Thursday February 22nd 2018

The Outdoor City Weekender returns to city centre

Carrie Poole (R) female winner of 2017's Howard Street Dual

Carrie Poole (R) female winner of 2017’s Howard Street Dual

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.

In the city centre, following the success of the inaugural Howard Street Dual last year, the dual slalom race will once again challenge the stars of the UK mountain bike scene on Saturday 10 March.

And spectators are in for an extra treat this year as, among the impressive talent set to participate, are mountain bike legend Steve Peat and one of his most successful protégés, Craig Evans.

This exhilarating dual slalom race – similar to skiing – sees riders battle head to head down a purpose-built course on Howard Street in Sheffield city centre. It brings Sheffield’s thriving mountain biking scene out of the woods and into the heart of the city.

Entry to the competition is by invitation only, with around 64 men and women taking to the track on the day. Alongside Steve Peat (aka Sheffield Steel) and 50:01’s Craig Evans, the racing line-up includes last year’s winners Brett Penfold, Ben Moore, Carrie Poole and Anya Tolwinska. Sam Dale, national 4X champion, and Joe Wallbridge are also ones to watch.

Riders will race two at a time from the top of Hallam Square, across the front of Sheffield Hallam University’s main building and down to the bottom of Howard Street. Along the way they’ll negotiate a series of obstacles, from man-made constructions and street furniture to flat grass corners and custom wooden features.

It’s a knockout-style event so the fastest two riders of the day will then take each other on in the grand final.

Audiences enjoy the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) at The Outdoor City Weekender.

Audiences enjoy the Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF) at The Outdoor City Weekender.

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.

As well as The Outdoor City Weekender, the weekend of 10 and 11 March falls within SheFest, a city-wide celebration of women centred on International Women’s Day on 8 March. SheFest has teamed up with HSBC UK Breeze, which offers fun, free bike rides – as well as plenty of support and inspiration – for women of all abilities, all across the UK.

On Sunday 11 March, following a ride around Sheffield, delivered by Women for Women from British Cycling, SheFest will be hosting a Women in Cycling Q+A event, especially for SheFest 2018 at DINA on Cambridge Street. For more on what’s happening in the city centre, see SheFest in #SheffAfter5.

A number of fringe events will also be taking place in the city centre during The Outdoor City Weekender, keep an eye on the Outdoor City website and #TheOutdoorCity for updates.

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