I just ran as fast as I could
Petr Kadeřávek | 16.9.2013
Here we come with another champion, Lisa Risby, winner of long, second at middle. Another champion who had her ups and downs during JWOC and experienced a varied week here.
Born: 6 July 1993
Lives: Göteborg (moved here after JWOC)
School: Studying Geosciences at Göteborg University (started after JWOC)
Team: OK Kåre
If I say JWOC 2013, what will come as the first thing to your mind?
That’s a really hard question. Actually, I think, it will be the team. Maybe it’s a standard answer, but actually, yes, it is the team. Sara (Sara Hagström – note), when she came into the finish after the long distance, said: “Lisa will win this!” They believed in me and that helped me really much.
Did they believe in you even more than in Frida? I think that she was said to be favourite more frequently, but surely it is difficult to make such judgements in advance and without good knowledge of the runners. And in the end, it might be a question of seconds or good luck ...
Frida has been more stable then me before, so she has had better results. But this spring I had a better flow in my orienteering so we became more or less on the same level. So I don’t think that either of us was a greater favourite than the other; we both had the chance.
With what ambitions did you come to the JWOC? Did you believe you could take a medal?
Maybe I believed that I could do it, but at the same time I was really, really uncertain of what I was capable of doing, because there are people you never meet at competitions, so you can never be sure of anything. But I absolutely had it in my mind beforehand that I wanted it.
How many times have you visited Czech terrain during the preparation stages and how many times before (if ever)? Did you feel some of the types of terrain, and hence some of the disciplines, as more suitable for you than the others?
I was on one training camp before JWOC. When I first saw the terrain for the long distance I thought that it could be something for me; I’m used to a lot of hills from my home town Falun. I was more insecure about the middle distance because it demanded more technical skills, and I had been a bit up and down in my orienteering.
Did your training before JWOC pass according to your plans, with no injuries?
I could do exactly as I wanted to without any problems.
What is your strongest memory from the gold race in long distance?
:-) It must be the finish because the terrain was so hard and therefore you never thought you were running fast, so I was totally surprised when they said I was first. It was a complete shock! And it was a really nice feeling!
But having looked at the split times and route choices, there were some mistakes, not so small on posts 1 and 8, and smaller on some others (e.g. 3, 9, 10). So did the others make more mistakes - or are you stronger, do you think?
I think that it’s easier to make mistakes in a JWOC than in competitions back at home. That’s how I feel, because I’m more tense then usual and I want more out of it. But I think that my strength was that I didn’t focus on the mistake and I didn’t give up. I just ran as fast as I could.
After the gold race you said it would be very difficult to re-focus for the next races. So how did you manage to re-focus?
I really don’t know, but I think that I just used the thought “I did it once and I want to do it again”. And I just focused on that, and I used the gold medal to improve my self-esteem.
And the silver race in middle? It didn’t seem from the beginning that you were running such a good race.
No, I wasn’t, actually. To the fourth control and second control, I was quite well down. At the fifth control I saw Lucy Butt (she started 2 minutes after Lisa), and then I thought that if I don’t run faster now I have no chance at all, so I just speeded up :-) .
And so what went wrong at the beginning? In some other interview you said that you were too passive, so were you not careful enough with the map reading at the beginning?
I was too passive at the beginning and made safe route choices, so my speed was just too low. If I could do it all over again I would focus less on small details and choose some big ones to be able to speed up. So I think that I had the wrong technical plan from the beginning.
It is just a speculation, but do you think that if Lucy hadn't appeared behind you, you really would have been slower and perhaps without medal?
Yes, that’s probably true. If she had never appeared, I would have continued on too slowly.
What was your feeling on the start line of the sprint race? Did you want to increase your collection or in contrary, were you relaxed because you had already achieved big success?
Of course I wanted to have another good race. But I have never had good results in sprint, so I planned not to look at the definitions, to get more time for route choices and running. So now I’ve learned not to test something new at a championship!
Well, and so what happened there? We were quite unsure after looking at your map with your route choices ...
After the spectator control (13th) and passage through the arena I ran the course backwards (15th and then 14th) and I missed going to the 16th control. Sara did almost the same. I don’t know what time I would have had if I had run correctly, but it would have been slower than what my time actually was at the finish. I think I became too stressed when I heard that I was 10 seconds behind the lead at the spectator control.
When did you realise that you had done something wrong - not until the finish, or did you conclude that it would take too much time to return, so that the result would anyway be useless, and you knew that you were not running to the 16th anymore?
I didn’t know that I had done something wrong until I reached the finish.
I read on the OK Kåre website that sprint is your favourite discipline.
No, I think they hoped that I would have a good race so that it could be my new favourite distance :-)! I have not done anything good in sprint before. I was third in the Swedish championship, but I was almost half minute after the winner. So I was totally surprised at the spectator control in the JWOC race – it was amazing to hear it. And then I was quite mad… but it’s all about those first ten minutes for me. Then I just thought “eleven seconds behind at the JWOC, I’ve never done anything like that”. It just feels like I’ve improved very much this week, and I couldn’t be sad.
Unfortunately, just on the day of the relay where Sara missed a control, you had your 20th birthday … but all was forgotten by the evening with the banquet, so you enjoyed a celebration?
Yes, of course I did. It was a pity that I couldn’t run, but I was quite satisfied with the week overall. It was just sad for Sara that it happened. But in relays that kind of thing can happen.
Which terrain did you like the most?
That’s hard. I really like it when it’s hilly, and that’s my favourite, but still it was really fun to run the technical middle. But I think the long, because I like to run and not to have to think all the time.
This was a huge improvement in your results from the JWOC 2012 to JWOC 2013. Last year 22nd place was the best for you. What have you done differently in preparation for this JWOC?
I think last year I was in really good shape, but I hadn’t the mental part in place. I think this year I knew what to expect, I knew everything: I never needed to think of how the pre-start, the start and everything works. It went back to normal and it was just a regular race again. I just did everything as I am used to doing, whereas last year I thought I had to do something special…
Therefore was it enough that you simply did not need to face new situations during (or before) the race, or did you go through some mental training after the JWOC 2012? In some other interview, you said that you felt blocked in those matters in which you thought that you could be weak (for example plain running on track). What helped - just change of mental approach or did you improve physically in your weak points too?
I’ve got help from someone in my club to improve my route-choice skills and to be calm mentally. So I’ve worked hard with both the technical part and the mental approach. And I feel that I’ve made progress compared to last year.
How did you like the atmosphere here?
:-) Yeah, it was really nice. Many more people than last year. I liked it. I have enjoyed everything. And I really liked that it was on TV, I really liked it. It was really fun to see it afterwards.
And did you feel support from your Czech friends?
Yeah, it was very funny to see everyone everywhere :-). That was really good – it was to feel like you were a little bit at home when you know people from the country you are running in.
(to explain this – a few Czech runners have OK Kåre as their Nordic team, all being members of the club from Pardubice, which is a city just 20 km from Hradec Králové where JWOC had its Event Centre).
Are there more orienteers in your family? I know about Kajsa – your sister I suppose? And how did you come to orienteering?
Both my mum and dad have been practising orienteering in their youth. So they were in the sport and also introduced me to it. So I and my sister (correct, Kajsa) continued on with orienteering. My brother Erik was the only one who didn’t like the sport too much.
I know now already, that this information is outdated, but on the Swedish team website I could read that you were working, not studying, until recently. Did you have enough time for training?
Before JWOC I was living back home in Falun and worked at Bergvik Skog, a forestry company. They helped me a lot so that I could go on those training camps I wanted to. I also could work with flexible times so that I could train when I wanted to. So Bergvik was a great help for me. Now I’m living in Gothenburg and studying geosciences at the university.
And so will you be still faithful and stay a member of OK Kåre or are you thinking to move to IFK Göteborg for example?
I really like it in Kåre, so I have no reasons for changing club.
By the way - what does Kåre in the name of the team mean: is it correct, the google translation as "breeze"?
There is a story about a goat called Kåre. As the story is told, it came home to his farmer with red-coloured horns. The farmer followed the goat to find out why they were coloured, and he found out that the goat had rubbed his horns in copper ore lying on the ground. That place later on became the Falun copper mine. And therefore the name OK Kåre.
Sweden is quite a big country, so how often during the year do you see the others from the junior team at competitions and common training camps? How often do you travel abroad for training camps?
Well in general I see them at the bigger competitions in Sweden. And additional to that we have about 2-3 training camps in a year, but it’s not always the same.
It’s hard to say how many times I go abroad each year, because it’s not the same every year. But I probably go once before the season begins in the spring and then maybe some more during the year.
And so how often do you have the bigger competitions in Sweden, where you can compete against each other - just roughly, let's say five, ten, fifteen weekends per year?
It's maybe 4 weekends with Swedish championships, about 3 with the Silva League (like Swedish cup), the Five-Days and important relays like 10-mila and 25-manna. So maybe 10 times a year, and the competitions can be spread over the whole of Sweden, but it's most common that they are in the middle and the south of Sweden.
Is the Swedish junior team (and you in particular) going to JEC?
Yes, the Swedish team is going to JEC, but the group isn't selected yet so I have no idea if I will go or not.
What's your personal best on 3 (5) km on the athletics track? Does the time achieved have some significance in selection for JWOC?
Actually I haven’t done these kinds of tests too much. I don’t think they are relevant for me because I compete in forests.
And what's your favourite kind of breakfast before an important competition?
My favourite breakfast... I'm not too fussy. But I can tell you instead one thing that I really DON'T want to eat, that’s oatmeal. It's like the worst thing I know.
This year was your last one as a junior. How do you see - or how do you prepare for – that difficult step from junior to main class? Is there something in particular, you think, you should primarily improve? How broad is the Swedish national team: can you, or others of this year's good juniors, get into it already next year (let's say if the team has more groups for example)?
I think it will be quite interesting to be a senior, it will be fun with a new challenge. I think that I have to work harder on my technical skills, because I believe that I can make a lot of improvement in that area. But in general I believe that I will continue on as I’ve done last year and give it some time.
The senior team this year has not been divided into groups, it has been one group only. But I don't know how it will be for next year. So I have no idea, I just have to wait and see :-)
Questions by Lenka Klimplová and Petr Kadeřávek