Hebridean Challenge returns for 2013

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Durty Events from the Scottish Borders, organisers of award winning multi-sport events in Scotland, have today (19 December 2012) announced that, from 05 to 07 September 2013, they will be staging a revised and revamped Hebridean Challenge, one of the UK’s most legendary and demanding adventure races.

The Hebridean Challenge or ‘The Heb’, as it is affectionately known, is an expedition style multi-discipline, multi-day adventure race through the most spectacular, wild and remote landscape the UK has to offer - the Outer Hebridean island chain off the west coast of Scotland. Though the course is yet to be finalised organisers are looking to include Harris, North Uist, Benbecula, South Uist, Eriskay and Vatersay on the route.

From a secret start location on 05 September 2013 to the finish on the Island of Barra, three days later, teams of three or solo athletes will be expected to navigate their way to various checkpoints along a 420km (approx) route with mountain biking, off-road running, open water swimming and kayaking sections along the way. Navigation and logistics, route choice, teamwork, strategy, endurance and the weather will all be key to success. There will be plenty of surprises and additional challenges thrown into the mix and athletes will definitely need to be ready for anything.

Adventure racers will be racing for long days but, to make it more achievable for all, they will stop each night within one of the island communities (typically at a village hall or school). Organisers will provide a meal, water and a place to pitch a tent for a good night’s sleep before racing resumes the following morning. Post-race there will be a ‘Heb’ Party laid on in Castlebay on the Isle of Barra where competitors and everyone involved in the event will have the chance to celebrate their achievements together.

Paul McGreal from Durty Events, organisers of the all new Hebridean Challenge said: “The new Heb will be easy to take part in, but still a tough challenge - less logistical fuss, less cost, less hassle and less time than in its previous guises; but definitely packed full of all the adventure, excitement and fun that the event is renowned for.

“We want everyone to have a great time, finish at a reasonable point each evening, and bite off as much as they can chew (and hopefully a little bit more). We have therefore designed the all new Heb in such a way that it will be perfect for hardened adventure racers, works and office teams and fit and active people wanting to give adventure racing a go for the first time in the most stunning locations in Scotland.”

Paul McGreal will be joined in the organisation of the all new Hebridean Challenge by Gary Tompsett as course planner. Since 2001 Gary has been involved in the conceptualisation, ground planning and race directorship of every major adventure race to be staged in Scotland. These events include The Hebridean Challenge 2001, Red Bull Northern Exposure 2002, Adrenalin Rush 2003 and 2004, Wilderness ARC 2005 and 2006, Wilderness ARC 2007 - The Adventure Racing World Championships and The Adidas Terrex 2012. Gary is well known for audacious and flamboyant adventure planning, sometimes quirky, often challenging, always entertaining.

Entries are now open for The Heb by Durty Events. Entry Fees for 2013 cost from £890 for teams of three and from £330 for solos with an early bird discount. For further information on entering the all new Hebridean Challenge and what the entry fee includes go to: http://www.theheb.org/entry.html.

For further information on the The Heb by Durty Events - go to: http://www.theheb.org

Picture by Carrick Armer.