Association of International Marathons and Distance Races

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Race previews Helsinki City Running Day

08 January 2023, 4pm

Run in the capital of Finland and experience the finish at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium

Finland: famous for fresh air

Helsinki City Running Day
Sat 13 May 2023

Hcrd 2022 photo julius toeyrylae brave teddy 217

The largest running event in Finland, Helsinki City Running Day, takes place on Saturday 13 May 2023 and fills the streets of Helsinki with runners from all over the world.

Helsinki City Running Day combines five running distances in one day and attracts 15,000 runners from over 80 nations. There is something for everyone: Finland’s largest half marathon the Helsinki City Run; the 43rd edition of Helsinki City Marathon; the Helsinki City Marathon Relay; the short but sweet Helsinki City 5 – and for those seeking the ultimate running experience the Helsinki City Double. On the day before there is the Minimarathon children’s event.

All the distances have their finish line at the iconic and freshly-renovated Helsinki Olympic Stadium which was inaugurated for the 1952 Olympic Games. Runners will be able to see the Olympic Stadium from inside the arena as the race office, including bib number pickup and the Expo, are located inside the Olympic Stadium.

The marathon part of Helsinki City Running Day, the Helsinki City Marathon, has a long history. It was held for the first time in 1981 and it was the first annual marathon in Helsinki. Ever since then it has maintained its position as the largest marathon in Finland. There remain four runners who have completed all editions of the Helsinki City Marathon and the next one will be their 43rd time at the start line.

In 2018 the Marathon was moved from August to May under the banner of ‘Helsinki City Running Day’, which gave the possibility of holding races over other distances on the same day. The Helsinki City Marathon Relay and the Helsinki City 5km completed the selection of distances. Organisers also offered participants the opportunity to run a marathon AND a half marathon on the same day in a two-part race called the ‘Helsinki City Double’.

Ecological values have always been important to Helsinki City Running Day and the event has held the EcoCompass certificate since 2017. Event t-shirts are nowadays made of 100% recycled material. Recycling in the event is developing year by year, and the goal is to reduce mixed waste every year.

It is very easy for foreign runners to participate in Helsinki City Running Day. Everything is close to hand; the start is just next to the Olympic Stadium where the bib number pick up and the finish line are located. The Stadium is easily reached by public transport, and not far from the city centre. Another helpful thing is that Finns do speak English pretty well.

Nature is everywhere and very close even in the heart of the Finland’s capital. The race routes offer a mixture of beautiful seaside, park, and downtown scenery. Runners are also able to see and feel the atmosphere of the Helsinki’s forest (also known as the ‘Central Park’ of Helsinki) which is a popular jogging venue for Helsinki’s 575,000 citizens. The marathon, half marathon and 5km routes are AIMS certified.

Runners can do their Helsinki sightseeing while running and at the same time enjoy the clean air that Finland is famous for. In May the weather is perfect for running: not too hot or too cold. The temperature usually varies between 13C–18C degrees.

Interested? Make Helsinki City Running Day your goal on 13 May 2023, and sign up now.

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