Last weekend it was all about team spirit and orienteering, when VRT’s CEO Kirsi Hänninen together with the maintenance engineer of HaminaKotka Port, Saana Vuorinen, headed to the biggest orienteering relay competition in Joensuu, Finland. The race was as much about exceeding oneself and getting out of the comfort zone as about orienteering for a good cause. The team Pummit kadoksissa was a charity team competing at the day-time orienteering event, Finland 100 Venla relay.

The exciting competition day started with meeting the two other team members – women’s top biathletes Kaisa Mäkäräinen and Mari Laukkanen – and also the juniors of Kalevan rasti. After a little warmup together, VRT Finland’s Kirsi and HaminaKotka Port’s Saana donated a 1500€ check for the juniors of Kalevan rasti supporting their possibility to continue and compete with orienteering.

Port of HaminaKotka’s Saana Vuorinen and VRT’s Kirsi Hänninen donated the 1500€ check for the local orienteering juniors.

– Supporting the juniors and encouraging them to continue with their hobbies is vital, and also the reason I wanted to take part of the competition in the first place, says Kirsi from VRT.

The preparations for the actual relay competition had gone rather relaxedly. None of the team members were experts in orienteering, which led to a laid-back attitude towards the whole competition – only with a hint of worry of finding all the controls marked on the map. Mari admitted it had been over 20 years since reading a map, but had been studying the map symbols from the web during the previous week. Fortunately, they got a little help of reading the map and using the compass from Hannu Airila, from Kalevan rasti orienteering club. The team agreed that as a matter of fact, one of the greatest about Venla relay is that it doesn’t matter if you’re a pro or a beginner, everyone is welcome to participate.

In the end, the not even our CEO got lost in the woods of North Karelia, and the whole team performed fantastically. Finishing at 380 out of over 1300 teams, everyone was really happy with their performance – and even willing to consider participating next year.

Pummit kadoksissa team (from the left: Saana Vuorinen, Kirsi Hänninen, Mari Laukkanen and Kaisa Mäkäräinen) happy that they made it!


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