Anni-Maija and Jarkko have been living in Halden since March and now 2 days before Jukola we publish an interview with them.
How did you get in touch with Halden SK and why did you chose this club?
Anni: I got in touch with Halden SK via Jarkko. I have visited Halden a couple of times before and noticed how great place it is for an orienteerer. The biggest reason why we moved here is WOC 2016.
Jarkko: Some people might still remember that I run for HSK during 2000-2006, so I know the club and city pretty well from those years. We were thinking of a best way to prepare for WOC 2016 and the choice was quite obvious – for me Halden is the place to be for orienteering and I hope it will work out well also for Anni-Maija.
Where do you come from? What did you do (studies, job) before coming to Halden and what do you do here now, besides training?
Anni: I grew up in Hamina. For last few years we have lived in Tampere. Besides training I studied landscape architecture in Aalto University in Espoo and graduated just before moving here. Now here, so far, I do nothing else besides training. I am looking for a part time job.
Jarkko: I am trying to finally finish my studies at the University of Tampere (Computer Science). After that I have to find out what I want to do when I grow up. Meanwhile I'm working for a Finnish mobile testing company Qubilea.
Tell me a bit about your orienteering background, your best results and/or also about your most exciting orienteering experience.
Anni: My previous clubs are Vehkalahden Veikot and Tampereen Pyrintö. I come from orienteering family, so it was natural to start orienteering. My best individual place in World Championships is still 5th place from middle distance in Japan 2005. After that I have been 6th five times. I have found my level... I have won twice World Championships in relay and once Venla Relay and 10mila. Maybe those relays are the most exciting orienteering experiences I have had.
Jarkko: I have won many Jukolas, Tiomilas and even WOC-relay once, but the strongest memories are from those times I lost Jukola as a last leg runner (twice) and when I lost WOC-middle by 10 seconds. But, the journey has been great so far and it still continues!
What is your most favourite club training and how does the club environment differs from what you experienced earlier?
Anni: Because of achilles injury I have not been able to participate in many club trainings, but usually I like most trainings where I can compete.
The club environment does not differ so much from earlier, but here we have more people taking part in the trainings. In addition a hired coach is something we did not have in my previous clubs. Here the focus for elite orienteering seems to be obvious.
Jarkko: My favourites are relay trainings and difficult middle distances and of course sauna at Høiås on Thursdays after a good night training. I've seen many clubs so far in my career and HSK has the best training program with many organised o-tech trainings.
What do you expect from the club and how long do you plan to stay? Do you have any dreams/goals?
Anni: I expect high quality trainings and nice company. We have planned to stay until autumn 2016. I have many dreams and goals. My wish is to run without pain, train well and succeed in competitions.
Jarkko: Dreaming keeps me going! I hope to be injury free and maintain my passion for training and orienteering. We'll see how it works out and what will happen after WOC in Strömstad.
Do you have any favourite leg at Tiomila, favourite orienteering discipline, terrain?
Anni: I like orienteering when it goes well. No matter which leg, discipline or terrain.
Jarkko: My favourite terrain is hilly, bare rock, terrains close to Turku and Paimio, but I like Halden and Strömstad terrains very much also.
Any (other) hobbies?
Anni: Sport and music. I play the piano.
Jarkko: All kinds of (TV-) sports.
Do you think and if so in which way can you enrich the club environment?
Anni: I hope I can enrich the club environment by being active and just being myself. Maybe I am not the most visible and noisy person but I want to be involved in the club happenings.
Jarkko: I hope to participate in many club trainings - and Gubbefest! Also I hope to be able to somehow help HSK juniors to become better orienteers.