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- 10. April 2009.

Young Guns Wanted For City Rat Race

Edinburgh Rat Race takes the adventure to youth sport
City of Edinburgh - 18 and 19 July 2009

Detail Events, organisers of the Edinburgh Rat Race, are calling on all young multi-sport enthusiasts between the ages of 14 and 18 to sign up now for a new youth team event as part of Scotland's coolest urban adventure challenge.  

On 18 and 19 July 2009 Edinburgh will be transformed into a multi-sports playground with youth teams battling it out alongside elite adventure racers for the very first time. The young guns will take part in a range of physical and mentally challenging activities including navigation, endurance, mental agility, running, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking and abseiling.  This will be combined with some of the event's trade mark surreal sporting tests, obstacles and mystery challenges at different checkpoints across the city.  

They might find themselves tackling activities such as abseiling from the roof of Murrayfield Stadium, kayaking the Union Canal, mountain biking in the Pentlands, scaling the epic 100ft climbing wall at Edinburgh's International Climbing Centre, Ratho and even space hopper racing!  Online entries are now open at http://www.ratraceadventure.com or phone 0845 009 4365 for more information.

Jim Mee, MD of Detail Events, said:  We are really excited about our new youth event in Edinburgh in July.  We urge Scotland's young people to sign up now for this unique new sporting adventure in Auld Reekie.  Our youth teams will not only make their mark alongside seasoned adventure racing athletes and armchair adventurers but they will also have a unique, challenging, fun and rewarding sporting experience throughout the Rat Race weekend!'

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 this event.  However organisers, Detail Events, are quick to point out that it takes more than great infrastructure to make a successful event. 

Race Director Jim Mee, MD of Detail Events, added: '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 spotted the potential in the event for Edinburgh back in 2004 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.'

Saturday's 'Mean Streets' is billed as 'the team running event with bite'.  It is designed predominantly as a running (or walking) event and is open to competitors of all abilities. Participants will have 3 hours to hunt for up to 25 checkpoints hidden all over the city centre.   Sunday is a bike-based adventure that takes teams further out towards the city limits and encompasses more overt adventure pursuit, such as kayaking, abseiling and navigation.

Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, said: 'The Rat Race is a prime example and product of Scotland's renowned events industry which seeks to create and identify events which will showcase Scotland's natural landscape, spectacular cities and unrivalled infrastructure and facilities.  The Edinburgh Rat Race has set the benchmark for urban adventure races around the world and continues to set new standards in the sport.  This year's youth event will open urban adventure racing up to a whole new generation and is a fantastic addition to what is already a world class event.  We look forward to welcoming the rats!'

Councillor Steve Cardownie, the City of Edinburgh Council's Festivals and Events Champion, said: 'I am pleased that Edinburgh is once again playing host to this extremely challenging race. It will give us a chance to show what our city has to offer. The race will showcase some really iconic spots, demonstrating that Edinburgh boasts a natural and man-made environment fit for adventure.'

The Edinburgh Rat Race is the original urban adventure race and the flagship of an 8-date UK race summer series that will also take in Brighton, Birmingham, Bristol, Sheffield, Gateshead/Newcastle, London and Belfast. The Rat Race concept originated in Edinburgh in 2004 and is now a global brand, with events in Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and South Africa.

In previous Edinburgh Rat Races the activities have included kayaking under the Forth Rail and Road bridges, a thrilling traverse of the Loanhead viaduct, challenging climbs at the Ratho adventure centre, getting to grips with the specially constructed Rat Race 'Urban assault course' at the Cowgate Gap site, an abseil from the top of Nelson's monument on Calton Hill, a roof-top bike obstacle course at Ocean Terminal and bone-shaking cycle rides down the flight of steps at the 'wynds' in the old town. 

Jim Mee added: 'Our planners are already working on the course and it will be significantly different to last year so anyone who took part in last year's race shouldn't think that they know what to expect!  For our new youth event there will be a few format tweaks and course changes in order to give our young rats the ultimate city adventure and rat race experience.'

This year's races will start and finish in a specially constructed adventure village in the heart of the city at West Princes Street Gardens, in the shadow of Edinburgh Castle.  The event village features well-earned food and drink for competitors and spectators alike, alongside live music plus adventure exhibits and activities for the public to try their hand at.

There will also be a 150ft (50m) crane for members of the public to experience the thrill of abseiling.  The crane will be situated in the event village and will give people the chance to tower over the Edinburgh skyline with a photographer on hand to record their efforts for posterity.  The activity costs £25 and anyone interested can register at www.ratraceadventure.com to take part.
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photos Janos Schmidt 

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