Who is Who
Alberto Minguez

Alberto Minguez, M40, ESP

[Alberto Minguez Viñambres with his 3 medals in Spain Orienteering Championships 2007. Last March he won 3 medals again.]

In Long Distance, you won, at least, 3 very important competitions in last year: Spanish Championships 2007 and 2008 and last Iberian Championships. It seems that it is your favourite distance. Is it correct? Do you have special trainings to this distance? How do you "run" a long distance race? (Always the same level of effort? First part slower, second faster? It depends on the day humour...?)
Long distance is very attractive for me, but I train more technically for middle distance. I think that long distance is a concentration question during more time and, of course, endurance preparation. I try to run long distance races at the same level of effort (may be except the first point), it is a security matter, depends on the terrain.

Probably your raids and adventure races also have developed your resistance for long distances. Can you tell us a little bit about your experience in Team Buff?
Actually raids are only preparation and enjoy aspect for me. We, the orienteers, are very perfectionist people about the maps and sometimes I don't like to find controls in 1:25.000. But running with a team like Buff is always very grateful and fun. I haven't run many raids and now I don't want to run again because is more probable to have an injury with my age. In the last one I was injured in my knee for one month. I think raiders are very strong people, physically and psychologically.

You also have good results in MTBO. You won Short and Long Distance in Spanish Championships "Bici 2007" (Vet). Is MTBO a complementary activity for your pedestrian races? Or do you like the both with same enthusiasm?
I like very much MTB. MTBO is funny, but not as running. It's a good complementary aspect for pedestrian races, but actually I never train for MTBO. The only races I have run last year were the two races of MTBO Spanish Championships. Biking is a very hard sport and I have a low level.

You teach at university and you are an expert on orienteering training. Last year you published the book "El entrenamiento del corredor de orientación". What are the main skills of a good orienteer? Is it possible to indicate some targets that every orienteer must pursue if he wants to become a top runner?
I think that orienteering is a very difficult sport. You have to know a lot of techniques, be strong in endurance and have a very good psychological skills and preparation. Sometimes it is difficult to train technically, and to be a top runner you have to start when you are a child. The motivation is another aspect that is very important, because the perfect race, I think, doesn't exist, and you have to make your mistakes smaller, day after day and year after year. At the same time, of course, you also have to go quicker, day after day and year after year.

Backing to Murcia, Spanish Championships 2008 and Costa Calida Trophy, March 21st, did you like the hard and physical terrain of Calasparra? Do you remember your LD race? Some courses had a long leg and one of the route choices was a deep gorge between high cliffs. Roger Casal (HE) used this option. Did you have the same choice?
I like the Murcia terrain very much (hard terrain). My legs are better in that kind of terrain (in flat and easy areas I run slower). I had a big mistake (about 3-4 minutes) at one control, but the rest of the race I felt very good technically and physically. When I arrived, I thought that I was not going to win (because of the big mistake). I used, like Roger, the deep gorge, but afterwards I saw another maybe better option. I had a little pain in my right leg at the start and I didn't want to go up and down in this first part of the race. At last it was a very good choice (may be I have to be very grateful to my leg pain). The course planning was great in the whole race.

Beside LD, at Calasparra you also won Vet. A Relay and got 2nd place in Middle Distance. Three medals again, as you did in 2007. Can you compare your performance now and one year ago?
I think that last year I was in better shape, but I like more this kind of terrains. This year I also train more technically.

How do you remember your fierce competition against Portuguese Santos Sousa in Iberian Championship, last November in Malaga, where you got gold in Sprint and Long Distance, and silver in Middle?
I ran very well Long Distance and Middle. The best race for me was Middle, but Santos won me. I had no mistakes and I think that Santos is a very strong runner. I know that in Portugal he gets very good results in comparison with elite orienteers. May be he had big mistakes in Sprint, because I didn't run very well. In Long I ran very well, but with small mistakes.

About 10 years ago, you competed in 2 WOC events: Grimstad, Norway, in 1997, and Inverness, Scotland, Great Britain, in 1999. What memories do you have from your participation in top Elite competitions? Do you specially remember any particular race?
It was a nice time. I remember better 1997, because it was the first time. Anyway I have to remember that, in long qualification race in Inverness, I was running very well until 3 points to finish (I think in a time enough to get the final), but I saw a Norwegian guy and it has broken my concentration (I thought that I was already in the "finish line", just three controls reading my map and his movements). I lost 5 minutes in one control because I was reading more his movements than my map, and he was stronger than me, of course!!! I learnt very much of this race (but I had preferred to get the final!!).

You have been, at least, one time in O-ringen (2000). Official number: 13729 competitors. Do you still remember this ocean of people?
I think that every orienteer has to go to O-ringen. It is the orienteering party. I was very relaxed in the races, the results was a secondary aspect.

After Grimstad 1997, did you feel better in Scandinavian terrain in Hallsberg 2000?
I think that Scandinavian terrain is always difficult for people from South Europe. You have to go slower to have no mistakes, it is not our terrain. The first time I was in a Scandinavian terrain I said: now I know why they are the bests. But if you train a lot in that kind of terrains you can be a very good runner (look at French guys).

France maybe is more similar to Spain. Did you have good races in "5 Jours"? Your name already appears in the entries list to "6 Jours de l'Aveyron", next August. Do you think, like Thierry, that it will be "la compétition de l'année"?
I like very much to run in France. In 2001, 2003 and 2005 I was running in 5 Days, but like holidays with my family and friends. Last year in the Landes [Gironde], I ran for first time in H40 in a competitive rhythm. I was 6th overall and I won the 2nd day. I was very happy, because it was a terrain where I usually run not very well (I prefer mountain and stony terrain). In August I will go to the 6 Days de l´Aveyron and I want to be in the H40 podium (I think that it is difficult, but possible). I love that kind of terrain because I live close to stony terrain in the Madrid mountains. Actually it is the summer goal in this year.

What do you expect from WMOC 2008? Are you in a good shape? Do you feel you are able to beat Scandinavian runners in a south terrain? What is your aim to this World Masters in Long and in Sprint?
I hope to be in a good shape. I know, as I told before, that is not my terrain to go in a competitive speed, but orienteering is orienteering. My goal is to run as well as I can, but in a WMOC there are so many runners from the world that are excellent (most of them always won me many years before, and for a lot of minutes!!!). It is my first WMOC and I want to taste this competition in a very good place and in a very good terrain.

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Apr 10th.)

[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

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