With just days until The Outdoor City Weekender comes to venues across Sheffield, an exciting fringe programme has been announced.
Now in its third year, the Weekender continues to grow year on year and with it comes a host of additional events and activities for people to try out whilst they soak up the atmosphere over the weekend of 9 to 11 March.
This year, in addition to the four headline events – Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF), Howard Street Dual and The Magnificent Seven – is the strongest fringe programme yet.
From orienteering cycling challenges and night runs to yoga in Sheffield’s iconic Winter Garden – and much more – the fringe showcases the strength and breadth of Sheffield’s outdoor community.
Councillor Mazher Iqbal, cabinet member for business and investment at Sheffield City Council, said: “Sheffield is the UK’s leading destination for people seeking outdoor adventure, city culture and rural escapes. And it’s all on our doorstep!
“The Outdoor City Weekender fringe is a great opportunity for people to come out, try something new and be part of the weekend.
“The fringe highlights that in The Outdoor City there is something for everyone. So as well as the big focus on high octane activities, there are quieter and more relaxed activities too, so you can find something that suits you, regardless of age or ability.
“The fringe programme exists because people are keen to share the Weekender buzz. Together, these events create something really special for residents and those visiting the city.”
The Weekender fringe kicks off on Friday 9 March. A key highlight, taking place over the entire weekend, is The Big Running Weekend at Ecclesall Woods.
Organised by WoodRun in association with independent running store Accelerate, this family event features a multitude of running activities that cater for juniors, beginners and experienced runners. It includes led-runs, workshops, talks and coaching sessions to help you improve your technique and a chance to test exclusive shoes and kit.
Keen runners can also take part in the Hill Sprint or the Big Running Weekend Challenge, which covers a maximum of 47km from Friday evening through to Sunday afternoon and incorporates three of The Outdoor City Run Routes.
In the city centre, Unity Yoga Sheffield will be hosting a special evening session in the Winter Garden on Friday. It’s the perfect way to wind down and limber up before a weekend of action-packed adventures.
At 6pm, join BMC ambassador Mary-Ann Ochota and the Mend Our Mountains team as they celebrate the launch of Mend Our Mountains: Make One Million. The campaign aims to raise £1million for a range of vital path repair projects in Britain’s national parks, including the Peak District. After drinks and nibbles, the action moves to the main screen in the Showroom Cinema, where comedian Niall Grimes and Mary-Ann will present ShAFF’s mountain film session.
A night run for two sets of abilities, organised by ShAFF, Up & Running and Alpkit, will also set off at 7.30pm from The Workstation. They will take in green spaces near the city centre before returning to The Showroom just in time for a selection of ShAFF running films.
On Saturday 10 March, the Polaris Sporteering Cycle Challenge is open from 9.30am to 2pm. From a base at the Peace Gardens, participants plan their own route to find the most effective way of collecting points around Sheffield.
Also in the Peace Gardens, British Cycling will also be holding cycling activities for young bike enthusiasts aged 6-18 years.
Between 1pm and 3pm, head over to The Showroom Cinema and take on the South Yorkshire Orienteering challenge to find as many controls as you can around the streets, alleys and open spaces of the city centre in just 45 minutes. This is a great opportunity to try out a new urban adventure.
On Sunday 11 March, Trail Advantage is holding two mountain bike skills training sessions at Lady Canning’s with qualified British Cycling MTB coach Adam Simmonite. Also on site will be Cotic with their demo day, a fantastic opportunity to test multiple bikes back to back.
Those who prefer a more relaxed pace can join the Sheffield Access Trail walking tour at 10.30am. This fascinating 90-minute walk is led by the chair of Sheffield Ramblers, Terry Howard, and follows a route from Weston Park Museum to the Town Hall. Along the way, walkers will discover the people, places and events that played a significant part in the national Right to Roam Act, which gives the general public the conditional right to walk in areas of the countryside.
GoodGym then wraps up the Weekender fringe on Sunday evening at 5pm. This innovative 90-minute session combines a friendly 5k run from the Showroom with turning the Abbeydale Picture House Car Park into a more beautiful, useable space.
All of these activities will be taking place alongside the four headline events.
ShAFF, which runs over all three days of the Weekender, features films based on all sorts of adventure sports. Films will be shown at the Showroom Cinema and the ShAFF cinema truck, which will be parked outside Sheffield train station.
The Rab CWIF, taking place at the Climbing Works on 10 and 11 March, attracts around 450 climbers, including professionals from around the world, who compete alongside amateurs of all ages and abilities.
The Howard Street Dual will be held on Saturday 10 March. Invited riders will race head to head down a short course, descending along grassy and gritty slopes from Hallam Square towards the railway station. It will also be live streamed on The Outdoor City website for the first time (http://theoutdoorcity.co.uk/howard-street-dual/) enabling a wider – and potentially international – audience to watch this unique event.
And on the Sunday, The Magnificent Seven, a cross between a sportive and a hill climb, follows a 26-mile-long route through Sheffield with inclines ranging from 9 to 23 per cent, including the Cote de Bradfield.
People can share their Weekender experiences on social media using the hashtag #TheOutdoorCity.
Full details of The Outdoor City Weekender, including the packed fringe programme, can be found at www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk.