Multiple medallist in World Orienteering Championships, Business Director of Mehiläinen Johanna Asklöf will take part in the Venla Relay of Jukola in team Sports Mehiläinen.

Business Director Johanna Asklöf is in charge of the Outpatient Clinics, Hospitals and Working Life Services of Mehiläinen and the operations of Sports Mehiläinen. She is a doctor by training and, in her career, she has also managed the residential care services for the elderly of Mehiläinen.

In addition to her strong background in social and health services, Johanna is also a multiple medallist in World Orienteering Championships. Out of her five WOC medals, the most moving moment of her career took place when she was running the anchor leg and the first to cross the finishing line in front of her home crowd in Tampere in 2001 securing the gold medal.

Today, this former world champion enjoys cycling, orienteering, jogging and cross-country skiing – not to compete – just for fun.

“I want to stay fit both mentally and physically. When I’m exercising, my mind calms down and moving in nature is my way of building up my strength. Good physical condition is an advantage in a demanding job,” says Johanna.

Johanna also attends actively the sports activities of her children. One of the greatest aspects of orienteering is the fact that all members of the family get to attend the same event irrespective of age and running speed.

Tips for Jukola

Johanna is an experienced participant of Jukola. She participated in her first Venla Relay over 30 years ago. Johanna’s most vivid Jukola memories involve the exciting first Venla Relay in the kettle terrain of Hollola in 1987 and running the anchor leg that led to the long-sought Venla victory in Siuntio in 1998. In recent years, Johanna has participated in the Venla Relay with a team of family members.

Due to her background in medicine, Johanna also pays attention to sports injuries and their prevention in Jukola.

“The most common injuries of orienteers include lower-limb strains and sprains, eye injuries and scratches,” she says.  Johanna gives a few important tips for Jukola participants:

“It’s good to start preparing early. Practise and improve your physical condition steadily to match your target level. It’s important to start every training session with an activating warm-up and training should be balanced with the necessary rest and recovery.

In my opinion, the most important things are, however, a relaxed way of doing things and a positive mindset. Both are needed when training and competing in the Jukola Relay,” Johanna emphasises.