Having a sauna in a tent is an essential part of the Jukola experience. The gentle heat resurrects both your state of mind and your aching muscles. The sauna is also where you go through all your worst and most painful competition experiences together with your team and any other people you might meet.
The Jukola competitors and spectators can choose between two saunas, one large, one small. During the day-time the Venla competitors used the large sauna, but after the Jukola start, the large one is reserved for men only. The women are welcome to use the smaller one.
Cashiers Marja Joensuu and Ulla Siltatolppi are happy to assist those in need of a sauna.
– Our visitors have been in good spirits and have praised the experience, Marja and Ulla agree.
On their way to the sauna are Mari Jylhä, Jepa Piirainen and Sini Lepistö, who have travelled to Jukola together from the Helsinki region. Mari is a first-timer at Jukola and is looking forward to a muscle-relaxing sauna experience and especially the hot water.to wash away the dust from the competition. Mari’s teammate Jepa, on the other hand, firmly believes that the sauna is an essential part of the Jukola team experience. .
– Our team waits until all our runners have finished, as it is important to go to the sauna together. Although sometimes we have to wait until nearly sunset before the anchor leg runner comes in, says Jepa.
Viivi Leskelä also found her way to the tent sauna. She was the first one in after the saunas were swapped around in the evening.
– 20 000 runners and as many spectators, and here I am, alone in the sauna, Viivi exclaims. A private moment in the sauna offered Viivi the opportunity to relax and enjoy, although she was happy to welcome the others to the sauna.
Text: Hanna Kalmari
Photos: Pasi Kolinummi ja Aaro Tuukkanen