|World Athletics Label Road Race:||No|
|Distances||63K, 42K, 21K, 5K|
|Type of race||Flat|
|Time limit||6 hours (42K), 3 hours (21K)|
The Helsinki City Running day is an event, usually in May, organized in the Finnish capital. It includes several races, for all type of participants. There are in fact full marathon, half marathon, a 5K walking or running event and a mini marathon for kids. A differentiating factor of this event is the possibility, for ultra runners, to run the two long distances together. This creates an unusual and attractive 63.3 km distance.
The HCR day is the biggest running event in Finland, and there are many reasons consolidating this record. Firstly, the good usual weather conditions and the course, that make this race fast. Secondly, the good organization, a key factor given the amount of distances and events.
Organization surely consolidating with the experience, as in 2020 the race celebrates its 40th birthday. The organization changed the program including the major distance (42K) into it. The marathon event occurred before 2018 in a separate date in August. Only a good organization machine can handle 15000 runners from 80 nations into several, same day, main events.
Another good reason to run this race is that it ends into a stadium. Usually it is the iconic Olympic stadium but, being this under renovation, some editions end in the Telia Areena just alongside it.
I found personally the route a bit lacking of attractiveness, moving into woods that did not impress me much. However the track changed after 2017, with additional coastal paths and less internal roads. From first impression studying the course, it seems much more engaging.
All in all, not the best event I have been participating, but an interesting combination of city and nature, woods and cement. If you are travelling in a group with mixed interests, loving trail and city run, long distance or short ones, this event can give a chance to satisfy everyone’s interests!
Please find here trip advises what to do in Helsinki.