Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges Run returns to Pärnu after two-year break

The Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges race in Pärnu, 2015
The Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges race in Pärnu, 2015 Source: Personal Collection

After a break of over two years, this weekend, on September 3-4, the Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges run, will take place once again in Pärnu, with at least one 1,500 people expected to take part.

The Two Bridges run is one of the summer capital's sporting highlights of the year, with people coming from all over Estonia and abroad to take part.

The race is named after Jüri Jaanson, who is the most successful Estonian rower of all time, having won both European and World Championship golds, along with two Olympic silver medals during a glittering career.

While the number of participants is expected to be lower than in 2019, when the race last took place, according to the organizers, this year's race is still shaping up to be one of the biggest exercise events in Estonia this season.

"The team and I predict that we will get 1,000 registered runners, plus hundreds of walkers and joggers, and even children taking part," said organizer Vahur Mäe, adding that, as expected, the number of people registering has increased significantly in the last week. "If everything goes very well and the weather is good, it's not impossible that the final number will be close to 2,000," Mäe said.

The busy weekend will kick off with a family day in Pärnu's Vaasa Park on Saturday, including a wheelchair race, free races for children up to 11-years-old, and a 3 km evening run, which takes place at dusk and is, for the first time, open to all age groups.

Ahead of the run, participants will be warmed up by live music from Liis Lemsalu and her band, with several sports clubs and other event partners there to introduce their activities to families in attendance. Everyone's favorite, Pipi Longstocking, will also be on hand to help entertain the youngsters.

Renowned running coach Anu Piiroja will lead a classic 10 km long run the following day, during which, participants will cross the two bridges of the Estonian Urban Running series.

Piiroja will also run a joint workout session for anyone who wishes to take part, at 16:00 on Saturday.

Although the race is mainly for amateurs and groups of friends, traditionally, it also attracts a few famous faces.

"Kaur Kivistik, who just completed the marathon at the European Championships, has just signed up, Tiidrek Nurme has announced that his good friend and training partner, the Kenyan runner Ibrahim Wachira Mukunga, will once again be giving the local competitors a run for their money, and it's quite possible that Nurme himself won't sit this one out on the sidelines," said Mäe.

The finishers of the evening run and the two-bridge run will receive medals at the finish line, with the top three male and female finishers in both distances as well as winners of the age groups will make it onto the podium, where they will be receive prizes from the event sponsors.

Those who register for the Two Bridges Run before midnight Estonian time Tuesday, August 30, will receive a discounted rate, while those registering afterwards will be required to pay full price.

For those who are unable to make it to Pärnu this weekend, there is also the chance to participate in the event virtually, by completing runs at your own convenience at any time or place up to September 11.

More information about the Jüri Jaanson Two Bridges Run can be found here.


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Editor: Michael Cole

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