“Yes, it will be a trip for the whole club. We are expecting about 25-30 people and really looking forward to running the spectator races in the great terrain that’s been promised for the middle distance and relay at the World Championships. We’ll stay at Seläters camping, by the sea just north of Strömstad. Many of our young runners attend orienteering schools, so some of them will surely be coming to the World Championships on school trips, too.”
Jonas Leandersson and his fanclub in Scotland 2015. PHOTO: SNO
Are you planning to do anything else with the club other than following the World Championship relay and running the spectator races over the weekend?
“We'll see what we have time for and if we have any energy left after racing in the tough terrain we’ve been promised. Personally I think it would be fun to go out to Koster again, visit Naturum Kosterhavet and maybe go on a seal safari.”
Seals at Koster. PHOTO: Bengt Frizell
SNO and the clubs that formed it have had many national team runners over the years. Can you name some of the most memorable medalists?
“Yes, the list is very impressive with names like Allan Mogensen, Arja Hannus, Michael Wehlin, Katarina Borg, Niclas Jonasson, Mattias Müller and Jonas Leandersson. Atle Hansen, who took World Championship gold for Norway in 1985, has also competed for Södertalje, as has Lea Müller, who took World Championship gold for Switzerland in 2005, although they were not in the club in those particular years.
Jonas Leandersson going for gold in Scotland 2015. PHOTO: SOFT
Jonas Leandersson is also the reigning World Champion and has a free ticket to the World Championship sprint in Strömstad on the first weekend of the World Championships. How will SNO be following the sprint?
“A group of about 20 of us were there in Scotland to see Jonas take gold in the sprint last year. It was an amazing experience. There will certainly be some SNO’ers in Strömstad for the sprint weekend, too, but we can’t get enough time off work to see everything, so we chose the relay weekend this year. We hope that Jonas will be in the team and that Sweden can take back the throne. Perhaps we’ll also have to show the sprint on the big screen in the clubhouse for those who are at home.”
Undeland is a familiar surname for us here in Bohuslän. What is your own relationship to Bohuslän and the World Championships terrain?
“Of course, if you grew up in Uddevalla , you have very positive feelings about Bohuslän and its varying nature, from the barren cliffs by the sea to "our" Herrestadssfjäll northwest of Uddevalla, where the last two stages of O-Ringen 2003 were held. You can never run too much there. It’s some of Sweden's best terrain! It will also be exciting to run in northern Bohuslän - it was a while since the last time, it must be 30 years ago for me. Above all, I’m looking forward to some proper route choice legs in beautiful terrain.”
FACTS: Sodertalje runners (IFK Södertälje or SNO) who have taken medals at the World Orienteering Championships 1985-2015
• Michael Wehlin: silver – relay, 1985, 1989.
• Arja Hannus: gold - relay, 1991.
• Allan Mogensen: gold – long distance, 1993.
• Katarina Borg: silver - long distance, 1997.
• Niclas Jonasson: gold – relay, 2003, and sprint, 2004, bronze - relay, 2004
• Matthias Müller: gold – sprint, 2010
• Jonas Leandersson: gold – relay, 2014 and sprint, 2015, bronze – relay, 2012 and sprint, 2013,
Source: Sven Undeland, SNO
Translation: Cat Taylor, OK Linné