Nuts Karhunkierros, kuva Veera Vihervaara

Over 3400 trail runners await the snow to melt

Finland's Largest Trail Running Event in Ruka on May 24-25, 2024

European Champion Jukka Keskisalo, participating in his first trail running event: "You need to go for a run so these trips don't become too unforgettable."

The trail running event NUTS Karhunkierros, held on the last weekend of May in Kuusamo’s Ruka, has gathered over 3400 registrations.

The most participants, nearly 1500, have registered for the 34-kilometer series.

One of the 34-kilometer participants is the European champion in steeplechase, Jukka Keskisalo.

The renowned runner from Joensuu says he hasn't previously felt the need "to stumble on trails." Last summer changed his mind.

"I ran the Small Bear Trail. It’s a beautiful route, and it made me think I could do more of this."

The Battle for Victory Left to Others?

However, Keskisalo doesn't see himself contending for the series victory. The reason is the lack of training runs and leaving competitive sports to others. His participation is driven by the desire to experience the event itself.

"There’s something exceptional about it, and they must be doing something right to attract so many participants from all over the country."

Nonetheless, Keskisalo has done some running.

"Events motivate me to run a bit. You need to go for a run so these trips don't become too unforgettable."

"We Are Not Fortune Tellers"

The snowy winter and unsteady spring are evident in the thick snow cover and icy paths on parts of the running route 1.5 weeks before the event. Sunny spots have melted paths, but in places like the slopes of Konttainen and Valtavaara, the snow is still knee-deep, according to Oulanka Visitor Centre.

"Jean Sibelius told his wife that he’s a composer, not a fortune teller. We’re also not fortune tellers regarding when the trails will fully melt. It’s good to be prepared for snow and ice – varying conditions are the essence of the sport," says Eero Lumme from Northern Ultra Trail Service - NUTS Oy, the event organizers.

Info: Nuts Karhunkierros Trail Running Event

Date: May 24-25, 2024
Place: Ruka, Kuusamo
Series (number of registered participants): 13 km (380), 34 km (1460), 55 km (part of the Trail Tour Finland series) (856), 83 km (511), and 166 km (209)
Special Note: Finland's largest trail running event
More information on routes and schedules: