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- 17. July 2008.

EventScotland & City of Edinburgh Council Ensure Rat Races Ahead

EVENTSCOTLAND AND CITY OF EDINBURGH COUNCIL ENSURE RAT RACES AHEAD AS TOP EVENTS DESTINATION

On Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 July Edinburgh will once more become a citywide playground for adventure racers of all skill levels as the fifth annual Edinburgh Rat Race hits the capital's streets. The Edinburgh Rat Race is a multi-disciplined team challenge of navigation, endurance, mental agility, running, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and abseiling, combined with surreal sporting tests and obstacles at different checkpoints across some of the city's most challenging terrain.

Edinburgh's stunning architecture, labyrinthine streets and rugged terrain, including urban structures, office blocks, tunnels parklands, hills, water and sand in the city centre and beyond.are ideal for the event. However organisers, Detail Events, are quick to point out that it takes more than a great city to make a successful event. Race Director Jim Mee, from Detail Events, said; 'The proactive approach and support of City of Edinburgh Council and EventScotland have been instrumental in developing the Rat Race Urban Adventure Series. These bodies have been quick to spot the potential in the event for the Edinburgh and have led the way for other cities to follow. Developing a unique event like the Rat Race in these conditions is a joy with such forward thinking and innovative partners. Funding bodies and City councils across the UK and abroad can learn a lot from their example.'

Paul Bush, Chief Operating Officer of EventScotland, the national events agency said: 'EventScotland is delighted to continue to support the original Rat Race. The national events agency has supported the race since it started in 2005, and the event continues to go from strength to strength. The success of this challenging and inspiring event is evident with many of this year's racers returning for a second or third time as the action is so good.

'Put simply Edinburgh provides the perfect stage, giving participants an unbeatable urban adventure.'

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Festivals and Events Champion for City of Edinburgh Council said, ' We are delighted that once again the Rat Race will be staged in our wonderful city. The organisers do a magnificent job of showcasing Edinburgh by using our landscape, waterline and historic venues creatively, whilst providing competitors with exciting and innovative challenges. This event is part of our Activcity programme which promotes sport and physical activity across the city helping to make Edinburgh the most physically active city in Europe by 2020.'

Every year the Rat Race transforms the city giving spectators and participants alike an alternative impression of Edinburgh's streets, buildings and varied topography. Over the years Rat Race competitors have been seen kayaking out to sea and mountain biking in the Pentlands, orienteering around Arthur's Seat, speed cycling without brakes, abseiling from the roof of Murrayfield Stadium, playing wheelchair rugby, space hopper racing, and a final hurdle of getting a team of three up a large ramp covered in banana skins and butter!

Spectators can have just as much fun (if a little less butter!) as all the athletes at the Event Village in West Princes Street Gardens when they gather to watch the Rat Racers set off and then enjoy the live bands, adventure activities, climbing tower, BBQ and mini adventure shops as they wait for their teams to reach the finish.

The Edinburgh Rat Race is the original urban adventure race and the flagship event of the Rat Race Urban Adventure Series that visits eight cities across the UK and Ireland in 2008; with more being lined up across Europe and further afield. From its humble beginnings in 2004 the event has gone from strength to strength and 2008 aims to build on previous year's successes with more than 500 athletes already signed up to take part.

The all inclusive nature of the Edinburgh Rat Race has been key to its unbridled success. Participants can be part time sports enthusiasts or even full time couch potatoes with an urge to get fit as the event caters for all abilities. For those new to the sport of adventure racing, the Saturday night three hour scramble across the city is an ideal introduction to putting mind and body behind this unique challenge. More seasoned racers have a whole weekend of racing ahead of them starting at 5pm on Saturday and at 9am on Sunday morning from the Event Village in West Princes St Gardens.

Entry for the Edinburgh Rat Race is offered at a rate from £35 per person. Entry to the event village for spectators is free of charge. Full entry details, training tips and full event information can be found at www.ratraceadventure.com or by telephoning Rat HQ on 0845 009 4365.

Organisers of the eight event Rat Race Urban Adventure Series have appointed Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT), the national charity that helps teenagers fight cancer, as the official charity partner for this spectacular, action-packed weekend of extreme sport in Edinburgh. To sign up for the Edinburgh Rat Race and raise money for the Teenage Cancer Trust visit https://www.teenagecancertrust.org/challenges/.

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