Outdoor City Weekender returns to Sheffield for action-packed third year

Bikers taking part in the Howard Street Dual a Sheffield's Outdoor City Weekender 2017.
Bikers taking part in the Howard Street Dual a Sheffield's Outdoor City Weekender 2017.
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The Outdoor City Weekender has returned to Sheffield for another action-packed weekend of fun and adventure.

Running between March 9 and 11, 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.”

Among the highlights of the weekend is the Magnificent Seven, which is scheduled to take place tomorrow.

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.

Returning to the city centre for a second year today 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 today and tomorrow. 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 March 9-11.

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 will be films on running, climbing, biking, skiing, surfing, kayaking and everything in between.

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."