Tampere parkrun, Finland

Tampere parkrun route
Tampere parkrun route – 2.5k out, 2.5k back, wiggling along the side of the lake.

Tampere parkrun has been going for over a year, having started on the 14th October 2017. Crucially for me, that date was just after I left for Singapore, so I had not had the chance to get to a Finnish parkrun before – there are now three, so they have started popping up.

The course itself is right near the city centre, easy to find (just make sure you pick a road that takes you over the train tracks, if you are East of them, or you might follow a road a long way, away from the lake. I spotted my near-error in plenty of time). I got there just a little after 9 – 9.30 start here – and had a chat with the team who were setting up. It was far too cold to stand there, though, and I eschewed the offer of a wait in the stadium in favour of a proper warm up run. The stadium sounds great, though, offering toilets and showers, so if you aren’t staying in Tampere on a Saturday, you can still wash up afterwards.

The run director spoke excellent English, and was kind enough to do all briefings in both Finnish and English, which is great, and super welcoming.

Scenic lakeside route
Signs are obvious, so long as you look up.

The course is about as flat as it gets. Although it twists to follow the lake, and has a 180 turnaround at the halfway point, it is about as quick as it gets. That said, there was a bit of a breeze – more annoying for being genuinely Baltic than a movement stopper, though I felt it – and I felt the occasional slow down from an incline.

But the surface is good, going from concrete to hard-packed trails, and I had a good run. It’s a scenic course, with the lake on your right on the way out (guess which side on the way back?) and running through flora otherwise. Frankly, it’s wonderful.

Laukonsilta bridge, near the start/finish
Laukonsilta bridge, near the start/finish.

I was pleased with a decent run, and to be able to add another country to my parkrun list – 16, now, with just Germany and South Africa to go (though the latter has runs in Namibia and Swaziland, so the completist ought to get to those two, as well).

I headed to the cafe post-run, which is just over the bridge. Finnish people mostly speak excellent English, and I picked up plenty of travel tips from a couple of Finns, discussed hangovers with an Irishman and enjoyed a soft chocolate cake and orange juice. The lady in the cafe didn’t recognise that in English, but her colleague pointed it out. Plenty of coffee available, and that is order able in English without problems.

Post cake, I was full of energy and had a run through Tampere. The centre is divided in places by construction, as they put in place “a pram” (tram), but that just meant I had an excuse to run around the edge of that and run a little further than I might otherwise have. On a cold but sunny morning, it was a pleasure.

Sorsalampi lake, mid Tampere
Sorsalampi lake, mid Tampere (not on the route, just pretty).

Coffee etc. afterwards, at Cafe and Salad Bar Sanna’s, Laukontori 10.

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