Jukola orienteering relay race
The orienteering relay event “JUKOLA” is composed of the “Jukola” relay (7 men in a team) and the “Venla” relay (4 women in a team). The JUKOLA relay is one of the greatest competitions of relay orienteering in the world each year attracting more than 15 000 participants. The first Jukola relay was organized in 1949 and it has consequently been organized every year in different sites around Finland. At the beginning, only the men could take part in the event. For the ladies, an individual race with common start was organized in 1951 and it then was turned into a relay race in 1978. The first Jukola relay attracted 41 teams total. Currently, the number of participants has grown and reached 1500 teams in the male Jukola relay and 1100 teams in the Venla relay. The proportion of international orienteers has lately been approx. 20%, representing some 20 different nationalities.
The best quality served to you
The Finnish orienteers as well as the foreign teams have for several years considered the “Jukola” relay as the best arrangement amongst the orienteering events in the world. This is due to the following factors:
- Each year the venue of the Jukola relay is new and different. It always is a great honor for the organizing club and its co-operators to arrange the competition;
- the long tradition of co-operation and the exchange of information and experiences between the successive organizing teams;
- the management system developed during many years and the experienced Jukola Leading Team which controls, gives guidance and supervises the organizers of the year.
For the elite and amateurs
|The Jukola relay is mainly a competition of high quality, joining all the best orienteers and clubs in the world. They compete about the victory and fame. The majority of the teams, however, do not try to win the race. For them, it is most important to be able to participate in the event and to not have to give it up. Everybody in the team must have a chance to run. In addition, teams which do not represent any official clubs, can take part in the same relays. The proportion of such teams is already 20% and is growing. Their majority comes from firms and institutions, but there are also groups of people sharing the same passion or hobby, some family teams, etc. The competition center gathers totally a crowd of 30 000 – 40 000 people. Among them, one can distinguish orienteers, trainers, media, members of families and the audience. Most people spend the whole night in the competition center, in and outside of the thousands of tents and caravans.|
Author Aleksis Kivi, a nationalist Finn of the 19th century, published a book called “Seitsemän veljestä” (Seven Brothers), which gave the name for the Jukola relay. Most of the other awards as well as many other Jukola related things and sales articles are based on the texts in the book. The logo of Jukola was designed by artist Totti Noisniemi.
All through the night
|In the Jukola male relay (for seven members), the distances of legs vary from 7 to 15 km. The race always takes place on the third Saturday of June. The starting time is around 11 pm, and so runners of the 1st … 3rd or 4th legs have to carry the headlights, depending on the geographical site of the relay (north or south of Finland) and the weather conditions. The winning team crosses the finishing line early on Sunday morning, around 6 or 7 am, and the last teams come to finish just before the finish is closed at 2 pm.The female Venla relay teams have four members. The start of the relay takes place on Saturday approx. at 3 pm. The distances of four legs are 5 – 8 km, and the best teams use approx. three hours before they cross the finish line. The last teams finish their race usually at the same time as the male Jukola relay is starting in the evening.|
|The Jukola event is organized each year by a unique group of selected Finnish orienteering clubs. The organizations are chosen 3-5 years before the race. There are up to 1500 voluntary persons in the organization during the two days of the Jukola event. The estimate of voluntary workload is in general between 12000 – 15000 working days. However, it is always relatively easy to find voluntaires. The Jukola organization generally actually employs only 1-3 persons during a time of 0.5 – 1,5 years.In the orienteering competition center a small town with full services is built: restaurants, sports equipment shops, post, bank, showers, sauna, pub, self-service laundry, drinking water taps, electricity, first aid, media center, VIP-facilities, church, sanitary facilities, etc.|
Jukola Leading team
|Association “Kaukametsäläiset” is the founder of the Jukola relay and it is also the owner of the rights of Jukola event. Association “Kaukametsäläiset” chairs the Jukola Leading Team. For further information, please see the paragraph “Association”|
|To minimize the damage caused by the Jukola orienteers to the nature, the organizers of the event, the land owners, the hunters and the environmentalists have for several years recorded the changes in the nature, for example by taking into account the changes at the actual site competition, by planning the courses more carefully, and by using the closed areas within the competition terrain, etc. An exhaustive study on the vegetation changes, which was carried out in a Jukola site between 1995 and 1999, shows that the race leaves little traces on the ground and that the majority of these traces disappear in a short time.|
The Youth Jukola relay
Since 1986, a Jukola relay event for the young orienteers was organized as a separate event in August each year. Read more
You want to take part in Jukola?
There are links to the future Jukola organizers on the main page of the Jukola web site. Youll find further information there on how to participate in the Jukola relay with your team. An invitation is published in the beginning of the year. The entries must normally arrive at the organizing group office approx. one month before the date of the relay at the latest. The team entry fee depends on the date of the entry. There are some restrictions related to the participation of very young orienteers in the Jukola and Venla relays. The female orienteers are allowed to take part in the main Jukola relay (for male teams) in the non-official enterprise teams if they did not take part in the Venla relay.
The competitions are organized in the middle of June. At this time, the weather in Finland is usually warm, approx. 15 – 25 degrees during the daytime and 5 – 15 degrees in the nighttime. The foreign teams can reserve a large heated military tent. Available are also hotels, school floors and possibly private country houses and cottages. The network of public transport in Finnish functions well and the prices are reasonable. The standard of the road network is good and Finland has a disciplined driving culture.
The competition terrains have big variations in forest and ground types each years. Please see the clips of the maps from different organizers on their web pages.