Jukola is anticipating that even more non-orienteering associated club teams (i.e. company or friend’s teams) as well as all-women teams will enter the Jukola relay this year.
The Jukola relay is Finland’s biggest orienteering competition. It is a competition that is widely known in the orienteering world, especially in the Nordic countries, but also in European orienteering circles. The annual event includes many established traditional features of which participants are advised to take the following points into consideration.
Jukola relay has two separate competitions:
A 4-leg Venla relay which runs on the Saturday afternoon
A 7-leg Jukola relay, which start on the Saturday evening at 23.00 – with the winning teams estimated to reach the finish line on the Sunday morning about 7.00.
The Venla relay teams consists of four women. Male competitors are not allowed to participate in this relay. However, in the Jukola event the relay teams can contain both male and female competitors (either as a combined male / female team or all male / all-female teams). Last year’s Jukola relay contained a number of these mixed and all female teams. This way women are also able to experience, and enjoy, the much talked about Jukola night time.
About 60% of the Jukola teams are formed by companies or groups of friends (i.e. non-orienteering associated club teams). In many Finnish companies training for, and competing in the Jukola relay is part of the “tyky” program (a program that promotes health in the workplace). Participation in Jukola improves fitness and this in turn is seen to generate a positive effect on the work performance of employees. Also, the involvement in such a team oriented event can help to strengthen the team building between members of the company. This may largely be considered a Finnish phenomenon but here in Jukola we hope that this will also become more common in our neighboring countries as well.