The Outdoor City Weekender returns to Sheffield for a third helping from 9 to 11 March and promises another action-packed weekend of fun and adventure.
The Weekender revolves around four headline events: the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival, renowned bouldering competition the Rab Climbing Works International Festival, inner-city mountain bike dual slalom the Howard Street Dual and the Magnificent Seven, a multi-stage road bike race up seven of Sheffield’s steepest hills.
Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “The outdoor industry contributes billions of pounds to the UK economy every year, and adventure tourism is increasingly attracting visitors who crave ‘wow’ moments that they can experience and share.
“With events such as the Weekender, Sheffield delivers these moments with style, all the while showcasing itself as a destination for people who love city culture and the great outdoors.
“Whether you’re visiting Sheffield or are fortunate enough to call it home, we encourage everyone to discover the many opportunities to get involved with activities on our doorstep.
“From cycling and mountain biking to climbing and running – or any of the other many adventure sports available in The Outdoor City – the Weekender provides a brilliant opportunity to get inspired.
“So, after you’ve watched the world’s best compete, why not check out www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk and see how you can take a slice of the action for yourself?
“We invite you year-round to come play in The Outdoor City – and the Weekender is the perfect place to start.”
One of the highlights of the weekend is the Magnificent Seven on Sunday 11 March. Not for the fainthearted, this unique cycling race is a cross between a sportive and a hill climb that invites participants to face seven of the toughest hills in Sheffield with climbs ranging from 9 to 23 per cent.
The route, which is just over 26 miles long, presents each rider with over 4,200ft of climbing. The event will start and finish in Bradfield for the first time this year to allow more entries and more space for parking.
Among four new climbs, it features a spectacular finish on a Tour de France King of the Mountains point, which overlooks the whole of Sheffield from its summit. Details of the climbs are being released on Twitter this week by organisers Sheffrec Cycling Club, and registration will open on Monday 29 January at 10am via www.riderhq.com.
Returning to the city centre for a second year on Saturday 10 March is the Howard Street Dual, a head-to-head dual slalom race – similar to dual slalom skiing – in which two riders battle each other to see who can make it down a purpose-built track in Howard Street the fastest. This unique, exhilarating, knockout-style event – which was created in Sheffield and has now been replicated world-wide – sees the UK’s top riders compete side by side in the heart of the city.
The show will start in the afternoon with qualifications before the racing begins in earnest and, as dusk falls, the course will then light up as the riders race into the evening.
Across town, the Rab Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF) is the only UK international bouldering competition where amateur and professional climbers have the opportunity to compete side by side. A huge event on the bouldering calendar, expect big crowds, big talent and big moves when this event returns to Climbing Works on 10 and 11 March. For those unable to attend, the semi-finals and finals will be streamed live online.
The annual Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), presented in association with the British Mountaineering Council (BMC), also returns to the Showroom Cinema from 9 to 11 March. It brings the wild outdoors into the heart of the city for three days of jaw-dropping spectacle and heart-stopping adventure.
Expect a packed programme of carefully curated films from the world’s best outdoor filmmakers. Featuring top athletes, awe-inspiring locations and the whole spectrum of outdoor sports, there’ll be films on running, climbing, biking, skiing, surfing, kayaking and everything in between. Tickets and the full programme will be released on Friday 26 January.
As a warm-up to the main event, look out for the Best of ShAFF taking place at the Showroom on Tuesday 30 January and featuring a selection of the best films from the 2017 festival, as voted for by the People’s Choice Award. For tickets visit the Showroom’s website, www.showroomworkstation.org.uk.
Matt Heason, director of Sheffield Adventure Film Festival said: “If you are into the outdoors or are just starting to discover its benefits, never has there been a better time to live in Sheffield.
“In the past two years, the city has gained new run routes and mountain biking trails, and a dedicated festival showcasing the people and places that make Sheffield more than worthy of the title of ‘The Outdoor City’.
“Now in its 13th year, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival has become a headline event of The Outdoor City Weekender and each year brings a selection of incredible adventure, adrenaline and documentary films from around the world to the big screen.”
Fringe events to take place as part of The Outdoor City Weekender will be announced in the coming weeks and are set to include runs, cycling events, family fun and much more.
Headline event organisers will be releasing further details and ticket information over the coming weeks.
For more information on the Weekender, visit the website at www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk/outdoor-city-weekender.