Tampere parkrun #224 – 23.9.2023

We were privileged today to have Jarkko Järvenpää not only introduce Tampere parkrun today, and offer sound tips to runners, but he also generously offered to pace at a steady 4min/km so that fast participants could have a crack at breaking the 20 minute parkrun 5km barrier! 3 (three) succeeded, one a first timer, and surprisingly to me the other two had already run faster on previous attempts. Encouragingly, a parkrun tourist, Mandy from the UK, the first female finisher, also ran a nice fast pace!


There were 41 of us out of the course, today’s run made possible by those parkrunners who selflessly stayed behind on the start/finish line: Anna (today’s RD), Muhammed Ashan and Annete (scanners), Antti H and our Junior parkrunners Oskar and Julius who took on the time keeping role and did a fab job, and Simo who handed everyone their finish tokens. Everyone was brought across the finish line safely by today’s tailwakers, Antti and Elvira. Thanks to all those who helped behind the scenes and more visibly too - including Leena who assisted Jansku around today!

We were lucky with the weather today - the rain held off, and though there were a few puddles to avoid the course was mostly dry and the conditions good for running! It was lovely to see Ulla out on the course - and taking a week from volunteering, well done.


Huge thanks too to Heather for running the course with Lumi, my dog!

Heather and friend

A reminder that Tampere parkrun will celebrate its 6th birthday on Saturday 14th October and the week before that (Oct 7th) our lovely friend Sam (Sadly without Ross and their dog) will be visiting us from the USA. Let’s try for a lovely turnout for both events.

Your faithful report writer,
Lorna from Turku


Tampere parkrun #220 – 26.8.2023

Tampereen parkrun viettää pian 6-vuotissyntymäpäiviään (ensimmäinen parkrun oli 14.10.2017), mutta henkilökohtainen matkani parkrunin parissa alkoi vasta seuraavana keväänä (21.4.2018), kun juoksin ensimmäistä kertaa!

Tänään juoksin 50:ttä kertaa Tampereella (eli 250 km juoksua!). Kiitos jokaiselle vapaaehtoiselle, joka on mahdollistanut sen.

Parkruniin osallistuminen (riippumatta vauhdista tai tyylistä) on minulle tärkeää. Olen myös löytänyt iloa vapaaehtoistyöstä.

My Finnish isn’t great … so the rest of the report is in English!

Tampere parkrun will soon celebrate its 6th birthday (the inaugural parkrun was on October 14th 2017) but my personal journey with parkrun only began the following spring (21st April 2018) when I ran my first ever parkrun!

Today I ran my 50th parkrun in Tampere (that’s 250 km of running!) Thank you to every volunteer who has made that possible.

Lorna 50th Tampere

Today there were 56 participants plus volunteers at Tampere parkrun, eleven (11) of you walked or ran with us for the very first time - it was great to have you with us - and five of you completed your first parkrun ever! Congratulations!

I remember my own inaugural parkrun very well!

I caught a very early coach up to Tampere, a city I didn’t know at all. The bus station was closed when I arrived so I had to search for a public toilet. I got confused finding the start (I was on the wrong side of the bridge!) and oh it was raining cats and dogs … but I received such a wonderful welcome from Olli (who happened to be today’s RD too) that I felt very glad I’d been brave and stepped right out of my comfort zone.

That parkrun was the first time I’d run a 5km without stopping! That was actually my only goal that day but I was very very pleased with my time of 42.07 too!*

I’ve shared this before but my learning to run at the age of 56-57 was part of my determined battle against SAD (seasonal depression - the lack of light in the winter here in Finland is very hard for me). I had started the couch to 5k (C25K app) the previous November - on a treadmill at our local pool - and taught myself to run! I’m not fast and it’s definitely not elegant but starting to run turned my life around and I’m so grateful for the part that parkrun has played - and continues to play - in that.

Participating in parkrun (no matter how slow or inelegant ) matters to me. I’ve also found a joy in volunteering (and learning new skills along the way, today, for example I processed the results … not bad learning for a granny who will turn 65 next year!)

Best of all, though, has been being part of this wonderful community and being able to claim many of the parkrunners here in Tampere as very good friends. A huge thank you to those of you who have hosted me on a Friday night here in Tampere (you know who you are) so I could continue to participate in Tampere parkrun after the early morning coach from Turku to Tampere was withdrawn.

An extra bonus has been parkrunning elsewhere too. I’ve run all of Finland’s 7 parkruns - and have set myself a personal challenge of RDing at each of the evebts (if the ED is comfortable with that) because I want to pay back where I can, and some of the newer parkruns (especially Lahti and Jyväskylä) are just starting to build up their core teams so if I choose to volunteer on the start/finish like it frees a local to run for a change.

parkrun is an important part of my life and my well being. I can’t attend every week but I try my best!

Until we see again … happy parkrunning everyone!

Lorna from Turku

PS Don’t forget to sign up to volunteer if you can!

* Today’s run was more than 3 minutes slower … and that’s fine with me! There were, however, 7 people who ran Tampere parkrun faster than ever before and gained PBs today! Well done to each and everyone of you!


Tampere parkrun #216 2.8.2023

29 July 2023

We were delighted to visit Tampere parkrun as a tourist family during our summer vacation in Finland. We'd been twice before few years ago, and we knew it was a very welcoming event, which draws a crowd of really fast runners and walkers alike. Perfect.

By a brief intro, Ratina is easy to find, it's convenient, with plenty of public transport options and parking, if you need those. The post run cafe / social was really wonderful, too. Before we left, after exploring the city, we noticed that public Sauna and Swim was also available across Tammerkoski river! Wow!

During our visit the weather conditions were carefully assessed as "British" and volunteers tried to hold on to their umbrellas, and runners braced themselves for the wind and rain along the way. The route is a beautiful lakeside course, next to Pyhäjärvi lake, and the conditions added a challenge that everyone seemed happy to embrace, with #sisu, of course!.

Well done to all 37 runners, joggers and walkers who completed the course, and a special well done to eight runners who got a new PB! A special shoutout to nine first timers, and visitors from Iran, Colorado USA, Liverpool and Sheffield!

The weather was awful, I wore a winter coat in July, got soaked, but somehow I left with a warm and fuzzy feeling inside. I got some of that #parkrunhappiness again!

This event felt particularly welcoming and I was so impressed with it's inclusive and international ethos. This was truly heartwarming. It was lovely to talk to volunteers who were also keen runners, but had taken their turn to help out! Looking at the results I noticed so many runners also had 50 + volunteer awards in the results. We'll done! It's great to see your commitment to the event and that you make it happen! It was also nice to see regular runners chatting to visitors and Olli the RD went beyond the call of duty to make sure the event went well, and participants were well looked after and welcomed. Hieno juttu.

Thanks team Tampere! We’d definitely recommend this event to Tampere residents, for a fun way to start your weekend with a bit of exercise! We'd surely recommend this event to parkrun tourists as well – add this on your list of events to visit, it's a lovely parkrun and a fun city to visi, too! For British parkrun tourists we'd particularly recommend taking the double decker train if you come from Helsinki, and a visit to the Moomin museum!

Thank you so much.

Minna, RD from Graves juniors, Sheffield, UK


Tampere parkrun #215 22.7.2023

Hei, my name is Kathy and I suffer from anxiety. Here is a story for you :)

I am British and have been parkrunning in the UK for seven years. I love touring and look for a parkrun wherever I travel. I have done parkruns in over 80 locations. Every parkrun is special!


Another love of mine is ice hockey. I have travelled to various World Championships and 2022 was so exciting - because unbelievably, Great Britain qualified! So with some friends, I came to Finland last year to visit Helsinki, Turku and beautiful Tampere, with its amazing Nokia stadium where we watched GB v Finland. Wow what a game! We lost of course, but that’s okay - we love Finland too :)

And naturally, I had looked for a parkrun. I was thrilled to find out Tampere has a parkrun! How wonderful! But disappointingly, we had to get an early train to Helsinki to fly home and I did not have time for parkrun. I was heartbroken.

But we had fallen in love with Tampere and promised we would come back, and this time I would parkrun - my first in Scandinavia! And so, here we are - back in Tampere for the weekend.

I am anxious and I panic easily. So, today I left lots of time (so I thought) to get from my hotel to parkrun. But calamity! There was a festival blocking the path and I didn't know what to do! I looked for another way and could not see a solution. I do not speak Finnish and I was lost alone in an unknown city. But I was so close…

I found a security guard but they would not let me through. I looked at my watch. It starts in 9 minutes! And I don’t know how to get there! I travelled all the way from England for this, I have to get there!

The guard said, go to the bridge and climb up, so I did - but another security guard was blocking the way. I was really panicking now. But more parkrunners arrived, all looking for the start, which helped to calm me. We lost several more minutes trying unsuccessfully to get help. Then a kind runner said he knew a way through a tunnel so we followed him, and he led us right…

So we made it to parkrun after all! We missed the 09:30 beginning by several minutes, but thanks to Ritva the wonderful tailwalker who spotted us and waited, we quickly made it to the start line and were able to catch up. The panic was over! Finally, I was doing the Tampere parkrun that I missed last year. A dream come true.

And wow - isn’t it beautiful! I loved it. Such a pretty route. The beauty of an out-and-back course is even though we missed the briefing, it was easy to navigate. I loved seeing the other runners on their way back, exchanging greetings and even high-fives. Tampere, you have a beautiful city and a wonderful parkrun.


So I want to say a VERY BIG THANK YOU to the brilliant team of volunteers who made parkrun happen this morning and made my anxiety disappear. And I want to say hello to my new friends, first timer Afshin, also Katarina and Anna, who helped find the start when I was so anxious. Thank you - you really helped me. I am so grateful you spoke English. And we found it together :)

If you are reading this, and haven’t volunteered before, do give it a go. It is fun and so rewarding. I volunteered today by writing the run report so I could run as well. Thank you for reading it!

Lots of love,
Kathy from Luton x


Tampere parkrun # 213 July 1st 2023

Important notice - there is NO parkrun next Saturday (8th July) as a half marathon will be using OUR route!

Huom: ensi lauantaina (8.7.) ei ole parkrun Tampereella, koska puolimaraton käyttää reittiämme!

Obs: det finns INGEN parkrun nästa lördag (8 juli) eftersom ett halvmaraton kommer att använda vår rutt!


Now for today’s run report :)

First of all HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to Joanne and her fiancé who are getting married in Tampere today!

Joanne not only did the first timers’ briefing for us today but also got many of her relatives and guests to join us at parkrun before the wedding at 4pm! Wow - that’s pretty amazing!


Second, thanks to all of you who turned up today - almost 100 of you (including those who selflessly stayed on the start/finish line as volunteers) - it’s the wettest run we’ve had in a long, long time - my shoes were squeaking before half way and people’s glasses would really have needed windscreen wipers. But we all got back safely!

In addition to the wedding party it was great that we had parkrun tourists who were in Tampere for the EMG (European Masters Games) 2023. Thank you for incorporating our parkrun into your busy sporty schedule!


We had participants from (at least!) New Zealand, Oz, Singapore and across the U.K. as well as contingents from Tokoinranta parkrun (Helsinki) and Lahden satama parkrun (Lahti). It was brilliant you joined us … sorry about the downpour - but hope you enjoyed the parkrun anyway as well as drying out over what we like to call parkrun faff in the cafe afterwards.

There were so many first timers I lost count when trying to reckon up (oops!) and at least ten of you managed to beat your earlier time and get a PB (personal best) today …well done! … maybe the rain spurred you on and certainly the cooler temperature was a relief after some hot runs recently. (Me? I seem to get slower and slower … but I loved cheering you all on as you went past me on the return leg!)


Thirdly, Thank you to our lovely new-ish participant from the Ukraine, Olena, who offered to run with my dog, Lumi (so that Lumi got a proper run!) and also Olena’s mum who completed her very first parkrun today and served as our tailwalker - accompanied by several of our more experienced locals. (Apparently there was lots of laughter at the back as well as a bit of a language school going on … with words and phrases flying in Ukrainian, Finnish and English - if not more)


And lasty, and importantly, I want to express my heartfelt thanks to Åke for being our wonderful RD (run director) (as well as processing the not quite straight forward results today). We are wishing you all the best for the next few months when you serve in the Finnish military … and selfishly, I really hope you will get plenty of Saturdays free so you can run with us (and tell us stories). Don’t forget to introduce parkrun to some of the others who have been called up with you! We’d love them to join us!


Hoping to see (many of ) you soon …

Lorna from Turku

one day - maybe even next year (who knows? But no promises!) we will have parkrun in our beautiful city too.

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