Name: Jukka Viljanen
Born: May 2nd, 1963, Helsinki, Finland
Hometown: Espoo (same as the Nokia HQ)
Primary sport: Adventure Running
Started “keeps you going and going and going…” sports: I picked running during my years at the university.
Training regime: I normally run approx.10-12 hrs/week (5-6 times/week).
Most proud of: I participated in the North Pole Marathon and the North Pole Bike Extreme (both 42,195 km). This event takes place nearby Barneo North Pole Camp on drifting ice between 89° and 90° North. The participants run a circular route of 4,2 km which has to be repeated 10 times (with snowshoes). I arrived 6th in 4h 34′.
The mountain bike race was a historical event because it was held for the first time (and most likely the last one) at the North Pole. We were 13 bikers of which 6 participated in the running event as well.
The temperature was around -30C and we were pedalling on specially designed mountain bikes on a special one mile course carved into the ice. It was one of the hardest races I’ve ever been in. My final position was 4th and I was sooo tired after the race.
After freezing my butt off at North Pole, it was time to visit the Sahara. I participated in a very tough non-stop footrace in Libya. It was 200 km of pure pain, but I made it!
My next extremely cold race took place in Antarctica, 80 degrees South. We were only three 100 km runners and it is certainly the coldest (and the most insane) footrace in the world. It took me14 hours to complete the 100 km course, arriving in 2nd place. For me it was the adventure of my life. I had the opportunity to meet people from all over the world and make friends with mountain climbers, and polar adventurers. Due to stormy weather we got stuck in ANI Base Camp, so I spent Christmas Eve with 70 other adventurers.
My latest adventure took place during August and September 2010. I tested my boundaries by running 1000 km across the Kalahari Desert together with my spouse Kirsi and a South African dude, Greg Maud. This epic and historical run took us 20 days and that was the best time of my life.
Philosophy: To Explore!
Me: To put it short… In university I was selected “The most rambunctious personality”, i.e. crazy in a pleasant way
Other hobbies: Travelling… I also work as a guide/Tour Leader. I guide trekking & running tours in Nepal and Africa.
Favorite music (what you listen to when training?): My favorite group is U2, normally I listen my inner voice.
People I would like to thank: My life companion Kirsi is a badass runner! She became the fastest female runner in the interior of Antarctica and broke the course record for the marathon at Patriot Hills and still holds it.
My trusted equipment:
Computer: Panasonic Toughbook
Running shoes: La Sportiva
Other gear: Millet, Bridgedale, Camelbak and Petzl.
Favourite drink: Battery Hydro