 900 competitors. The last is rotated to a different State or Territory each year. In the ACT we have weekly orienteering events all year round, with a summer evening program that gets over 150 competitors to each, though some of these are only casual orienteers.
You have been planner in 3rd Oceania Orienteering Championships Carnival (Canberra, Oct 2007). How important are Oceania Champs where Australian and New Zealand orienteers compete together?
As a member of the Red Roos Orienteering Club I do my share of course setting and controlling and am accredited as a Level 2 Controller. My main contribution for the 2007 Oceania event was to produce the maps (together with my mapping partner Bob Allison) for three of the events. The Oceania Championships are held about every two years - with the usual rivalry found in NZ/Australian sports competitions - friendly but played hard. A bit similar to the way we compete between States in Australia. We and the New Zealanders often end up camping together at major overseas events such as WMOC and O-Ringen.
7th World Rogaining Championships, Oct 2006, Warrumbungle National Park... You, Ian Booth, Wayne Gregson! How these names still sound in your mind? (Don't forget that many European readers don't know what rogaining is - maybe you have to explain some details).
Rogaining is a great sport, which Australia is now exporting to the rest of the world, with the 2008 World Championships to be held later this year in Estonia. It's a bit like a large scale orienteering score event. Competitors must be in a team of at least two persons (for safety) and the classic event is held over 24 hours, from noon to noon. 12 hour and 8 or even 6 hour events are also now held. Controls have different values, with the most valuable usually furthest from the Hash House (the start and finish base) or most difficult to find or access. The map is usually a standard 1:25000 survey map, but specially prepared maps are sometimes used. Because of the time allowed the area covered can extend to many square kms. There is no set number of controls (maybe 30 on one course, 50 on another) and the setter usually ensures that it is not possible for even the winning team to collect all of them. Route choice planning is therefore very important and competitors get the maps a couple of hours before starting the event. Food is continuously available at the Hash House and many competitors come back for refreshments or rest, though the top teams usually take food with them and stay out all night. Categories include age classes, mixed and family teams and many participants are in it for fun rather than to win. Unfortunately I have bad memories of the Warrumbungle event, as it was very hot when we started (34 degrees) and after 6 hours, due to drinking too much water, I got severe cramps - in places in my legs I never even knew I had muscles! I kept going for the rest of the 24 hours but my subsequent calf problems may have been due to this bad adventure.
What is your date of birth and where do you live? What is your job?
I was born on 9 July 1948, and have lived most of my life in Canberra, ACT, where I worked for the Australian Government for over 30 years before drawing a pension in 2003. Before 2001 family and work commitments restricted my ability to travel to orienteering events in Australia and overseas. Since 2003 I have been involved in making orienteering maps. This gives me some extra dollars and has allowed me to travel to overseas orienteering events every year - so long as I live in a tent while away. For a hobby, over the last few years I have taught myself Swedish and can now understand enough to read Skogsport, which I subscribe to. But don't talk to me fast in Swedish! I've also written a couple of historical novels as "Hugh Capel" [Interviewer suggests http://www.historypages.net/index.html ].
Did you practice other sport different from orienteering? What kind of training do you use to do? How did you discover orienteering?
I came to sport late in life, but got very serious after I discovered running when I was about to turn 30. I ran a number of marathons (best 2.39) then some ultra marathons before finding orienteering in my mid 30's. I've been hooked ever since. I had 20 years of injury free running and thought I was indestructible but at age 50 discovered I wasn't and have had a fair range of problems since. If it's true that you are the sum of your injuries then I'm now a very well rounded character. For my current training I try to put in one 2-hour run each week (not always successful). I do plenty of hills but have been very restricted over recent years in speed work - mostly I now just race in orienteering events.
Do you remember your best (perfect) race or the worst?
I have a very poor memory these days (must be old age) so I remember very little about particular races or courses, other than the big mistakes. This has the advantage of making life more interesting, like the goldfish swimming round the bowl, which has such a small brain that each time around what it sees is brand new. So it is for me with orienteering maps. Mistakes are another matter. I started my orienteering career by running off the map a number of times. Nowadays my mistakes usually involve amazing feats of making the map fit after a 180 degree or parallel error.
You have been in Sweden 5 Days O-Ringen, at least in 2001 and 2004. What memories do you have from the biggest event in the world?
I first travelled overseas for orienteering in 2001, including to O-Ringen. Since 2003 I have been every year. I remember the amazing rain and mud of some years. Once I returned to my tent to find it floating in a moat of water that I had to step over to get inside! The terrain is so different to Australia I took a few years to adjust and made some very big mistakes. Competitor's attitudes are also different. During one 25 minute adventure, where I kept thinking I was in the forest when I was in a marsh (it was no wetter and had trees in it after all) I had to tell two other competitors who offered help that I didn't want any. One was quite insistent and said that he wasn't in my class. I told him that I wanted to work it out myself, and I did, eventually. When people ask me for help I now say "Jag vet inte" (I don't know), which is often true.
Beside Sweden, you have also competed in Finland, Norway and Denmark. Did you feel a big difference between Australian and Scandinavian terrains?
The first time I tried orienteering in Finland I was amazed at how the locals could run through the terrain. I just stood there trying to sort out what was on the map. I got going and after a couple of legs tried taking a shortcut across some green vegetation that looked okay to me. I was immediately chest deep in a boggy marsh and being sucked in. I then realised why the locals were going around it!
Where else have you been competing?
I always enjoy Scandinavia but Scotland is also good. I've been to the World Masters in Lithuania, Italy, Halden and Austria. The terrain overseas is so different from Australia that it takes years of experience to get good at reading it. I've now been going overseas every year since 2003 and am much better at it, but as this gives me just 3 to 4 weeks of competition each year I have still only accumulated a total of less than 6 months overseas experience. The top elite Australian orienteers usually end up living overseas for much of the time.
How many races do you usually program to a European "season"? For example, this year, before or after Portugal WMOC, where will you be competing?
Because of the cost and the distance I try to put together a program each time, usually for 4 to 5 weeks. This year I will be flying directly to Lisbon, then travelling on to WOC at Czech - then to O-Ringen and Voss - and flying home from Bergen.
Have you made "international friends" in these meetings?
I now have a number of overseas friends, too many to mention all individually. In Portugal I'll look forward to catching up with Martin Checkley and I'm competing at O-Ringen for Swedish club OK Enen, which my friends Kristina and Tommy Wåhlin belong to. I also know Eddie Harwood, who has featured on your site. I teamed up with Eddie in a long distance orienteering event in Australia in the 1980s when I was new to orienteering. At that stage I could keep up with him, but have no chance now.
Veteran World Cup 1992 was held in Tasmania, and Australia also received WMOC 2002 (Bendigo). Have you been to these events? What was your best result in a WMOC?
I missed the Tasmanian event as I was unable to travel due to work and family commitments. At Bendigo I was sick (flu). I've often been sick or injured at many of the overseas events I've travelled to, including WMOC in Lithuania (flu), Halden (flu) and Austria (bruised rib and speared leg). My best WMOC result was in Italy where I finished in the middle of the M55 A Final.
How many Australian people are coming with you to Portugal? Two of them are Robert Allison and Darryl Erbacher, your team-mates in some relays. With Allison you may have some "accounts" to adjust... He has beaten you in Australian Long Distance 2006. Do you have any private bet to next WMOC?
We should have a good turn up of Australians to Portugal and other overseas events this year as last year many were involved with JWOC commitments in July. Bob and I are mapping partners and are both in the same club so I'm happy to see him do well. Darryl is my preferred rogaining partner, but we probably won't get a chance to compete together seriously again as we have both have ongoing injury worries we don't want to risk putting under the extreme pressure involved in a full on rogaine.
It will be your first time competing in Portugal. What do you really expect from WMOC 2008, concerning results, courses, event organization, terrain, landscape and people?
I've already met the "crazy Portuguese" in 2006 as we were on the same busses going to events in Austria and Denmark - and they were friends of Martin Checkley. They had a good sense of humour so I expect Portugal will be a friendly place. I'm sure WMOC will be a great experience, with top technical challenges, but I don't expect too much from my own performance. I don't perform as well as some in the heat, and I'm not well practiced in sand dunes as there is no terrain like that here. That's why I'm coming - to get practice in unfamiliar terrain and to push my limits - and to enjoy the experience. My main objective this year, my first as M60, is to do well at home, and to continue to improve in Scandinavia. WMOC 2009 in Australia should be my best opportunity to see how I stack up internationally - so long as I can avoid injury and illness. As you get older it's the last man still running that wins.
(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Feb 28th.)
[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