Rat Race Urban Adventure


Hot off the press here in Edinburgh, the winners of the first Urban Adventure race in the UK were the Orange/Saab Salamon Team of Fiona Berrow, Bruce Duncan and Pete James - all three of course are orienteers. What makes their victory is that this team only came together a couple of weeks ago through sheer chance and Bruce & Fiona have never competed in an event like this before.

Saturday night saw a prologue kick off at 8pm from Princes St Gardens, a 3 hour score orienteering event around the streets of Edinburgh. Local knowledge obviously helped Bruce & Fiona, both of whom live in Edinburgh, as they came home with the highest score and 15 minutes within the time limit - rueing a lapse in concentration which saw them miss some easy points. With controls scattered far and wide across the city, including special stages such as a control at the top of a climbing wall, a free running stage and a small orienteering stage which included a 30m trip up a river tunnel and a scramble up a quarry arete.

Sunday kicked off bright and early and it was Nopesport's own Rocky who had the (un)enviable task of acting as pace maker through the early set route through Princes St Gardens - he however set too high a pace and had to stop to let them catch up! Once done in the gardens they collected their bikes and cycled to Arthur's seat for Orienteering and Abseiling - via a cycle down a flight of stairs in a small close. It was on the orienteering that local knowledge and orienteering ability helped Saab Salomon as they cruised through the few teams that reached the start ahead of them near the summit of Arthurs Seat.

The 300+ competitors then cycled round the city via a kayaking section at Portobello beach, a special mountain biking stage at a shopping centre involving riding over ramps on top of Volvo's as well as a tricky river crossing before decending on the climbing centre at Ratho. After facing bouldering challenges and electron ladders here it was Team North Face who left in the lead but after having navigational problems en-route to the next orienteering section in the Pentlands it was Bruce & Saab Salamon the first to ride up the steep climb to the start. Although obviously showing the pain from their 6½hours of competing they battled through the 2 orienteering loops and cycled up to a swim in a resevoir near the top of the Pentlands. After a stop in the rat trap, where the leading teams were given all their accumulated time adjustments from the Prologue and the earlier stages of the race, Bruce was sent for a 150m swim safe in the knowledge that the following teams, A Danish team and Team North Face, were both over 14 minutes behind them.

After that it was all downhill, and after safely negotiating a tough downhill mountain biking section the Saab Salamon team cruised home with a 10 minute cusion to take the title.

Nopesport, who have been involved in helping in both the organisation and marshalling of this event would like to offer our warmest congratulations for what was a phenominal performance by all 3 team members. Their prize, which may not seem so appealing when trying to get out of bed tomorrow, is an all expenses paid trip to compete at a similar event to be held in Stockholm in August!!!


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