Sheffield Trail-Rush™ Launches!
The rapid growth of Ourea Events™ continues as they announce the launch of their eighth off-road running race. Called Sheffield Trail-Rush™ it is the first race in a new Urban Trail Running Series that the innovative events company plans to roll out nationwide in 2014/15.
Taking place on Sunday 27th July 2014, Sheffield Trail-Rush™ is based on the famous Sheffield Round Walk route, which is 24.5km (15.2 miles) in length and includes a grand tour of Sheffield’s beautiful parks and woodland, whilst skirting the Peak District National Park. Mostly linked by footpaths and trails, the race route is 79% off-road and 21% on-road.
|Above: A classic trail running experience! © Ben Winston|
Race Director, Shane Ohly described the route in more detail, “The Sheffield Trail-Rush™ course is challenging and adventurous with 700m (2,300 ft) of ascent as we follow the fantastic route of the Sheffield Round Walk. Already dubbed the ‘Sheffield Round Race’, the route is well known to many local runners who consider it one of the best urban trail runs in Sheffield… if not the entire north!”
Starting in Graves Park, the race route initially has an urban feel as it passes through Meersbrook, Nether Edge and then Hunters Bar. We asked Ohly how he was dealing with the safety challenges of racing through these areas?
“First, the entire course will be fully way marked, signed and marshalled. Secondly, we will be using an advanced digital timing system to ‘time-out’ competitors at each road crossing, so that there is no need to rush across the road. We have been working with Sheffield City Council to develop a robust safety plan and we will also be starting early (0800-0900 in five different waves) to spread the competitors out. Competitors will have cleared the urban areas first thing on the Sunday morning, and will then have the majority of the superb countryside trail running to complete.”
|Above: Sheffield Trail-Rush™ Race Director Shane Ohly, is not only an experienced race organiser but is also a runner. Seen here winning the Endurance Life Coastal Trail Series race in Cornwall.|
Ohly is no stranger to large urban running events having been the Race Director and Planner for the first Men’s Health Survival of the Fittest races in 2008 and 2009. We asked how this experience had helped with the Sheffield Trail-Rush™ planning?
“It is amazing what can be achieved with modern timing systems and a little imagination! At MHSF we spread competitors by starting in waves and had many road crossing to consider in the course design. At Sheffield Trail-Rush™ the impact of ‘time-out’ road crossings and starting competitors in multiple waves will all be calculated instantly when competitors finish to create an overall time that is directly comparable to every other runner.”
Sheffield Trail-Rush™ will also be working in partnership with local running store Accelerate. Accelerate is one of Sheffield’s fastest growing retailers and has recently launched a new Performance Centre, whilst being at the heart of the city’s running community. Stuart Hale, the driving force behind Accelerate, explained why the store was supporting this new race. “An urban trail race utilising the fantastic route of the Sheffield Round Walk was long overdue and I know that Shane Ohly and his team have the expertise and experience to deliver a stand-out trail race. It’s an exciting partnership and we hope to help grow Sheffield Trail-Rush™ into a nationally significant urban trail running event.”
To further cement the local connection, Sheffield Adventure Film Festival Director and co-organiser of Sheffield's Cliffhanger Outdoors Festival, Matt Heason, said: "It was a pleasure to work with Shane Ohly on hosting the premiere of 'The Dragon's Back Race' at last year's Sheffield Adventure Film Festival. The fact that it was a sell-out that had to be moved to our biggest screening room is testament to the excitement his race generated in the adventure sports community. We're delighted he's bringing a new trail run right into the heart of Sheffield - yet more proof that the city really is becoming the outdoors capital of the UK."