Riitta Hanninen's passion for the great outdoors can be traced back to her childhood in the pristine environment of Finland. Thousands of lakes and vast forests lying just beyond her doorstep inspired a life of sports and a love of the outdoors.
After graduating with a degree in Tourism and Event Management from Jyvaskyla University of Applied Sciences, Riitta moved to Asia to pursue a career in international business and event management. She worked in corporate events for four years before moving into sports event management.
A resident of Hong Kong since 2004, Riitta has competed in numerous trail-running and action sport races including the Sahara Race (Namibia) 2017 where she was the 3rd female! Prior to that she had completed Hong Kong Trailwalker (2005, 2008 and 2009), where she finished in the top three of the women's category on two occasions and also had successes in other races throughout Asia as a member of the champion mixed team in Taiwan in 2006 and as first and second runner-up in Hong Kong in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Riitta has also competed in many dragon boat and outrigger canoe races. She earned third place in the women's local surfski category of Hong Kong's Dragon Run in 2010.
Riitta has worked on the management team at more than twenty 4 Deserts Races and RacingThePlanet Ultramarathons since she joined the 4 Deserts Race Series ream in 2010.