We’re delighted to announce that things are starting to take shape for the second parkrun in Finland, in Helsinki.
Tampere took the honour of being the first event to launch in Finland back in September 2017, but it wasn’t long before plans started developing for another event in the capital city.
There are some lovely spots to run in Helsinki, and we think that Helsinki parkrun will pass through some of these! The proposed route is just in the process of being finalised, but the intention is to use the areas around Töölönlahti and Eläintarhanlahti, which lie just to the north of the City Centre and are easy to get to by public transport.
The areas are popular with walkers, runners and cyclists, and there are several cafes that line the shores of the water here, so finding a post-parkrun café is going to be the easy part! Finns are renowned as the highest consumers of coffee in the world, so be prepared to take your coffee strong……
The Helsinki parkrun team is being headed up by local Helsinki residents Karlina Ozolina and Robson Lindberg. Karlina moved to Helsinki from Manchester (UK) almost a year ago.
Her local South Manchester parkrun was her first introduction to the parkrun community and, as a slow but enthusiastic runner, it is the inclusiveness of parkrun that she appreciates the most.
‘Wherever you are, however fast or slow you are moving, if you want to be active and get out of the house on a Saturday morning, parkrun is there for you. I love the fact that it is organised by volunteers and the running community itself, it is so much more than just a weekly 5k run around a park.’
Karlina took part in the first ever Finnish parkrun in Tampere last October and, over a post-run coffee with the organisers, volunteered to take the lead on getting a parkrun up and running in Helsinki too.
‘I hope Helsinki parkrun will be an inclusive, safe, welcoming environment where people of all abilities can take part, get active and meet new people.’
Robson heard about parkrun via his friend Kreu Maisniemi, M.D., who discovered parkrun while he was doing a residency in Johannesburg. Talking to Bruce Fordyce among others, Kreu realised he could have an affect by being a doctor but could reach a larger audience via parkrun. Therefore, he decided that he needed to bring parkrun to his hometown, Helsinki.
Two years ago Robson got checked in an ice hockey game and sustained cerebral bleeding in different parts of the brain. During this two years in recovery, he has learned to write from scratch. Robson was able to walk but his entire right side suffered damage, affecting his appearance. He is now slowly learning to run and recalibrating his balance. As an Ironman finisher and life long sports addict, his goal is to rehab so well he can compete in Triathlon again.
“parkrun is not about me running. It’s about sharing the joy of movement, sports and friendship. During my two years of rehab I’ve noticed one thing: It doesn’t matter how slow you go, as long as you’re moving. I want to do my part and offer this joy to everyone”.
We now have a Facebook page set up for Helsinki parkrun, and the team want to spread the word far and wide about the new event, so be sure to let people know that parkrun is on the march in Finland!
They’d also love to build up the core team to help deliver parkrun each week, so if you are interested in getting involved, then please contact the team via the Facebook page.
It’s now over 9 years since parkrun started up in the Nordics, with the first event in Copenhagen’s Amager Faelled parkrun in early May 2009. There were 20 runners that day, supported by 7 volunteers, including Henrik Poulsen, who remains the Event Director to the current day, 480 events later! But it is only…
I’m not a fast runner (Editors note: everything is relative Claire!) in fact since discovering parkrun back in 2012 I have managed to run the 5km distance in less than 30 minutes just once, and that course was nice and flat! Haga parkrun is definitely not flat so when I was challenged by Deri Thomas…