The Heb is a race on the edge

The Oban Times - - Sport -

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.

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