Completing the Helsinki Half Marathon

22 June 2018
  • Challenges

Completing the Helsinki Half Marathon

UK Helsinki Half Marathon Ambassador Mark set out to achieve his goal of completing a sub two-hour half marathon whilst raising funds and awareness for Teens Unite. He's been keeping us updated along the way - from training right up to completing the challenge. Here's his final Helsinki Half Marathon blog:

"On Saturday 9th June 2018, I joined 2500 other runners to race the Helsinki Half Marathon. Here's how I got on...

After the three-hour flight to Helsinki and a short journey into the city on the train and then a tram, we arrived at the hotel. We checked in and went to collect my race number. I had read that it's a common mistake to do a walking tour of the city the day before the race and then end up with sore feet, so we took it easy. We had dinner and a quick catch up with my fellow ambassadors before an early night.

After a good night's sleep I felt well set up for race day. An early breakfast and a short walk to the start, the weather was absolutely glorious: a warm sun, cool breeze, and clear sky. Before I knew it we were off and I had started, I was running the Helsinki Half Marathon! I wasn’t really sure what to expect; I’d wanted a sub 2 hour run and with the route zigzagging along the coastline I started running at a good pace.

After completing the first mile I got myself into a good rhythm, and whilst I soaked in all this beautiful city had to offer, I kept focused on the finish line and completed the race in 1 hour, 55 minutes and 13 seconds! I’d accomplished what I’d set out to do: to run a sub two-hour Half Marathon.

I felt great at the finish; the comradery between runners at a finishing line is always amazing. The end of this race was no different: two Italian runners, a Dutch runner and Finnish runner congratulated me - a sense of accomplishment shared. Big goals are hard and sometimes scary, but they are so worth it when you finally achieve them. My whole Helsinki experience has been amazing from day one. If you ever get the opportunity to try and achieve a goal, go for it!"

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