Take two legs, one bike, a kayak and 109 miles of the most breathtaking landscape in Britain and you have the ultimate adventure race – the Nokia Coast to Coast – which takes place on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September 2010.
Open to all adventurers with a reasonable level of fitness racing as a solo or in pairs, the Nokia Coast to Coast Challenge is to cross Scotland in a weekend. There is a marathon worth of running and treking; some on and off road mountain biking and a breathtaking kayak all the way to the finish line. The route takes in some of the most iconic locations and amazing views in the Scottish Highlands: Loch Ness, the Great Glen, Ben Nevis and Glen Coe.
This latest addition to the adventure race calendar, from Rat Race Events, is part of 'The Nokia Outdoor Series' (url www.nokiaoutdoorseries.co.uk) – a range of events to celebrate the great outdoors, giving family and friends the opportunity to enjoy being active in some of the UK's most spectacular locations.
Sandwiched between the wilds of the North Sea and the unforgiving Atlantic Ocean the raw and rugged beauty of the Highlands, one of the most stunning mountain landscapes in the world, creates the perfect backdrop for the truly defining UK multisport challenge.
Starting on Nairn beach, north east of Inverness on the North Sea's Moray Firth coast the Nokia Coast to Coast kicks off with a seven mile trek or run to Cawdor Castle. There the 47 mile bike stage gets underway and heads to Daviot and onwards to the southern shores of Loch Ness. With a quick paddle in a sit-on-top kayak and a brief run, the day one course is completed with 56 miles completed.
Rising early in Fort Augustus on day two, the bikes come out again and it's time to gear up for some quality miles on the rough stuff, mixing up road and off road riding, for 37 miles via Fort William to the transition area at Glen Nevis. Following the Ben Nevis Tourist Route, fourteen of the last fifteen miles to Glencoe are covered on foot before a final push in kayaks across Loch Leven to the finish at the Isles of Glencoe Hotel, Ballachulish.
Sound too easy? Hardcore athletes can leave the rest to get a head start on the Saturday and complete a tougher course in 13 hours of daylight on Sunday. For those inspired by the challenge but not quite ready to cross the whole country a Nokia Coast to Cawdor 10k starts at Nairn and traces the route of the River Nairn to Cawdor Castle. It features on and off road sections and is predominantly classed as a trail run.
Double Olympic Gold Medal rower James Cracknell, who has faced challenges crossing the Atlantic Ocean and racing to the South Pole, has already carried out a recce on the route as part of the organising team. Reviewing the proposed course he said: “The Highlands of Scotland are synonymous with majestic mountains, sweeping Loch views and brooding glens. The Nokia Coast to Coast delivers a tour-de-force of this rugged landscape comparable to anything in the world. The natural assets of the region, coupled with its fascinating human history and varied terrain, make for a truly evocative landscape and the perfect multi sport challenge.”
Nokia Brand Manager, Chris Jones said: “The Nokia Coast to Coast has been handpicked for the Nokia Outdoor Series because it is a great sporting event that brings together both competitors and spectators. The fantastic thing about the Nokia Coast to Coast is that it's both challenging and accessible. Nokia is extremely proud to be able to offer the chance for people to get involved in this fantastic outdoor adventure.”
Convener of The Highland Council Sandy Park, said: “We are delighted that the very first Nokia Coast to Coast Adventure Challenge will be taking place in the Highlands. The weekend will involve a strenuous physical challenge for all competitors but the route will take them through the most spectacular and dramatic scenery. This unique setting for the cycling, running and kayaking challenge will create an incredible experience for everyone taking part. I wish the organisers and competitors a very successful event. If I was younger I would be tempted to join them but I will be at the start line in my home town of Nairn on 18 September to see them take off.”
Paul Bush OBE, Chief Operating Officer at EventScotland, the national events agency who are also supporting the event, said: “The Nokia Coast to Coast will, without doubt, be the most exciting addition to Scotland's adventure sports events calendar in 2010. This is an event that utilises every ounce of Scotland's sensational terrain and scenery, from lochs and glens to rivers and roads.”
He continued: “The event will showcase Scotland to thousands of outdoor enthusiasts from across the UK and beyond, promoting the nation's impeccable credentials as one of the best adventure sports destinations in the world. We are confident that this will quickly become one of the highlights on the Nokia Outdoor Series and a must-do challenge for many people.”
Entry fees for Challenger participants are £150, Racers and Experts £120. For more details of the race and how to enter go to: www.scotlandcoasttocoast.com.
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Notes to editors:
There are three different classes for competitors in the 'Nokia Coast to Coast' challenge:
o Challenger – 109 miles over two days with full logistical support and open to anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. Challengers can race solo or in a pair.
o Racer – 109 miles completed in one day (Sunday 19 September) with full logistical support. Some experience of multi-sport racing; whether adventure racing, triathlon, long distance running or similar is necessary. Racers can race solo or in a pair.
o Expert – 103 miles completed in one day. Participants provide their own support and must be an experienced adventure sportsperson, triathlete or mountain athlete and be ready and able to take on a committing kayak stage on Loch Ness, providing your own boat to do so.
Standard entry for a Nokia Coast to Coast Challenger includes camping accommodation, with competitors providing their own tent and sleeping bag, at the Fort Augustus mid-point. “Fort Augustus Upgrade” packages of 4* dinner, b and b are also available.
The 'Challenger' and 'Racer' events come with full logistical support to transport the required equipment to key points. The 'Expert' package requires competitors to provide their own logistical support person.