It is said that Finland was placed on the world map by its runners at the 1912 Summer Olympic Games in Stockholm. The Finns took no fewer than nine gold medals at these Games, lead by Hannes Kolehmainen, “Smiling Hannes”, who won three long-distance races.
The tradition of Finnish long-distance running is strong. After Hannes Kolehmainen, there has been loads of success: Ville Ritola, Paavo Nurmi and Lasse Virén are known around the world amongst long-distance runners. One could easily lengthen the list of successful Finnish runners with many additional names.
Even if Finland has been successful in long-distance running, Finnish running events have not been amongst the best-known in the world. The situation could easily be different, as many high-quality running events are organised in Finland every year, and runners from all over the world are warmly welcome to them.
The Run in Finland -website aims to promote high-quality Finnish running events internationally. The goal is to make running in Finland a phenomenon that is known amongst endurance runners around the world. It is time to place the Finnish running events on the world map!
I hope that you too can be part of this phenomenon by participating in running events in Finland and by sharing information about this site (www.runinfinland.fi) with your friends and on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).
Text and photo by Jarmo Koskela
The author of the article in Koli (Vaarojen Maraton / Marathon of Dangers 2018, Photo: Aapo Laiho)