EY Finland successfully participated in the Runfest Helsinki

Wellbeing and well-doing

The Runfest is a combination of a walking and running picnic event for all age and fitness levels. Its motto is ‘Liikuttaa koko työhteisöäsi’, which means to ‘move your entire work community’. From the participation fees, one Euro per person per kilometer was donated to charity organizations. This year, Antti Pihlakoski the Finnish IAAF council member and chairman of Runfest has kindly invited an EY team to participate in this wellbeing and well-doing event. We happily accepted the challenge one week before the event. Our EY running club lead Johannes Pietilä passionately selected ambitious runners and swiftly formed a competitive team.

Festival atmosphere with grill smells

The Helsinki edition of the Runfest took place at the seaside parks ‘Meripuisto’ and ‘Kaivopuisto’ on Thursday evening last week. In Meripuisto a temporary tent village had been erected to host the about 4000 participants and their supporters, many of them carrying their companies’ colors. Services for casual sportspersons were available at the spot, such as customized catering and tents with tables and benches. Well before the starting signal, a well-animated and joyful warmup session made literally all of the participants stand up and move in the rhythm of the beats. At the edge of the engaging crowd stood a group of ambitious runners from EY, pretty seriously preparing for the 5 x 4.2K relay (half marathon distance). At the point in time a stranger interrupted our preparation rituals with the words ‘Pojat, tämä ei on juosukilpailu!’ (Boys, this is not a running competition!).

Runners, walkers and other creatures unified

Sharp at 6pm about 1000 contestants simultaneously headed on to the beautiful 4.2K seaside course, many of them as five at once groups to carry aggregated joy and team spirit through the warm Helsinki evening. Having been the last starter of my group, I had the luxury to observe the scene from the distance. The most special contestant I recognized on the course was a pony. I could not believe my eyes what I saw. But after a few moments I remembered that Gary Neville (former soccer professional) once said ‘This a real thing, this is no show pony’. In that spirit I asked my ambitious running colleagues for feedback about their running experience on the track. Surprisingly, none of them noted any distractions nor jam and all seemed pretty happy.

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Riku Järvelä, Johannes Pietilä, Juhani Pietarinen and Rene Felber

Running a better working world!

The combined team spirit, which we absorbed at the event gave us wings to fly over our imagined race course. As a side note, our team ran the combined half marathon in 1 hour and 11 minutes, about 10 minutes faster than the second but best team. Straight after our running performances, thoughts quickly shifted from individual contribution analysis to big picture reflections and way forward plans. We were also able to laugh about the phrase received during our warmup ‘Boys, this is not a running competition’, and we commonly agreed that next time we’ll take our colleagues and customers there to share the joy. Because we think that the unique purpose of this event, the Why (Y) should be shared. Why? EY! Running a better working world.


Rene Felber

Rene Felber

Rene is working in EY as a Senior Manager in Advisory Services/Risk since August 2018. He is passionate about risks, performance and digitalisation.
rene.felber@fi.ey.com.