13 March 2017
There’s less than a week to go until Sheffield is transformed into a giant adventure playground for the second annual Outdoor City Weekender.
The Weekender, a high-octane weekend of climbing, biking, running, walking and more, is set to take place across various venues from Friday March 17 to Sunday March 19, with star names including downhill mountain bike world champion and Sheffield Legend Steve Peat taking part.
And if you haven’t decided exactly what to do yet – don’t fear. The Outdoor City has put together three Weekender programmes bursting with activities specifically to suit the needs of families, urban adventurers and sports obsessives.
Councillor Leigh Bramall, Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council, said: “With events ranging from a challenging mountain bike dual and the Magnificent Seven bike race, through to organised runs, orienteering, film screenings at Sheffield Adventure Film Festival and the best of climbing at the Climbing Works International Festival, our second Weekender has something for everyone, regardless of age and ability.
“I hope that people will take this opportunity to try something different, whether it’s something more laid back such as yoga in the Winter Garden, or something more physically challenging, such as a coached mountain biking session.
“The Weekender showcases the very best of the outdoors in Sheffield, not just for visitors, but to those who already live, work and play here.”
Headline events of The Outdoor City Weekender will be the Magnificent Seven bike race, the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), the Howard Street Dual and the Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF).
The Howard Street Dual will take place on Saturday 18 March. The first inner city mountain bike dual of its kind in Sheffield city centre, the track will take mountain bikers from the top of Howard Street towards the railway station.
Riders, including Sheffield’s own champion Steve Peat, will race head-to-head, two at a time, down the course in a knockout-style event. The fastest two riders of the day will then take each other on in the grand final.
ShAFF, meanwhile, runs over all three days of the Weekender, featuring films based on the themes of bike, run, adrenaline, adventure, and young adventurers. The festival is based at the Showroom Cinema, with additional screenings nearby at Sheffield Hallam University and also in a “cinema truck” outside the railway station.
CWIF, at the Climbing Works off Little London Road, attracts professional climbers from around the world, who compete alongside amateurs of all ages and abilities. Last year, 450 competitors from 23 countries took part, and the same number are expected in 2017.
And The Magnificent Seven, a cross between a sportive and a hill climb, follows a 27-mile-long route through Sheffield with inclines ranging from 9 to 23 per cent. The course will include the infamous Côte de Oughtibridge, which was part of the 2014 Tour de France Grand Depart. The other challenging climbs include Hangram Lane, Blake Street, West Lane, Hagg Hill, Foxhall Lane and Fern Road/Thrush Street.
Numerous fringe events will also take place during the Weekender. These include night runs on Friday 17 March, organised by FrontRunner, which begin at 7.45pm from the Showroom and will finish in time to watch running-based films as part of SHaFF at 9.30pm.
Two different runs will take place, one of seven miles and one of four miles, both taking just over an hour. The cost is £10, and all participants get an Alpkit Gamma head torch, worth £21, to use and keep.
Two mountain bike skills courses are set for Saturday 18 March, which aim to improve the confidence and skills of new and intermediate riders. The courses, run by British Cycling MTB coach Adam Simmonite, will be held on Houndkirk Moor and follow the natural trails that stretch from Ringinglow out to Fox House, taking in Lady Cannings Plantation along the way.
Yoga sessions will be held on Saturday 18 March and on Sunday 19 March, both at 8.30am, in the Winter Garden in the centre of the city. Each session is suitable for all levels of ability. While the classes are free of charge, those wanting to take part should register first online.
Runners from Accelerate, in Attercliffe, will also be leading a trail run from Ecclesall Woods out into the Peak District, finishing at the Longshaw Estate. The run on Sunday 19 March is open to any runner that can cover the distance of 13km and 500mts of height gain in less than two hours.
Cotic Bikes will be hosting a demo day, at which riders can test multiple mountain bikes, at Lady Canning’s Plantation on Sunday, 19 March, and Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust will also be organising a series of volunteer work events at some of The Outdoor City’s most beautiful natural sites.
These will include sessions at Woodhouse Washlands on Friday 17 March and at Wyming Brook and Fox Hagg on Sunday 19 March.
South Yorkshire Orienteers, meanwhile, will be setting up camp at Norfolk Heritage Park on Saturday 18 March, with various orienteering courses aimed at people of all ages and abilities.
For full itineraries, more information on the Weekender, and details on how to sign up to the activities, visit the website at http://www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk/outdoor-city-weekender/