Who is Who
Ari Kattainen

Ari Kattainen, M50, FIN

[Picture - Life is not only work and orienteering. Ari Kattainen's second hobby is motorcycles.]

In Cantanhede Trophy (Portugal), last Feb 9th-10th, in a terrain similar to WMOC, you ran M40 and won: 4 min better than Santos Sousa (best portuguese M40), 12 min better than german Michael Finkenstaedt, 15 min better then swiss Christian Wehrli, both M40 in next WM. Did you like the terrain? Did you have 2 perfect races? How could you win so clearly against competitors 10 years younger? Why did you entry in M40?
Cantanhede training week and Trophy was my first trip to Portugal. I really liked Portugal and how well Ori-Estarreja had prepared training packages. Unfortunately I had flue and that's why only walked couple of courses with my wife. We walked one training in coastline and one in the mountains. It was very good way to get used to local mapping style and terrain.
In Trophy I was happy for Saturday race pace even I had one 2 minutes mistake. Excluding one control the orienteering was just perfect. Maybe one of the best I have ever had. But Sunday long distance race was difficult because soft ground made running heavy. You can see from split times that I almost walked to the finish line. I sometimes participate to younger age group for training purposes in order to get better and longer courses. In general Portuguese orienteering terrains and maps gave positive impression. No wonder more and more people are travelling there during cold Nordic winter.

You won last WMOC in Finland in M45, with 5 seconds better than Ilkka Peltola. How were your races at home? Did you enjoy Ruka? During Qualifying races, did you feel you could win the gold? Which adversary did you fear the most: Peltola, Tuomisto or a third one?
Ruka was ok even if I would have liked more technical terrain and more foreign participants. During qualifying I had confident feeling that everything is in control and I was able to control my pace and save some energy. In Final I just concentrated to orienteering without bothering what others might do and this time I was lucky to win.

Coming up from 45 and with so good results, it's normal to think that you will run for a victory in M50 in next WMOC. Do you feel you are in a good shape? Who else is in a favourite position to discuss the podium with you? (You beat several times Jukka-Pekka Rantio, the M50 winner in Finland).
I think Finns Jukka-Pekka Rantio and Jorma Nissilä will be very strong candidates for WMOC 2008 medals if they have had chance to do training. They both have now enough experience of WMOC week rhythm and they know what to do in order to be best shape in finals. Let's see how things go but there is a good chance for Finns to get all medals in M50.

Besides the gold in Finland 2007, you got silver in Denmark 1999 and bronze in Italy 2004. In Aahrus you missed the gold by 27 seconds to Sixten Westlund. In Asiago you missed the silver by 2 seconds to Heikki Peltola and the gold by 35 seconds to Jörgen Mårtensson. We can imagine how fierce were those competitions. Can you recall any details of those races? (If you attended other WMOC events, you also can talk about it.)
When looking past results it really looks like competition is very tight. One minute mistake can make the difference between gold and no medal. But it makes things interesting. Of course it's easy to say when you have got some medals but I really think that Championship race like WMOC is not the funniest part of the game. I enjoy most the journey to the goal. Planning, training and analysing for coming event is what I enjoy the most. Sometimes I feel like the Final is more like work which needs to be done.

But your main glory, of course, was in 1989 when, as a member of the Finnish national team, you attended the WOC in Sweden and got the bronze medal in the Relay with Keijo Parkkinen, Peter Ivars and Reijo Mattinen. Can you still remember that historic August 20th in Skövde?
It certainly was privilege to be part of Finnish national team and even got some result. I didn't do any real mistakes in the race. Just needed to stop 2-3 times for map reading. I didn't participate to personal race and after laying one week in Hotel room I was so rested and on the other hand excited of coming event that I didn't sleep a second in previous night before relay competition. It was something which makes you stronger.

In the following year, 1990, you got 6th individual place in Nordic Championships (NOC/NOM) and 3rd in Relays. Was it your best participation in NOM? Do you still remember those races?
Open Nordic Championships individual race 6th place is definitely my best result. It was 17km and 32 controls and I hardly did any mistakes. I was first man on the course and it was nice to watch competition after shower and be in lead for more than hour. It was really a positive surprise.
When I started serious training for orienteering I was already working in KONE Elevator Company and had family. This limited available time for training and I felt being like amateur with professionals.

You have run Jukola many times. Since 1997 in Hyvinkään team (4 places from 56th to 100th), but best results were in Angelniemen Ankkuri team (5th place in 1992 and 1993 and 7th place in 1996). We are talking about a relay with more than 1000 teams! What are your best memories from Jukola?
Victory in Jukola is maybe the only thing which I would have liked to have. My team (Helsingin NMKY and Angelniemen Ankkuri) have been seven times among seven best but no victory. Other than that I am very much satisfied. Best memories in Jukola are hopefully in front. My club Hyvinkään Rasti joined forces together with Rajamäen Rykmentti in 2004 and we made application for permission to arrange Jukola. On second trial in 2005 we got Jukola 2010. Arrangements are in good pace and all the work so far has been just pure pleasure and privilege.

You also have been to Tiomila (10Mila). Did you keep any special memories from your races in the Swedish relay?
I joined Angelniemen Ankkuri in 1991 and we had pretty strong team. Four out of ten participated in Finnish National team training camp in previous week of Tiomila. So we were strong enough to win few meters before Södertälje. Tiomila is always something special because of long dark night. Running alone in Tiomila night without mistakes is always rewarding and dream of many man during long winter runs.

Maybe for professional reasons, you lived during some time in Dallas. What is your job? How was your American experience? (I saw the results of 2 competitions with a big gap between your winner time and the time of second place...)
I have been working in KONE Elevators R&D for 23 years. Today I work as Electrification Chief Engineer. Company have been good for me and I have tried to give my best. When I was more serious in orienteering they were flexible with working hours and also let me took some extra weeks off.

Can you select your best (perfect) race ever?
Nordic Championship individual race in 1990 is definitely my best race. This competition was Open Championship, which meant there was 8 participants from each Nordic country and best of other countries too. Somebody claimed that participant list was more though than in World Championships where maximum 4 persons per country was allowed to participate on that time. Another special event for me is yearly Finnish Championship in night. I have won it eight times, every second time when participating. In night it's possible to go mentally in totally different kind of feeling. You are really alone on your own. It's a feeling I enjoy.

Can you select the event where you enjoyed the most? (Organization, terrain, maps, courses, atmosphere, sightseeing...)
At the moment Portugal and Switzerland are my favourites.

You are practicing orienteering probably for 30 years. Do you have any dream that you couldn't achieve until now? What do you want the most for next years concerning orienteering?
Near future in orienteering belongs to Jukola 2010. I am head course setter and it's a very interesting task. See www.jukola2010.net

Who is Suvi Kattainen? Is she a good orienteer too?
Suvi is my daughter. I believe she enjoys orienteering and being able to be contact with nature.

(Interview by Manuel Dias. Questions and answers by e-mail. Received on 2008 Apr 8th.)

[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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