Trends and special features in the Finnish running culture

Experienced organisers of running events talk about current trends in running in Finland. They also talk about the specialities of the Finnish running culture.


Photo: Aapo Laiho /

1. What do you think is the most significant trend in the Finnish running culture right now?
2. What is the best or most special about running in Finland?
3. What do you want to say to international runners who are considering participating in a running event in Finland?

Aki Nummela, Event Director, Helsinki Half Marathon (10 June 2017), Helsinki Trail Run and Helsinki Twilight Run & Walk (5 August 2017)

1. Social running is an upcoming trend, both in Finland and internationally. It is especially trendy to share your running stories and feelings in different social media groups and on different platforms (for example, in Finland the group Kestävyyttä pintakaasulla).

2. Definitely the best things are the Finnish natural environment, peace and quiet, and cleanliness that are always present.

3. On behalf of Helsinki Half Marathon and Helsinki Twilight Run I welcome all running tourists to experience the pulse of Helsinki City Centre on a quiet summer morning and in the dusk on a summer evening. I think both times are when Helsinki is at its best.


Photo: Helsinki Half Marathon / Iltalehti

Terho Lahtinen, Event Director, Bodom Trail (6 May 2017) and Nuuksio Classic Trail Marathon (2 September 2017)

1. Since road running has been growing for a long time, some runners are wondering what to do next, seeing as they’ve already run a marathon. In this current situation, the fast-growing disciplines are trail running, ultra-running and triathlon. Common to these new running trends is the focus on things besides results and records: new experiences, running in beautiful settings, challenging your own limits or simply having fun with your friends.

2. The awesome trails are the best in Finland – forests, lakes and the fells in Lapland. The most special thing is running in snow – it’s a great strength training exercise.

3. There are a lot of excellent trail running races in Finland and there is also an active trail running community that you can contact via event organisers. So, if you’re interested in getting to know Finland and Finnish people, it’s a good idea to contact our community beforehand and make your trip even more rewarding.


Photo: Nuuksio Classic Trail Marathon / Poppis Suomela

Marita Kaipainen, Event Director, Vuokatti Trail Challenge (2 September 2017)

1. In the Finnish running culture, I think the current spirit is about challenging yourself and stretching your limits. People want to see what they are made of. :)

2. The absolute best thing about running in Finland is the clean natural environment. There’s nothing better than running in the middle of a Finnish forest – be it in southern or northern Finland. Finnish event organisers are professional and diligent, and good quality is guaranteed in Finnish events.

3. Running in Finland is an experience that you have to try. Finnish organisers are very helpful and are happy to give advice regarding travel arrangements, accommodation, etc. Take a few of your friends with you and come and feel how it is to run in Finland!


Photo: Vuokatti Trail Challenge / Vaarojen Valokuvaajat


Olli Tiuraniemi, Event Director, Rovaniemi Marathon

1. The popularity of long-distance cross-country running is growing. People want to run on forest trails and experience natural environments. Perhaps it’s a growing trend in general to combine sports and nature. The threshold for taking up running has become lower.

2. Finland has a clean environment and fresh air, which is perfect combination for running. Also, the cities are not too big and are easy for runners to navigate. In Lapland, we have the Midnight Sun, and runners can admire the ‘nightless night’ of the North.

3. When you come to Finland, set aside some time for yourself. We have the space and time for you to listen to yourself and enjoy the natural environment, good food and culture. Finland is a modern and safe destination for all runners.


Photo: Rovaniemi Marathon

You are most warmly welcome to run in Finland and experience the trends and special charm of the Finnish running culture.

Interviews by Jarmo Koskela, Editor-in-Chief, Run in Finland