I took a walk. A 24-hour walk. It was one of the toughest experiences of my life.

How not to prepare for a long walk

Our ambitious goal was to finish Route 2000, a 110km “bike” route around Nuuksio National Park. On their website, this route is described as ‘a good route for a five-day hike’. And we were trying to finish the route in one day..

A highly accurate visual representation of Route 2000.

To make things a bit tougher, I had just finished a 10-day water fast the day before, so I wasn’t feeling 100%. (After a 10-day fast, it’s recommended that you go through a 5-day refeeding process, slowly eating more and more. Well, due to time constraints, my “refeeding process” had only lasted a day). Also, I wasn’t sure whether my stomach could bear the amount of food I had packed with me; I had packed A LOT.

Protein bars, energy gels, recovery powders, nuts and seeds, canned tuna, sports drinks, beef jerky, rye chips, rye bread, ham, cheese, peanut butter, chicken salad, tortilla wraps, a few liters of water.. You name it, I probably had it.

My friends, who accompanied me on this crazy trip, were not feeling that spectacular either. The other one had a major hangover coupled with sleep deprivation and the other had been coughing his lungs out for two weeks.

As a cherry on top, none of us had ever walked or hiked long distances. The longest distance we had covered previously was around 50 kilometers.

With all this in mind – and driven by our overly optimistic expectations – we embarked on our journey.

How not to walk 110km


Off we went.


After walking for a few hundred meters we came to the sudden realization that 110km is simply too much.

So we decided to walk 24 hours and see how far we’d get.

Great start.


The start was surprisingly easy. Sun was shining, birds were singing and we had tons of energy. But then, sh*t hit the fan. It started pouring rain. 

And it wasn’t any ordinary rainstorm. It was the fiercest rainstorm in years, flooding the center of Helsinki and disrupting public transportation.


After 3hrs and 10km, we were soaking wet, cold as hell and we still had more than 20 hours to go. We spent some time licking our wounds at a nearby gas station. Honestly, we almost gave up. And it wasn’t getting any easier.

At night, it was pitch-dark. For six hours, I just stared at the light beam on the ground, dodging the slippery rocks.


Each of us was experiencing higher highs and lower lows. Our energy levels seemed to follow a 90-120 minute cycle (ultradian rhythm, anyone?). At one point my friend would have been ready to fight a bear barehanded, an hour later he was too tired to even eat anything. At one point I could barely take a step, later I had so much energy that I refused to sit down during a break.


Eventually, the sun rose again. And as it did, I felt a rush of energy – I felt happy and euphoric. Somehow I couldn’t feel any pain in my body anymore.

My brain, however, was in some sort of trance-like energy-saving mode. I wasn’t making much sense. I tried to keep vlogging, but the video footage was just crap. I was going mad.


Forget “feeling happy and euphoric”. I came crashing down from those highs and found new lows. I was in pieces.

The first few steps after each break were the worst. I mean, before a break I was just fine as my muscles were warmed up. But every time I took a break and continued walking, my muscles remembered that they were in HUGE F*CKING PAIN!

I looked like an eighty-year-old grandpa after six games of football. It’s surprising how well you can break down both physically and mentally just by walking. It felt more like I’d been run over by a truck. 

But we were almost finished, so we pushed on.

12 noon:

At this point, we were ridiculously slow. If we would have moved any slower, we probably would not have moved at all. We were racing with the snails.


After 23 hours of walking, even the smallest things cause pain. For instance, I had used my backpack’s chest and hip straps to ease the pain in my back, but now it felt like the straps were eating away my skin. I could not raise my hands up because my shoulders were so stiff from carrying the backpack. The soles of my feet were on fire.

It was a weird feeling. Every muscle and joint was screaming in pain, but I’d become quite numb to it, as if my body had already given up on me.

And we only had an hour left.


The final seconds.





Five minutes after we stopped walking, my muscles started realizing the amount of damage that had been inflicted. My muscles had been in constant stress state for the last 24 hours, so when they had a few minutes to finally relax.. well.. I became stiff as a board.

My feet were covered in blisters, my butt crack was bleeding from all the chafing and my knees were like two swollen balloons. And my toes turned completely purple!

Yet, it was all worth it when we finally finished. I was just euphoric afterwards. That’s what happens when you push your limits, go beyond what thought possible and survive through it.

As we Finns like to say: “Paska reissu, mutta tulipahan tehtyä!”

Yep, my toes were not a pretty sight after the walk.