Get ready, set, run to the sauna: Estonia holds annual sauna marathon

Like every year now, people from all parts of the world gather in Otepää, southern Estonia, for the annual European sauna marathon.

This bizarre competition, which involves different teams running from one traditional Estonian sauna to the next in freezing temperatures is held the first weekend of February.

The rules of the game are simple: teams are giving a map of all the participating saunas and have to spend at least three minutes in each one as well as nominate a team-member to jump into an ice hole at each stop.


The list of saunas that participate range from luxury lakeside lodges to self-made backyard saunas.


Teams usually dress all the same or choose a silly outfit. The past years have seen a team of Nintendo Marios, Hawaiian girls, Teletubbies and Vikings.


Adam Rang, a local blogger that participates in the event annually, wrote that the event has been gaining popularity outside of Estonia throughout the years.

“Not long after it started, international competitors eventually did join from neighbouring Finland, Russia, and Latvia.”

“As the competition continues to grow every year, they are now coming from increasingly further away. Team Mexico, for example, has been a particularly popular feature in recent years,” he wrote.





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.