Timo & Yivi  |  Aotearoa orienteering vacation
By Christo Peters - Mon 25 Mar 2024 8:32pm
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Timo Suter and Yivi Kastner planned their trip to Aotearoa this past summer as a holiday, but made sure it ticked all the orienteering events on the way. The timing was right to take a break from student studies and fit in a travel experience whilst they have more time. There was much advice and urging from others to ‘do it now when you are young’. and Timo mentioned avoiding winter provided great conditions for them to train. A tip from Timo though – if you happen ask Tim Robertson about travelling downunder, you could be invited to help on the High Performance and junior camps. 

After coaching at both camps Timo & Yivi stayed in Christchurch for seven weeks running with the local Southerly Storm orienteering group and entering all local orienteering events available. A highlight was Joseph Lynch encouraging Timo to run the famous Lovelock classic mile run in Timaru, which Timo entered and finished in a time of 4:22. Timo and Ylvi later headed to  the North Island to compete in the Oceania Lonely Mountain Sprints and the Auckland Triple Crown events.  

Asked what they have both loved about their stay, the answer was all about the friendly orienteering community and “the great atmosphere of being within an orienteering bubble”. Their advice to other athletes coming from Europe to NZ is to allow ” plenty of travel time and at least 4-5 weeks to travel around in New Zealand.” It is a long way to travel and you will want to optimise your time here to help your training by staying longer and make it more of a lifetime experience”.  They have had time to visit Nelson and drive down the west coast of the South island. There was plenty of time to soak up the scenery and enjoy a very different Christmas in summer. Timo adds that “Not having to train in the snow was a definite bonus”.

They are looking forward to connect with Kiwis in Europe in the future. Here are a few Timo & Ylvi’s favourite things to talk about when you next see them:  

1. Your home orienteering club:Timo: Cordoba OLC (apx. 250 members, clubs based around the city of Baden, north of Zurich)     Ylvi: Naturfreunde Wien (biggest orienteering club in Austria based in Vienna)

2. Most scenic / memorable place visited in NZ so far:Timo: Abel Tasman (Longrun from Totaranui)   Ylvi: Wharariki Beach

3. Your favourite apps / websites that you cannot do without?Timo: Strava and Whatsapp  Ylvi: Strava 

4. What shoes did you pack running sprints:Timo: I have plenty of shoes, for sprint races I usually run with Nike streakly or trainings with Nike pegasus    Ylvi: At the moment I mostly use the New Balance FuelCell TC for sprint orienteering.
And the shoes for off trail terrain? Timo: I like to run orienteering trainings and competitions with Vj IRock   Ylvi: I usually run with the VJ Bold X or the VJ IRock.

5. What is the motto or inspiring quote you like? Timo: regarding training and competitions I like the quote of Steve Prefontaine. “The best pace is a suicide pace and today looks like a good day to die.” Steve Prefontaine
Ylvi: Hard work beats talent if talent doesn’t work hard.

6. Best snacks for after running? Timo: Some candy, chocolate and a Soda 😉     Ylvi: bananas and chocolate

7. Music to move to: Timo: I do not have some specific music which I like the most, but “You and Me” from Nico Manfredi is a classic   Ylvi: I don’t really listen to music while running, but i really enjoy listening to (comedy/sports) podcasts.

8. Favourite orienteering map you have run on: Timo: There are many amazing areas. Nybo (SWE) around Idre and Guardamar Norte (Spain) are among my favourite maps. Ylvi: Venice (Italy) is definitely one of the best places for sprint orienteering.

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