Simona Aebersold SUI and Kasper Fosser NOR, why are you here!?
SA: MOC and MOC Camp is a great opportunity to run some competitions again. There have not been many races in the world recently and for European Championship (EOC) preparation I think it is really good to be racing again. We don’t get to do Knock-Out sprints so often so today is invaluable.
KF: It is great to be here in Italy and finally be racing some international competitions, test my shape a bit and MOC & MOC Camp offer great technical challenges that we don’t really get in Norway and where I am living at the moment in Gothenburg, Sweden. So it is good to be here for my EOC preparation. And the weather is really great + fifteen degrees compared to 2 degrees in Gothenburg.
SA: There was snow last week in Switzerland so it is pretty nice to get some sun and T-shirt weather! Last year I spent a lot of time in Switzerland, but before that I was mostly abroad and travelling around, training for racing. I really missed this last year.
What did you think about MOC?
SA: Day 1 in Lonigo was really special. It has been a long time since I have run such a sprint. Quite different to a ‘normal’ sprint. Lots of compass work! More exact Orienteering and lots of route-choices as well, surprisingly many. It was very nice to run there at Villa San Fermo.
KF: It was definitely more challenging than I expected. With the forest being not too green and quite nice to run in, and with the hills and route-choices, it got quite tricky.
On Day 1 my legs were feeling really good actually but I was a bit stressed at the start and I never really got into a good flow with the map reading. I was quite good however until the end. I was second with 3 more minutes left of running. Then I made 3 mistakes at the 3 last controls, maybe 20 seconds each. I guess I just lost my head a bit. It wasn’t my day. But it was still a fun course and I noticed my shape was really good, especially on the up-hills.
SA: On Day 2 in Montecchio Maggiore my legs were already a bit tired from the day before so it was really tough to run such a physically fast course. There were some route-choices, but I took some wrong ones and lost some time there. But otherwise it was just running and running as fast as possible.
KF: Day 2 was tough physically for me too. I think I took the best route-choices, with one small 5 second mistake. Otherwise it was a very good technical performance. It was unusual to be back in a race and be pushing this hard again and I notice I need to practice again at my competition speed, for sure.
You’ve just run the 1st Round of the Knock-Out Sprint. MOC 2 Day was good preparation then?
SA: I think so. MOC day 2 was physical and the first race today was really physical.
KF: Yes, for sure. I checked my watch after this Heat and I was running 3:09 pace. It’s not often you get that kind of pace in a Sprint! We will see what happens in the Semi-Finals and Finals but I am guessing it will get trickier.
Overall, Simona won the 16th MOC.
SA: Yes, my first time at MOC and my first win.
KF: Fourth overall for me this time and this is my third MOC.
SA: And I won lots of nice Italian cheese, wine and cake. Great to take back to Switzerland. But best of all I won a Holiday to Egypt to Sharm el-Sheikh and the Domina Coral Bay Resort – the resort which will also host PWT Italia’s 5+5 in the Autumn. It’s a really nice prize. I don’t think I have ever won a holiday before!
KF: At JEC you won a trip to the Scottish 6 Days!?
SA: Ah yes but I could not go there. But hopefully I can get to Sharm el-Sheikh.
What other great prizes have you won in your career?
SA: Hard to say. There are so many great prizes. This holiday to Egypt is definitely one of the best prizes I have won.
KF: One of the most useful things I won was an SI card which I won at JWOC last year which I used today. Maybe not that special however.
SA: I won 3 watches at JWOC in Switzerland. Also quite a good present you can use every day. I also won a Garmin watch at JWOC in Norway but I gave it to my brother as I already had one, and he’s been using it for the last 5 years.
Why do you like Italy? What makes it special?
SA: Ice-cream! The food is always nice in Italy and the weather too. It’s always like being on holiday! Especially when I see the palm trees and sun.
KF: For me it is nice to be back in Italy. We used to come here twice a year. Once on holiday with my family and the other time with my grandfather to the Italian 5 Days in the Autumn, for several years, so I have seen a lot of really nice places. The weather is always good and there are some really cool sprint Orienteering areas.
Interview by Nick Barrable for PWT Italy