In March of this year Kristiansand OK visited the Czech Republic near Česká Lípa for a week filled with challenging training, as well as competing in Prague Easter 2016. In early July we were able to host our friends from SCM/TSM Jestedska oblast and give them a chance to try orienteering Norwegian-style.

One of the first training sessions was in Baneheia, where our guests were challenged to find all of the Baneheiatrimmen and skoleorientering controls in Baneheia within 40 minutes. There was no order to take them in, just to come back before 40 minutes was up. Many Czechs gave it their all to succeed, making it a race to see who could be the first one back.

The second day of training was at Bringsvær. There were two training courses in very different terrain types. A long course in the wet marsh with a focus on long route choices, and another course with focus on hillside orientation. This was not all however, as the nice weather allowed for the daring to swim in the freezing lake. After a traditional Norwegian meal there was time for some soccer and napping before the next training.

Photo: R. Hermansen


The third day started with a tough technical training at Kvåse. A combination of different technical exercises combined with the draining terrain made this a challenging training to complete. However the day was not over, and we had time to participate in the second Summercup race. The race was on top of the mountains in Kjerrane, an easier location to run fast and use the new skills they had learned.

On the fourth day we went to the island of Bragdøya. We were at a beach were we enjoyed the weather by going swimming, playing volleyball and just relaxing. After about an hour we were staring the first training with team intervals. Two people were on a team and competing against another team. The courses were short and there was fun competition. After a few hours of relaxing and having fun, the next activity started with crazy-o. Teams of Norwegians and Czechs were on a team and we punched controls and completed challenges. 

The final four days were spent running Sørlandsgaloppen. The first of the races was a sprint in Lillesand. The courses were in the town’s center, with many small twists and turns to confuse the runners. Although the weather was not the best, the Czechs created an energetic mood for everyone! The next days of Sørlandsgaloppen were spent at Høvåg School, a place with several terrain types. The second day was middle distance, while the third and fourth days were respectively long and middle distance. On all days runners between the ages of 13-20 wore GPS tracking so the audience could see where they had run.

On the second day of Sørlandsgaloppen the terrain was relatively flat compared to many other areas around Kristiansand. The courses length ranged from 2 km to 4.6 km, and the Czechs had many good results on the second day. Luckily the weather was also very nice, so the atmosphere at the arena was very good.

The third day was the long distance. This time start was quite a bit further away, but the terrain was very beautiful with a lot of details, however it was very demanding to run, because of the hilly terrain.

The fourth day was a chasing start based on the results from the previous days. If a runner was more than 20 minutes behind the leader, they would start in a mass start. Unfortunately the weather was not very nice on this day, making it even more fun to run! After the last race we had a farewell celebration at the club house with team orienteering and more grilling. All in all our Czech friends' visit was a big success! Thanks to the organizers for their hard work.


Text: David and John Runde  Photos: Roar Hermansen