One of the biggest events to consummate the Finnish summer is the Helsinki Midnight Run on the 31st of August. The total distance of the marathon is 10km and the last year almost 9000 runners attended. The run starts right in the heart of the capital, the Senate Square, where the Runners’ corner will be arranged with different facilities and an entertainment area.
Student Ambassadors will be representing the University of Helsinki team at this magnificent marathon. Indeed, preparation in advance is required for an event of this scale. Participating in the marathon requires that you be in good physical condition. I enjoy jogging during my free time, but I will definitely need to step up my training this summer to be in better shape for the run. However, of course, jogging is not the only option for being active during this time of year.
Summer 2013 has been surprising for all the residents and guests of Finland, because it has been very warm and even a bit hot right from the start. Everyone has been taking advantage of the opportunity to enjoy great weather and be outdoors cycling, jogging, playing volleyball, beach football or simply sunbathing. Jogging and cycling are especially pleasant in Helsinki, because the city is teeming with numerous parks and beautifully forested areas, with well-maintained and illuminated pathways. The most popular and lively spot to partake in Helsinki beach life is the Hietaniemi beach (Hietsu), where you will find a diverse crowd enjoying all manner of beach activities. Those who prefer to spend time on the grass or in the shade of the trees may find themselves chilling on the banks of Töölönlahti Bay, located in the Töölö neighborhood. Another beautiful park in Töölö is named after Jean Sibelius, the famous Finnish composer, whose monument rises from a stony outcropping on the south end of the park. Töölö district is generally a very cultural place and sports-centric area, where you may also find the National Museum of Finland, Zoological Museum, Finnish National Opera, Olympic Stadium, Sports Hall, Ice Hall, Winter gardens, Finlandia house and numerous smaller galleries.
Great opportunities for hiking can be found very close to Helsinki in Nuuksio National Park, which has a variety of trails and the newly opened Nature Center Haltia, with its spectacular design, interesting exhibitions and plenty of useful information to share with visitors. The park also features places for campfires, where you can relax and enjoy a picnic surrounded by the awesome nature of Finland.
Hence, finding the right activity for you is not a difficult task in Helsinki. The summer has just started and I would like to wish everyone a great and sunny time. Let’s not waste our time getting ready for the marathon, either!
Come and cheer with us! Join us on Facebook, as well (Helsinki Midnight Run – University of Helsinki team).
Text: Veronika Kiseleva, International Student Ambassador