HUNDREDS of people are gearing up for this year’s Rat Race urban assault course of jumping, swimming, cycling and running taking place in Edinburgh at the weekend.
Competitors will take over parts Edinburgh and surrounding area as they do their best to complete the challenges along the way.
Navigating their way around the city, teams could be asked to eat haggis, dook for apples, play water polo or race a space hopper at the various check points dotted around the Lothians.
The 600 competitors won’t know the route until the day of the event itself and have no idea what challenges to expect.
Taking place on this Saturday and Sunday, teams will leave from Princes Street Gardens where organisers have set up an Event Village for the public to join in the action.
And this year organisers have added another race – the Edinburgh Rat Run – where 100 participants will dress as their fantasy job and take part in a four kilometre fun run from the gardens up to the castle and back.
Jim Mee, founder of the Rat Race said: “Edinburgh is always a great place for us to race.
“It’s a beautiful city – the stunning architecture, elaborate streets and rugged and diverse terrain and man made obstacles make it an ideal location for urban adventure racing.
“I am also confident that our new Edinburgh Rat Run, a winning formula of fresh air, exercise and office fancy dress in a stunning location, will create a party, full of camaraderie and bite, to launch the 2010 Rat Race weekend in style.”
The first ever Rat Race was held in the capital in 2004 and has become a staple of the city’s calendar.
Councillor Steve Cardownie said: “I am pleased that Edinburgh is once again playing host to this extremely challenging and exciting race.
“It gives us a great opportunity 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 Rat Race was launched in 2004.
It now takes place in nine places across the UK and Ireland including London, Belfast, Newcastle and Galway.