Media Release: Endurance athletes take on a 190km Hebridean multi-sport challenge


THIS weekend – Saturday 03 and Sunday 04 September 2016 – more than 120 endurance athletes and volunteer event staff will be heading to the Hebridean island chain of Benbecula, North Uist and South Uist, off the west coast of Scotland, for the inaugural Heb – Race on the Edge: a two-day, 190km adventure challenge on foot, mountain bike and kayak.

In this new action-packed, multi-sport challenge athletes, competing as solos or pairs, will find themselves on the ultimate physical island journey made up of off-road running and mountain biking, with a bit of kayaking and some sections of easy navigation – beautiful desolate sandy beaches, magnificent mountains steeped in history, hidden coves, and wild Hebridean landscapes.

With a strong emphasis on participation, camaraderie, enjoyment and fun for all involved, The Heb – Race on the edge is not purely the domain of the seasoned endurance athlete.

Experienced adventurers, endurance mountain bikers and proficient fell runners from all over the UK will line up alongside enthusiastic newcomers to the world of multi-sport, keen to test physical fitness, stamina and mental toughness levels whilst having a lot of fun along the way.

The Heb has been designed to be totally achievable for all.

While the less experienced competitors will be able to take advantage of special ‘short cut’ options built into the route, the course has also been designed in such a way that the top level athletes will be able to push themselves as far as they can in order to make it to the top of the podium. (See route overview in notes to editors below)

Former double Duathlon World Champion, double Long Distance Duathlon World Champion and multiple Ironman and Ironman 70.3 winner, Catriona Morrison, is teaming up with Caroline Wallace, a PE teacher at Peebles High School, to take on The Heb.

Cat Morrison MBE said: “I’ve only had the pleasure of visiting the Uists once before and it was a fleeting visit.

“I’m really looking forward to exploring the islands and I’m sure that The Heb will take us to stunning locations that few people have had the privilege to see.

“I can’t wait to try my hand at something different. I’ve got no performance expectations other than having a great time.

“I just hope that Caroline [Wallace] feels the same…! Having a team-mate is also something I’m looking forward to. Endurance racing for me is something that has always been a singular pursuit.

“Having someone to share the journey with and all its highs and lows will be great.

“I like the idea of racing with the added dimension of having to navigate and plan which route you are going to take. It’s certainly different to the triathlons and duathlons that I’m used to competing in. I studied geography at university and I’m a lover of the great outdoors but my map reading is a bit rusty. Still, that’s all part of the challenge!”

Paul McGreal – from multi-award winning Durty Events, organisers of The Heb – said: “The Heb – Race on the Edge is a stunning and achievable journey through the best of the Hebrides, the ultimate outdoor playground.

“With seasoned multi-sport athletes competing alongside relative newcomers to the world of adventure sport we have planned a challenging and demanding route without it being intimidating.

“In fact, we’re really excited by the course we’ve planned. It’s got a bit of everything – great hill runs (long and short options available – you chose to suit your strengths), scenic and exciting (but not super-gnarrly) bike sections and some great, simple, safe kayak sections (with no special skills required).

“It is going to be an incredible experience packed full of life long memories. We look forward to welcoming all of our competitors on Friday evening in Mallaig before the start on Saturday morning.”

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: “The Hebridean islands present a varied but always stunningly scenic landscape, making them the perfect stage for a multi-discipline event like the Heb – Race on the Edge.

“We are delighted to support The Heb through EventScotland’s National Funding Programme in its inaugural year and I’m sure that each of the athletes taking part will be provided with a highly memorable experience of competing over land and sea during this unique event.”

Paul McGreal will be joined in the organisation of The Heb – Race On The Edge by Gary Tompsett, as course planner.

Since 2001, Gary has been involved in the conceptualisation, ground planning and race directorship of almost every major adventure event to be staged in Scotland.

Gary is well-known for audacious and flamboyant adventure planning; sometimes quirky, often challenging – always entertaining!

The Heb Website: http://www.theheb.org/

The Heb on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hebchallenge

Preview images for The Heb can be downloaded by going to: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/859kw1ohrsclqia/AABH0zhBxC5dGsL–JrGk4sLa?dl=0


Media contact:

For further information, images and to arrange interviews please contact:

Paddy Cuthbert | Littlehouse Media | E: paddy@littlehousemedia.uk.com | M: 07913 951717

Notes to editors:

The Heb – Route Overview

Benbecula will be the starting point for the 120km route round North Uist on 03 September 2016 with a shorter 70km route taking athletes to the southernmost point of South Uist on 04 September 2016. 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 one course map link: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/#/route/649451/The-Heb-2016-Saturday

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.

Day two course map link: https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/osmaps/#/route/649481/The-Heb-Sunday-2016

Athlete GPS tracking

Using the latest GPS tracking technology, Durty Events are making it possible to follow the athletes live online as they progress around The Heb course.

From the comfort of their own home, on phone, tablet or computer, friends, family and supporters will be able to watch all of the action as this exciting race unfolds.

The Heb – sponsors and partners

Caledonian MacBrayne – www.calmac.co.uk

Durty Events would like to thank Caledonian MacBrayne for their sponsorship and logistics support, in the transport of both people and equipment between Mallaig and Lochboisdale.


EventScotland is working to make Scotland the perfect stage for events. By developing an exciting portfolio of sporting and cultural events EventScotland is helping to raise Scotland’s international profile and boost the economy by attracting more visitors. For further information about EventScotland, its funding programmes and latest event news visit www.EventScotland.org. Follow EventScotland on Twitter @EventScotNews.

EventScotland is a team within VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, the national tourism organisation which markets Scotland as a tourism destination across the world, gives support to the tourism industry and brings sustainable tourism growth to Scotland. For more information about VisitScotland, see www.visitscotland.org or for consumer information on Scotland as a visitor destination see www.visitscotland.com

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Littlehouse Media contact details…

Contact: Paddy Cuthbert

Email: paddy@littlehousemedia.uk.com
Website: http://www.theheb.org/