When I heard there was a new parkrun in Helsinki beginning the week before I was due to be there for work, I did what any obsessive parkrun tourist would do: I changed my plans and stayed for an extra night! Needless to say, I was excited about this one.
It was a fine, dry and a surpringly mild morning for a venue this far North and in October. We had a healthy turnout - week 2 is always going to take a dip after the inaugural event.
However, you wouldn't have known this was only event #2 for Tokoinranta. Everything is very well organised; a very clearly marked-out course complete with lead bike, amazingly friendly and plentiful volunteers and an all-round seamlessly executed event. I'm sure many Fins take this for granted but us Brits are enormously impressed by Robson delivering the pre-run talk in no fewer than 3 languages (I didn't realise Swedish is so ubiquitous here).
The course itself is splendid. You meander around a placid stretch of water with views across to characterful painted-timber buildings and a distant fairground, past the Opera House and back over a railway bridge (with a slightly testing incline). Everyone is warmly welcomed back at the end of the 5k.
Stats for the day:
47 participants; 10 volunteers; 11 PBs, 30 First Timers, runners travelling from Australia, South Africa, the UK and (perhaps we shouldn't get too excited this early on) but we also had both male and female course records today.
I'm only sad I missed the post-run coffee, but I do have a plane to catch...