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Pictures: Meera Sivanathan for Finland Today

Last Sunday, the Citizens’ Square in Helsinki transformed into a sea of women in bright colored active wear as they took part in Naisten Kymppi – Finland’s largest women’s fun run.

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Energy levels were high as girls and women of all ages stepped up to the start line ready and determined to complete the 10-kilometer race. “The start line is definitely one of the highlights of today. It’s when the whole event comes to life,” said Naisten Kymppi organizer Karoliina Ylösjoki.

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The strike of 13:00 saw the first group of runners’ dash into the distance. This year the running route took participants on a race around the Helsinki center – starting at Kiasma, proceeding along Hietaniemi beach and iconic Café Regatta, around Meilahti, through Keskuspuisto, with the final stretch past the Olympic stadium finishing at the corner of Töölönlahti.

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While a 10-kilometer dash may seem daunting, Naisten Kymppi is open to all levels of fitness and promotes a fun and relaxed atmosphere. Participants chose to complete the race however they liked – be it run, jog, walk or a combination of all the above.

This year about 11,000 women participated in this iconic race. Ylösjoki noted that “this is the 34th Naisten Kymppi event and we’ve had women compete every single year.”

Family members cheered from the side as their beloved mothers, wives, sisters and daughters crossed the finish line with a sense of achievement, exhaustion and sheer sweaty satisfaction splashed across their faces.

The first Naisten Kymppi race took place in 1984 and since then it has successfully brought together girls and women of all ages to promote wellbeing and fitness in an energetic, uplifting and supportive environment.