(aka Newport runners make it to the “Finnish” – report by Simon Yap)

Saturday 14th May marked the Helsinki city running day, a fact that Simon and Lisa Yap were unaware of when booking an extended city break. On discovering this happy coincidence, they both felt that, as runners, it would be rude to pass up this opportunity. 

Lisa and Simon Yap in Helsinki

The Helsinki city running day is the largest running event in Finland, and attracts over 15,000 runners across 5 different races on one single day. With distances ranging from 5km to a marathon and half, the Yaps’ chosen distance was a mere half marathon. 

The race took in a route through the city and into the suburbs crossing rivers and parks, allowing runners to take in the sites of Helsinki. Runners are treated to a finish inside the Olympic stadium, crossing the line on the race track where the 1952 Summer Olympic games were held. 

The couple took the decision to run together and share the experience, completing the course in a time of 2 hours, 48 minutes. 

After completing the race, runners are greeted with a warm welcome from the marshals and a number of treats; these include a cold alcohol-free beer and a pickled gherkin. Runners are then invited to celebrate their efforts with free entry into a local nightclub which, naturally, the Yaps could not resist.

Simon and Lisa after the race