PJ: I have chosen to interview Nesta Leduc. Yukon Orienteering Association member and traveler extraordinaire. Nesta has traveled to many Canadian and World Masters championships. She won the W75 age class at the 2009 World Masters championship in Australia. I hope to follow in her footsteps someday.
Nesta Leduc, YOA
Pam James, OANS
PJ: Was Australia your best result?
NL: I won Silver in the Sprint and Gold in the Long in Sydney, and then in Italy in 2013 I won bronze in both Sprint and Long.
PJ: How long have you been orienteering?
NL: I discovered orienteering at the advanced age of 60 years.
PJ: How did you get started?
NL: There was an ad in the paper about an event in the park at the end of the street. Afan Jones was the event director. He was giving me instruction about how to orienteer and I told him “I can do it." I soon learnt that it wasn't that easy!! I proceeded to then do all the training courses I could find, officials courses and coaching courses in Yukon, then heading to Alberta and British Columbia for training weekends.
PJ: What keeps you Orienteering?
NL: The Fun of it. I enjoy going out on course and getting stuck in the terrain with map and compass. The social aspect is important as well. I have many O friends all over North America and in several countries.
PJ: What have been some of your favourite orienteering experiences?
NL: The World Masters in 2013 in Sestriere Italy. The weather was perfect, the organization was great, lovely Alpine terrain and they had busses to each event. The events took place in a ski village which had been used for the Olympics the previous year. We had to take two chairlifts to get to the arena and then the older age classes got rides to the start in army jeeps. We were sitting knee to knee with ammunition boxes between us. At the start at about 5000 feet you could almost see the arena below. A nice zigzag course DOWN to the finish.
PJ: What kind of training do you do for orienteering?
NL: I have never been a runner, I swim 500m a day, do yoga twice a week and my dog takes me for a 1-hour walk every day. In the winter if the conditions are right I like to get out for a cross-country ski. So far this winter the skiing hasn't been great, no snow, too cold, too warm, too icy. I am thankful I have no joint or heart problems.
PJ: Are you still organizing Orienteering for the seniors’ community? Can you tell me a bit about that?
NL: I set a novice course with control flags each week for the months of May and June for The Elder Active Association (55+). I use a different map each week, there is no timing for this event, people go out in groups of 2 or 3 and usually end up clumped together by the Finish. I get 20 people regularly to these events, they really seem to enjoy it, a walk with a map. Everyone becomes a member of YOA and some come to the Club events and do the novice course. YOA hires a junior orienteer to help out with club programs and this past year for the first time they helped with Elder Active program. It was nice to have someone else plan the courses and hang the flags. Plus get some coaching as well.
PJ: Do you have any advice for course planners trying to create a challenging course for you?
NL: Try and make it as interesting as you can in the short distance available.
PJ: What ambitions do you have for your future in orienteering?
NL: I would like to win a gold medal at the world masters championships in 2033 in 100+ age class.
PJ: Anything else you would like to mention?
NL: Yes, my Pet Peeve, Getting to the Event. I find that it is often very stressful. The signage and directions are not always the best and when traveling by oneself it is hard to read the map and drive at the same time.
PJ: Thank you very much for the interview. I am looking forward to getting back to the Yukon for the races this summer.