Vääksyn kanava parkrun #181

Run report from a UK tourist 30/9/23
Lindan kuvia
Today I attended event #181 of @Vaaksynkanava parkrun along with 17 other runners/walkers and what a lovely event.  The seasons I am told ensure this event has something new to offer every time you visit. I am experiencing it as autumn starts to show itself and I can well believe it.

The course is a twice out and back along the canal and at each end and during you are rewarded with the Päijänne National park and the Great Lake which makes up this archipelago and which is also a UNESCO geopark region.

Run Director Jaana ensured all went well and ably assisted by Kaarina, Minna, Päivi and Tiina. Unfortunately, the rain gods decided to pay us a visit and rained on us towards the ends.

Regulars Nanja & Petteri achieved a personnel best, so well done to them!
I would recommend a visit to Vääksyn Kanava for its beautiful surroundings and its lovely core team and regulars for making this tourist feel welcome even with a lack of Finnish language.



Vääksyn kanava parkrun #180

Run date - 23rd Sep 2023
If you were looking for an intimate and very friendly park-run, then look no further than  Vaaksyn Kanava in Finland. We live in our campervan and have been travelling through Norway, Sweden and Finland for the past 3 months. We always love to search out the different park-runs and we came here specifically to run this one.
Before leaving for our adventures in the van, our local park-run was Portrush, which is run entirely on a beach on the north coast of Ireland. The beautiful canal path in Vaaksyn was a very welcome change, and is a course suitable for all abilities.
We arrived the day before, and parked up at the tourist information centre which has all the required services for someone travelling in a campervan or motorhome (including a nice hot shower). It is also very conveniently placed for the start of the park-run, less than a 2 minute walk.
Nigel has had a bucket list item for several years in which he had hoped to come first in a park-run and the fast course here at Vaaksyn allowed him to achieve that. We just won't mention that a lot of the regular fast park runners were otherwise engaged on the morning we visited.
Post-park run we were invited for coffee and cake at a local bakery, where we were once again made to feel very welcome, chatting about different park-run experiences we have all had. The selection of cakes on offer was an added bonus.
Overall we highly recommend the Vaaksyn Kanava park-run if you are in the area and perhaps one day upon our return to Finland we will once again visit.
Thanks so much to all of the organisers for making the Park-run possible.
Nicola and Nigel

Vääksyn kanava parkrun event 179

The parkrun was easy to find by car. Plenty of parking was available and toilets close to the start. From the carpark I crossed a little bridge to get to the canal where the start and finish were located.
As a tourist from UK this was my first parkrun in Finland. At the side of the canal I spotted the familiar parkrun signs and volunteers. The run Director spotted me and shouted over, at first in Finish and then good morning, although I was confident I could complete the event if no English was spoken it is always helpful and enjoyable to be able to chat to local participants and volunteers.
The course is by the side of a canal that links two lakes. It is fairly flat, on a gravel path. From the start we headed out with the canal on our left and at the end of the path a small loop through some trees was taken before heading back past the start. From there we continued to the other end of the path where a sign clearly marked the turning point. Despite it being overcast the veiws were beautiful. The first of two laps was complete when passing the start.
17 people and one dog finished the course. The dog clearly enjoyed it as much as everyone else as I could hear the happy barks.
After stopping to chat to a couple of runners I headed back to where we were staying by Akkijarvi near Hämeenlinna to pack for our flight back to the UK.
I would definitely recommend this parkrun. A great end to an enjoyable week in Finland.
Thanks to the volunteers,
Best wishes
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Extra parkrun report for this week! Event #177

There are 30 days in September, and we already had our favourite. There were exactly 30 parkrunners at the lovely Vääksyn kanava parkrun on this sunny morning, together with the friendly volunteer team lead by Päivi, making for a wonderful morning.

So why were we two visitors from England here at all? Well there was one last week of school holiday left, the weather in much of Europe has been too hot for us, we’ve had a lot of rain at home, and we do love to explore. Narrowing the search down to Scandinavia, wanting to head for somewhere we’d been but not for long, we settled on Finland. With a number of lovely parkruns to choose from, and wanting to spend some time away from Helsinki, Vääksyn ticked all the right boxes for a Goldilocks parkrun, not too far and not too near, not too city, not too rural.

The Vääksy canal connects lakes Vesijärvi and Päijänne, and is Finland’s busiest boating canal. You can get here by boat from Lahti, we chose the easier to organise train from Helsinki to Lahti and bus connection.

We arrived on Friday afternoon, in time to visit the city museum with a fascinating display on fishing lures as well as an exhibit showing the rock tunnel which transports clean water all the way to provide for the city of Helsinki. We had a lovely dinner in the restaurant by the lake, and loved to see the houseboats moored on the water’s edge, with barbecues cooking dinner, and we already wanted to live here.

But this is a parkrun report, so onto Saturday morning. We gathered by the canal, just down from the clever boat lock / lifting road bridge, meeting Lorna and Nina, who we recognised as the lead cheerleaders for parkrun (and everything) Finland from the world tourists group. The route itself is a double out and back along the length of the canal, lots of chances to encourage and be encouraged by other parkrunners as we ran. The canal also has a lovely stone war memorial with the names of the fallen marked on individual pillars, as well as a clever eel catching box by the adjacent river, so when you visit do make time to look around more slowly. Readers will also be very happy to know that there is a nice little cafe right by the canal, where you can get coffees, pastries and ice cream, seating shared with some giant teddy bears and a unicorn.

The first finisher this week was young Oliver with a ‘Oma ennätys’ of 22:20 - or personal best as we’d call it, followed by Juho with the second of 3 best times achieved today. Kati was the first female finisher, not far off her best time too. We were the only 2 first timers today, it’s great to visit a parkrun which is very much for the local community, and loved to see the wide range of participants.

Thank you to the lovely team of volunteers and all participants. You have a lovely town and parkrun, and we hope to be lucky enough to come back again.

Best wishes, Justin and Lawrence

Justin and Lawrence


Saturday September 2nd / la 2.9.23 event #177

I hadn’t planned to write this run report but Vääksyn kanava parkrun’s ED, the lovely Sari, asked so nicely ….I had to laugh, though, when Sari introduced me as Mrs. Parkrun Finland (and later on a friend from the uk asked (on a Facebook thread) ’and how was Her Royal Highness [of Finnish parkrun] today?’ which made me laugh even more :)

This was my 5th run at Vääksy and it’s as beautiful as ever though I have to confess that the parkrun here always feels much longer than other parkruns. Not that I’m complaining. I really love that we run the length of the canal (a real feat of engineering built back in 1868-1871) from one large lake (Vesijärvi) to another (Pajänne) and we honestly couldn’t have had a nicer September morning weather wise.

My friend Nina and her daughter, Lara, and I arrived in Vääksy last night and stayed in newly opened campervan park, which was conveniently right by the start of the parkrun AND has a fantastic playground for kids which we all enjoyed a lot.

This was my 32nd parkrun this year and there was a lovely symmetry in that it was Lara’s 32nd parkrun today!

Today’s there were 30 participants at Vääksyn kanava parkrun and very excitedly the first finishers were two local lads (in the 11-14 age category), both of whom got PBs (personal best results) and looked as if they were thoroughly enjoying themselves and close on their heels was a third teenager (and his dad!) from the U.K. who were visiting Finland on holiday and had made their way from Helsinki by public transport (train to Lahti and then the local bus) which is just brilliant too! Katja, another local from Vääksy, also improved her time this week and I was really touched she came over to talk to me at the start of the event (as we’d met last week at Tampere parkrun)

Post parkrun coffee is my favourite part of parkrun (though I also love the pre-run buzz and chatting to people) and today we were able to sit outside by the canal at KanavanHelmi sipping coffee, and enjoying the lovely pastries and /or ice cream! The canal was quite busy today - with several boats passing through the lock in front of us, and a couple large enough to require the draw bridge to be opened.

All the parkruns in Finland are wonderful (we have 7 now, though sadly not one in Turku where I live, yet!) and I highly recommend giving parkrun a try.  The events are free - they happen every Saturday (throughout the year) at 9:30am - and walkers, joggers as well as runners (faster and slower) are encouraged to take part. You can run with your dog or push a baby /toddler in a pram … disabled people and visually impaired participants can also take part and I think that inclusivity is one of the very best things about parkrun. None of this can happen without volunteers to take times, scan tokens, or oversee the event as the run director etc … so if you can offer to help next week (or a future week) please sign up via the website, Facebook or send an email …and of course Thanks to all the volunteers today. I really appreciate what you do!

Hoping to be back in Vääksy again before long

Lorna from Turku aka Mrs. parkrun Finland

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