A record number of runners are expected for the Kainuu Trail - including cross-country skiing world champion Matti Heikkinen, who has registered for the 21 km race

Published: 15.05.2024

This year, the Kainuu Trail trail running event, organized for the fourth time, continues to attract more and more runners to the magnificent needle trails and wilderness landscapes of Hossa National Park.

Our second registration period closed on April 30th, and based on the preliminary registrations, it looks like this year will be the largest in terms of participants in our history," smiles Jukka Liuha, the competition director and course master of Kainuu Trail, with satisfaction.

Last year, there were a total of 467 registrations for the Kainuu Trail, with 374 runners taking part.

For the second registration period ending in late April, we already have a total of 402 registered participants, which is by far a new record," Liuha exclaims. "This practically predicts that this summer, up to 500 trail runners will be sprinting along the paths of Hossa.

The 21-kilometer Jatkonvaara route attracts the most runners - including cross-country skiing world champion Matti Heikkinen at the starting line

According to Liuha, the absolutely most popular route at the Kainuu Trail event has been and will continue to be the 21-kilometer Jatkonvaara trail. Currently, a total of 125 runners have registered for the half marathon-length run.

Cross-country skiing world champion and current Director of Elite Sports for the Finnish Olympic Committee, Matti Heikkinen, has also registered for the 21-kilometer route," Liuha says, continuing that it will be interesting to see Heikkinen's pace on the Hossa trails.

I read in the news a couple of days ago that Heikkinen is also participating in Topi Raitanen's Cooper challenge in the fall. Perhaps this is one intermediate stage before the fall challenge - I'll probably have to ask about this at the starting line in Hossa," Liuha speculates with a twinkle in his eye.

Routes and distances for runners of all levels and ages

In the Kainuu Trail trail run, there are routes available for running at 10 km (Huosius), 21 km (Jatkonvaara), 38 km (Kokalmus), 55 km (Värikallio), and 78 km (Julma-Ölkky). All routes have a general category for participants aged 18 and above, for both women and men, but in addition, the 10-kilometer route also has a category for boys and girls aged 12-17.

Describing the running routes, the course master says that the 10-kilometer route offers easy and beautiful needle trail enjoyment around Lake Huosius, while on the 21-kilometer route, trail runners can already test their hill conquering skills in the magnificent ascent of Jatkonvaara.

On the 38-kilometer route, runners get to see some of Hossa's most famous sights, such as the crystal-clear waters of Muikkupuro and the beautiful wilderness lake views of Kokalmus. Those covering the 55-kilometer distance get to experience the crossing of the majestic Julma-Ölkky canyon lake via a suspension bridge. At the longest and undoubtedly toughest 78 kilometers, ultra runners practically see all of the most beautiful sights in Hossa National Park.

We can promise all runners in all categories very enjoyable running trails and landscapes," assures Liuha, who is familiar with the Hossa area's trails after hiking and organizing various events in the area since 2008.

Arriving at Hossa is conveniently done with the organizer's provided race buses

For this year, the organizers have aimed to make arriving at the Kainuu Trail trail run as smooth as possible from both Finland and abroad. Among other things, on race day, June 29th, Kainuu Trail race buses serve all runners of the 10 km, 21 km, and 38 km routes arriving from either the direction of Kajaani or Ruka-Kuusamo to Hossa.

It's worth reading our arrival tips on our website and ordering bus tickets in advance. It's really easy to visit Hossa for the day with the race buses," Liuha suggests.

The next registration deadline is June 17th

The final official registration period for the Kainuu Trail trail run closes on June 17th 2024.

We recommend registering by June 17th, as you can still get a bit cheaper entry to the Hossa trails, although after this, late registration is possible with increased participation fees," Liuha explains.

June 17th also marks the end of the sale of Kainuu Trail race bus tickets, but it is good to note regarding these that there is a limited number of tickets, so they may run out earlier.

After June 17th, it is still possible to register for the event as so-called reserve places until the Friday evening preceding the event, June 28th.

We will also accept registrations on the morning of the event, June 29th, if there are still reserve places available in the categories at the time of late registration," Liuha clarifies.

If the trails of Hossa pique your interest, you can register on the website www.kainuutrail.fi.

The event's competition center is located at the Hossa Nature Center, where all routes start and finish.

Kainuu Trail program on June 29, 2024, from 6 am to 11 pm

  • 6:45 am: Race bus Kajaani-Suomussalmi-Hossa (departure from Kajaani Bus Station)
    • arrive in Hossa at 8:20-8:30 am
  • 6:00 am: start of 78 km
  • 6:40 am: Race bus Ruka-Kuusamo-Hossa (departure from Sale Rukanriutta)
    • arrive in Hossa at 8:20 am
  • 8:00 am: start of 55 km
  • 9:00 am: start of 38 km
  • 10:00 am: start of 21 km
  • 10:30 am: start of 10 km
  • 12:00 pm: awards ceremony for 10 km
  • 1:00 pm: awards ceremony for 21 km
  • 3:00 pm: awards ceremony for 38 km and 55 km
  • 5:00 pm: awards ceremony for 78 km
  • 5:30 pm: Return bus rides depart
    • Hossa-Suomussalmi-Kajaani, arrive in Kajaani at 8:15 pm
    • Hossa-Kuusamo-Ruka, arrive in Ruka at 7:10 pm
  • 10:00 pm: Finish line closes
  • 10:30 pm: Serving of finish line soup ends
  • 11:00 pm: Event center and race office close

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