What is it all about?

An open water event where the participants swim in pairs 24 km (15m) in the Oulankariver.
The 24km distance includes short transitions on foot. The 12 km (7,5m) distance is also an
The distance is completed in pairs.

Noteworthy things about the event

It is organized in a national park.

In the Finnish National Parks, a stricter set of rules and regulations, than the Freedom to
Roam (jokamiehenoikeus), are to be abided by. These restrictions apply to everyone that
visits a National Park, including Downhill participants, volunteers, service personnel, and
spectators. You can familiarize yourself with the Oulanka national parka and regulations by clicking on
this link.

It is encouraged that you familiarize yourself with the general outdoor etiquette of how to move around in nature


Where is Oulankajoki?

The Oulankariver flows through the Oulanka national park in the Ruka-Kuusamo and Salla
area. The river is 135 kilometers long and 105 km of the river is on Finnish soil, 30
kilometres on Russian soil. The Oulankajoki is a visible part of the popular Karhunkierros
hiking trail. The starting point of the event is ca 35 km from Ruka.

Wait, what is this Downhill Swim?

The event is completed downstream, so practically downhill. The strength of the current
varies along the way, but the current does significantly increase the overall average speed.

How good of a swimmer do I need to be to complete the course?

To complete the course, reasonable swimming capabilities and level of endurance fitness
are required. Swimming downstream dressed in a wetsuit both work as significant aids by
raising the average speed and maintenance of the proper swim position.

What is the average water temperature?

In July, the water temperature is between 15 and 21 degrees celsius (59-70 F).

What equipment do I need?

The following are mandatory: wetsuit, swim goggles, swim cap, safety flotation device, and
neoprene booties. Every pair has to carry a mobile phone and whistle in their flotation

Are there aid stations along the way?

There are aid stations along the way. These are equipped with drinks, nutritional energy, and
food. At the finish line awaits an experience that will guarantee recovery.

Is it safe to swim?

The organizer will take care of the safety of the participants. There are safety boats along
the way. In addition, a first aid squad will be present.

Can one participate alone?

No. Due to safety reasons, the event is to be completed in pairs.

How many pairs can participate?

In 2024, 432 swimmers will participate Downhill Swim.

How much does it cost to participate and what does it include?

24 km 489 € / pair
12 km 389 € / pair

The registration fee includes, among other things, transportation from Ruka to Oulankajoki
and back, service and safety during the event, swim pictures, and a finish line package
including food, hot tubs, and the works.

What about accommodation?

The Ruka-Kuusamo area has several accommodation alternatives ranging between hotels to
cabins. Please check out the supply and book your own accommodation at ruka.fi/en/accommodation