Interview with Nordic Green Run 2022 Team Finland Runners

Team Finland did an amazing performance in Nordic Green Run this year. From May 30 to June 5, the 237 members of the Strava team ran and walked an impressive 3,651 kilometers! The Finnish Embassy wanted to thank the participants of Nordic Green Run 2022 for their efforts for Team Finland and chose a few winners who received Finland-themed prizes as a thank you. We were also very happy to invite them to our office and have a chat with them.

Foong Chu Weng with Riku Mäkelä on the left, and Teo Yu Rong on the right

Team Finland’s Top Runner was Teo Yu Rong, who ran a whopping nearly 150 kilometers during the week. He heard about the run from a runner friend who invited him to join, and he was happy to participate in the run with Team Finland. Yu Rong himself is also a dedicated runner so it was rather easy for him to contribute to the kilometers.

“I have been running consistently ever since the pandemic started. Even before the pandemic, I was running but not as much. A typical week for me would be to run around 100 km, but during Nordic Green Run I did a few extra runs. I am trying to stay consistent to work towards my goal of running overseas. A long-term goal for me is to qualify for the Boston Marathon.”

What an amazing goal, indeed. Running is something that is important to Yu Rong. “Running to me is a way to de-stress and take time off from work, and from working from home. Running is also a way to take your mind off the many things you have in your head and just to focus on one thing.”

Yu Rong really appreciated the community-feel of Nordic Green Run. Even though his motivation was not so much the competition between the Nordics, the friendliness of the run delighted him. “I was very happy to see the community growing and I hope that the community grows bigger. Usually you don’t see that much activity in Strava groups so I was happy to see how active it was.”

He also felt that the purpose of the run – to collect funds to protect our seas and marine environments – was important. “Nowadays we are so focused on globalization etc. that we forget about the negative impact on the environment and society. Small things also matter, because together they have a significant impact on the world as a whole.”

Yu Rong mentioned that he was planning a trip to Northern Europe with his friends. We hope that they will make it all the way to Finland either to visit Santa’s village in Rovaniemi and to see snow and the Northern lights in the winter, or to experience the nightless nights and numerous festivals in the summer.

Another winner, Foong Chu Weng, shared beautiful pictures to the Team Finland Strava group from his walk routes. He received his prize bag from our Innovation and Trade Counsellor Riku Mäkelä. This was Chu Weng's second year in Nordic Green Run as he participated last year as well. Team Finland was his choice again this year because he has some friends within the Finnish community. “We actually participated as a group with my friends. Sometimes I walked together with them and sometimes by myself.”

This year’s beneficiary Seven Clean Seas was something that Chu Weng could relate to. “The green cause of the run really motivated me. I’m very supportive of the purpose and strongly support this event because of the good cause.”

Strava was already a familiar app to Chu Weng. “I used Strava mostly because of the run, but other than that I do use it to record long walks or cycling, but not so actively.” Because of Nordic Green Run and its good cause, Chu Weng decided to increase his activity during the week. “For Nordic Green Run, I walked more than normal. I tried to make myself walk every day for the event.”

Thank you so much for participating, both our interviewees, and everyone else who joined! Altogether, the Nordic teams covered 20,607 kilometers. We were able to raise 25,272 SGD to Seven Clean Seas with the help of our Nordic sponsors. We hope to see you all participate next year again for a good cause.