Tuesday 11 July 2017

1200 runners will participate in NUTS Ylläs Pallas Trail Run

Since its first edition in 2013 NUTS Ylläs Pallas has been Finland’s biggest ultra running race. In 2015, the event gathered more than 300 runners to ultra distances and it has grown it’s popularity from year to year. The 2017 event next weekend (14-15 July) will gather as many as 1200 participants to compete in the beautiful scenery of the Ylläs-Pallas National Park.

NUTS Pallas 2016 Aapo Laihod

Three distances (134k, 55k and 31k) ensure that all trail lovers will find a suitable challenge for their level. The longest distance, going from the fell Yllästunturi to Hetta, was chosen this year to be an official UTWT Discovery Race. It has been marketed as an ultra-trail run in the cleanest air of continental Europe, with the chance to meet reindeer and other arctic wildlife.

Being a part of the new label ‘UTWT Discovery Race’ has been an invitation to travel, discover new cultures and experiences and with success. The race has tempted 120 runners from abroad, representing 24 different nationalities, to join this year’s race.

The 134k race starts at 6 pm. on Friday night. One of the front runners to start is Juuso Simpanen, who took the first place on the podium at NUTS Karhunkierros 160k at the end of May. Simpanen is starting to the race with confidence, however he has had some problems with his ankle.

– My ankle got hurt at the last race and it still isn’t 100 percent ok, that makes me a bit concerned. I have, however, been able to do some successful key training runs during the last weeks and am confident about my condition.

Good performance can also be expected from Ville Maksimainen, who was third at the last years race. Maksimainen is self-confident but also realistic.

– Last year I kind of surprised myself and the others with the ranking and of course there is some pressure put on my shoulders this year, too. But I’m a realist, there are some tough guys at the starting line, says Maksimainen.

NUTS Pallas 2016 Aapo Laihoe

One of the tough guys Maksimainen is referring to is Hamal Villar from Spain. Villar has been working few winters for Lapland Safaris in Ylläs but hasn’t experienced Finland during summer and is looking forward to seeing the midnight sun. Villar is feeling confident about his fitness level, even though he has been a bit sick lately.

– I am trying to recover 100% for the race. I have been training hard and competing this season. Not for that long distance but I have experience in ultra distances, too. Let’s see if I can adapt my performance for NUTS.

At the women’s division, a good run can be expected from Lotta Korhonen, who finished second at NUTS Karhunkierros 160k. However, Korhonen has never run two long ultras in such a short period of time and for that reason, she claims her condition to be a total mystery.

– I will run towards the unknown, I would say. But I’ll take my poles and enough candies with me. With those the race cannot be bad, Korhonen laughs.
The BUFF Trail Tour -race, 55k, will start on Saturday at noon and will be run on the one of the most traditional hiking trails in Finland from Pallas to Hetta.

NUTS Pallas 2016 Aapo Laihoc

At the women’s race one of the front runners at the start will be Maija Oravamäki, accompanied by Mia Tuoriniemi and Eija Hartikainen.

Oravamäki, who was 11th at the World Trail Running Championchips in Italy a month ago, is really looking forward to the race. She tells she’s recovered well and will start with a different tactics than last time at NUTS Ylläs Pallas.

– Last time I started too fast and drank too little during the whole race. This is something I would like to avoid now and run a positive split.

As for the men’s race, Sami Vähänen and Janne Hietala are among the favourites for the first place on the podium. Both, however, agree, that the race will be hard and anything can happen.

– There are many good runners from abroad at the starting line.
– And it is the first time that the front runner is not from Finland, says Hietala and refers to Lukas Naegele from Germany, who was 8th last year at the World mountain running championchips in Slovenia.

NUTS Pallas 2016 Aapo Laihob

Photos: Aapo Laiho / nuts.fi

NUTS Ylläs Pallas Trail Run on 14-15 July 2017

Monday 26 June 2017

Helsinki City Run’s route certified by AIMS

Finland’s biggest half marathon, Sportyfeel Helsinki City Run, received on May 12th the AIMS Membership. It means that the new route of the event has been formally measured by an IAAF-approved person and the event meets international standards.

AIMS is a member-based organization of more than 400 of the world’s leading distance races, from over 100 countries and territories. It’s objectives are to foster and promote distance running throughout the world, to work with the International Association of Athletic Federations (IAAF) on all matters relating to international road races and to exchange information, knowledge and expertise among members of the association.

AIMS has set firm standards of course measurement. IAAF has recognized and adopted the AIMS system as its standard. All AIMS members are required to have their courses so measured.

Sportyfeel Helsinki City Run’s route was measured by a certified measurer Mr. Tero Töyrylä.

Sportyfeel Helsinki City Run was accepted as AIMS member on May 12th. Previous Finnish members of the organization were Helsinki City Marathon, Paavo Nurmi Marathon and Helsinki Half Marathon.

Finnish Athletics Federation’s Helsinki City Run half marathon has been measured by the certified measurer also in last few years but AIMS membership gives it official status and enables marketing benefits to international audiences.

Welcome to join the event! Already more than have been 1600 runners registered for the next race, that takes place on 19 May 2018.

Read more: www.helsinkicityrun.fi/en/


Thursday 25 May 2017

NUTS Karhunkierros takes over Oulanka National Park with 1600 trail runners this weekend

It started with a handful of trail runners, but this year, when the NUTS Karhunkierros is organized for the fifth time, there are 1600 runners enjoying the rugged but beautiful sceneries of Oulanka National Park. There are also more foreign runners involved, which very much delights the organizers of the event. The trail length possibilities are 31, 53, 80 and 160 kilometers.

Both NUTS Karhunkierros 160 kilometers and NUTS Ylläs Pallas (organized on the 14th-15th July) 134 kilometers are part of the Ultra Trail Tour Finland -partial races. All the 600 places for NUTS Karhunkierros’ routes 53-160 kilometers were fulfilled in minutes, and the 1000 places for 31 kilometers in a couple of months. The organizers received loads of touching requests to get on the race through the winter, but luckily there have been some places on sale at the aftermarket of the event.

-The popularity of trail running is ascendant, and we gladly welcome trail runners to our national parks and cooperate with event organizers. Our main role however is to ensure the preservation of the nature in our national parks, so the impacts of a race this size is closely monitored. The cooperation with NUTS Karhunkierros has gone well and the pre-competition overhaul voluntary work shows how the runners are committed to sustainable operation in nature reserves, summarizes the park manager Kerttu Härkönen from Metsähallitus.

NUTS Karhunkierros 2016

Photo: NUTS Karhunkierros 2016 (Aapo Laiho/nuts.fi)

Late spring brings its own challenges to the race: there’s still some snow in the trails but as the days get warmer the competitors should prepare themselves for slush and wet conditions.

Some strong winner candidates this weekend are men’s 53 km Henri Ansio and Juha Hietamäki as well as women’s 53 km Niina Karvinen and Sanna Viitanen.

Salomo-Suunto Racing Team representative Henri Ansio says the race is a good preparatory training and competition simulation for the World Cup in Italy, but the route records can be forgotten due to the weather conditions.

The area of Ruka-Kuusamo and the race arena Oulanka National Park offer great conditions for organizing a trail running competition, and both competitors and the supporters as well as the maintenance staff get to enjoy the beautiful nature of the northeast Finland.

– Our great team has worked hard for the event and now it’s time for the last big push. I would like to thank the whole team and our partners, it has been a pleasure to organize the most spectacular running event of the Northern Hemisphere with you guys! And as the number of the foreign participants has gone up, I hope more travellers and runners will come to explore and enjoy Finland’s unique scenery, comments the event manager Eero “Eppu” Lumme.

Read more & follow the raceNUTS Karhunkierros

Monday 13 March 2017

2017 Helsinki City Run medal unveiled

Here´s the official finisher’s medal of Helsinki City Run 2017! In exactly two months these medals will be given to the half marathon finishers at the Sonera Stadium.

Helsinki City Run takes place on 13 May 2017

Photo: SUL

HCR 2017 finisher medal

Monday 6 March 2017

Paavo Nurmi Marathon has joined the network

Turku is the hometown of Paavo Nurmi, the nine-time Olympic gold medalist and the Athlete of the 20th century. Paavo Nurmi Marathon offers three different courses to explore Turku by foot – full marathon, half marathon and 10km run – in the footsteps of legendary Paavo Nurmi.

Paavo Nurmi Marathon has recently joined the network Run in Finland.

Paavo Nurmi Marathon will be run on 1 July 2017


Monday 6 February 2017

Opportunities to train together – Welcome!

All runners who have registered for the Finnish Athletic’s (FA) running events can join trainings and runs organised by FA and Juoksuliike for free. There are about three trainings per month during the spring 2017 which aim to motivate and support the training towards each runners’ personal goals. So far the dates published reach until Helsinki City Run half marathon in May but training will continue also during the summer months.

The goal of the events is to train together towards the Helsinki City Run half marathon or Helsinki City Marathon day’s events. Let’s enjoy and experience running together! There are two slower runs and one “theme training” available each month. The language of the training is Finnish but coaches and runners are happy to translate and chat in English, too.

Slower runs

60-75 minutes in low tempo in five groups:

  • 5.30 min/km – lasting about 60-75 min
  • 6.00 min/km – lasting about 60-75 min
  • 6.30 min/km – lasting about 60-75 min
  • 7.00 min/km – lasting about 60 min
  • 7.30-8:00 min/km – lasting about 60 min

Theme trainings

Training starts at 18.00 o’clock and lasts about 1 h 30 min. Each training begins with 10-15 min warm up run. After warming up there is about 20 min of mobility and running technic part. Then we move on to the actual themed training part. ​

Main trainings

  • 16.2. Speed endurance: developing speed endurance with interval training
  • 16.3. Uphill running: more power from up hill
  • 30.3. Running technic: speed and smoothness via good running technic
  • 27.4. Fartlek: running in intervals
  • 4.5. Final training session for HCR half marathon

The coaches at HCR-trainings are former top-runner Janne Ukonmaanaho and other coaches from Juoksuliike, which is the official training partner of Finnish Athletics. They organize different training groups and running schools around Finland.

Next events

Training: Slower run SUN 12.2. at 12:00, starts from Töölö Sports Hall’s Lasse Virén statue (behind the building)
Theme training THU 16.2., at 18:00, starting place tbd

Training: Slower run SUN 5.3. kello 12:00 starts from Pirkkola Sportsarea’s icehockey arena’s lobby
Training: Slower run SUN 12.3. kello 12:00, starts from Töölö Sports Hall’s Lasse Virén statue (behind the building)
Theme training THU 16.3., klo 18:00, starting place tbd
Theme training THU 30.3., klo 18:00, starting place tbd

Training: Slower run SUN 2.4. kello 12:00, starts from Pirkkola Sportsarea’s icehockey arena’s lobby
Training: Slower run SUN 9.4. kello 12:00, starts from Töölö Sports Hall’s Lasse Virén statue (behind the building)
Theme training THU 27.4. kello 18:00, starting place tbd

Theme training THU 4.4., klo 18:00, starting place tbd
Training: Slower run SUN 7.5. Kello 12.00, starts from Pirkkola Sportsarea’s icehockey arena’s lobby

Welcome! More information from maraton(at)sul.fi

FA reserves the right to changes on dates and trainings.




Tuesday 27 December 2016

Finnish trail running statistics 2016

Trail running participation in Finland keeps growing at a fast pace. During 2016, ever more runners found from road to trails, new events were born and, unlike in many road runs, the most popular events continued to grow.

According to the statistics maintained by Trailrunning.fi, in 2016 there were alltogether 110 trail running events in Finland, an increase of 47% from 2015. The total amount of runners who started in these events was 14552, coincidentally also increasing 47% year on year. This makes trail running one of the fastest growing fitness & outdoor activities of the year in Finland. Compared to the 100% participation growth from 2014 to 2015, the 2016 percentage is more moderate but the absolute growth numbers are on the same level, i.e. about 5000 new event participations. We predict the trend line to point up also in 2017.

The exact amount of trail runners in Finland remains unknown but we can extrapolate that using the participant statistics of Buff Trail Tour Finland that connects seven major events to a series. In each event of the series, one distance gives points to the Trail Tour. Altogether, 1650 runners scored points 2240 times, equalling to average 1,36 events per runner. Dividing the total of 14,5k event participants with 1,36, we land at the conclusion that 10000-11000 Finns participated an organised trail running event in 2016. On top of this are those runners who run on trails without signing up to events.

The amount of participants and events grew at equal pace, meaning that the average size of trail running events remained on 2015 level, i.e. 132 runners. The most popular events continued to grow but there were many new local events that attracted few tens of runners.


Bodom Trail in the beginning of May was the biggest trail run with 1051 runners. Photo: Poppis Suomela

The biggest trail run in 2016 was Bodom Trail with 1051 runners on the starting line. This was the first trail event in Finland breaking the barrier of thousand runners. On the newcomer list, pole position went with 432 participants to Kotka Trail that successfully introduced trail running to the South-Eastern coastal area of Finland. There were also several local trail cups of 3-6 events in different cities around the country. In line with 2015, the biggest was Tampere Trail Cup that recorded almost 600 starts in six runs during April and May.

Probably the most astonishing trail running phenomenon in 2016 was NUTS Karhunkierros: In total 849 runners succesfully challenged themselves on the legendary trails of Oulanka national park. What makes this so remarkable is that for most participants, it is by no means around the corner. Majority of runners came from Helsinki area, over 800km away from the event. The finishers completed 42603 kilometers in total on 31-160km courses, a class of its own among Finnish trail running events. Also the participant experience was on top level and it pays off: Despite of the bigger participant quota (1600), the 2017 event was sold out in record time. (Note, there are still some slots for international participants.) This is a strong indication of a continuing growth of trail running in Finland.

10 biggest trail runs in Finland 2016
(collected from result lists, may differ from the amount of registered and started runners)

Event / Participants

1 Bodom Trail 1051
2 Helsinki City Trail 852
3 NUTS Karhunkierros 849
4 Vaarojen Maraton 763
5 NUTS Pallas 629
6 Nuuksio Classic Trail Marathon 555
7 Kotka Trail 432
8 Tunturimaraton 370
9 Sipoonkorpi Trail 344
10 Helsinki Trail Run 338

This news was originally published by Trailrunning.fi