A DAREDEVIL schoolboy got Edinburgh’s Rat Race off to a flying start yesterday. (Mon)
Scots youngster Francis Webb, 12, might have taken a tumble during yesterday’s launch, but the extreme sports fanatic was well protected by his pads and helmet and walked away unscathed.
Teenage thrill-seekers are now being urged to join in the fun when the Rat Race hits the city later this year.
Auld Reekie is to be transformed into Scotland’s coolest urban adventure track when hundreds of participants battle it out for the top prize.
And for the first time in the competition’s history, teams of Scottish youths will fight it out alongside the elite adventure racers.
Surreal sporting tests
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 events trademark surreal sporting tests, obstacles and mystery challenges at different checkpoints across the city.
Activities such as abseiling from the roof of Murrayfield Stadium, kayaking the Union Canal, mountain biking in the Pentlands and scaling the epic 100ft climbing wall at Edinburgh’s International Climbing Centre will also be on the circuit.
Jim Mee, Managing Director 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.
“Funding bodies and city councils across the UK and abroad can learn a lot from their example.”
Organisers say Edinburgh’s stunning architecture, winding streets and rugged terrain are an ideal setting for the event, which is to take place on the 18th and 19th July.
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.”
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 in Princes Street Gardens, and the family-orientated event will feature food and drink, live music along with adventure exhibits and activities for the public to try.