The Heb is a race on the edge
DURTY Events, organisers of the The Heb – Race on the Edge, a new two- day, multi-sport challenge through the Hebridean island chain of Benbecula, North Uist and South Uist on September 3 and 4, have published route maps for this two- day, 190km adventure at http:// www. theheb.org/.
Seasoned racers and enthusiastic newcomers to the world of multi-sport, participating alongside each other as solos or pairs, will find themselves mountain biking and off-road running with a bit of kayaking and some easy navigation on a spectacular island journey - beautiful desolate sandy beaches, magnificent mountains, hidden coves and fantastic Hebridean landscapes.
Benbecula will be the starting point for the 120km route round North Uist on September 3 with a shorter 70km route taking athletes to the southernmost point of South Uist on September 4. However, to make it easier and more relaxed for everyone, the race will stop at the end of day one on Benbecula, allowing for a well earned refuel and ‘ battery charge’.
On day one participants begin with a coastal ride from Benbecula to North Uist, followed by running and trekking on Eaval mountain (shorter options available). Then there is a beautiful moorland bike ride to the uninhabited intertidal island of Vallay for a bit more running and trekking (short options possible), followed by the hop to Lochmaddy for a fun kayak section and a bike ride back to Benbecula for a night under the stars.
Day two involves a spectacular north to south journey from the overnight camp to Kilbride on South Uist. It includes epic riding on the machair and firm sands of the west coast beaches, as much running and trekking as you can handle on Beinn Mhor and Hecla, and kayaking off the stunning coast between South Uist and Eriskay. This will be followed by an event party at the Polochar Inn, Lochboisdale, the perfect celebrations for such a huge achievement.
Paul Bush OBE, Visit Scotland’s director of events, said: ‘The Hebridean island chain is known the world over as home to some of the most stunning scenery Scotland has to offer, something which participants in The Heb will experience first-hand in the event’s first year.
‘Including disciplines of cycling, running and kayaking, the Heb will demonstrate not only the varied landscape of the Benbecula, North Uist and South Uist, but also demonstrate how well equipped Scotland is as the perfect stage for sporting events of all kinds.’
Organisers have had a number of enquiries asking how hard the Heb - Race on the Edge course really is. Paul McGreal, from Durty Events, said: ‘ With ‘short cut’ options built into the route on both days and no extremely tough route choices on the cards the Heb has been designed to be totally achievable and fun for all those taking part. We’ve simply selected the best bits for an amazing but challenging adventure. That said, the course has been designed in such a way that you’ll be able to push yourself if you are an experienced multi-sport athlete.
‘When it comes to route navigation we are keeping it really simple. Competitors will be issued with a map and knowing whether to turn left or right at a road junction will be useful. However we won’t be testing their micro-navigation skills, though these might come in handy if they elect to go up all of the optional hills. We’ll even stick the occasional marker in at some key locations.
‘And for those who are a bit nervous of kayaking, they needn’t worry either. ‘Sit On Top’ boats, paddles and buoyancy aids will be supplied and competitors definitely won’t need to be experienced kayakers to take on the short and fun paddling sections, though it wouldn’t do any harm if they’ve been in a kayak before the event.”
The Heb will be a stunning and achievable journey through the best of the Hebrides with the added bonus of stunning ferry journeys with event sponsor Caledonian MacBrayne. Organisers are encouraging all those looking for a stunning adventure challenge on foot, bike and kayak to sign up now.
To enter through online partner, Entry Central, go to https:// www.entrycentral.com/festival/ 742.
The – Race on the Edge sees competitors off-road running, mountain biking with a bit of kayaking thrown in during a two- day multi-sport challenge.
Competitors decend from Eaval mountain.
Spectacular scenery on one of the bike sections.