The annual Outdoor City Weekender saw its biggest turnout yet, the action-packed 3-day festival that celebrates Sheffield’s impressive outdoor offer.
Now in its third year, the Weekender, 9th -11th of March, boasted four headline events, and was a host of fringe activities that appeal to all ages and abilities.
More than 1,000 people lined seven of Sheffield’s steepest hills to cheer on the cyclists of The Magnificent Seven cycle challenge, and crowds at the inner-city mountain bike race, the Howard Street Dual, were double those of last year.
Di Buckley, head of economic strategy at Sheffield City Council, said: “We’re delighted to see that with each passing year more and more people are turning up to see what it’s all about.
“We hope people were inspired by what they saw at the Weekender and are encouraged to try something new, whatever their ability.”
The Weekender was enjoyed by a large public online, as well as more women took part this year. The Howard Street Dual, saw 17 female riders take to the city centre dual slalom track, in comparison to just eight last year.
Jon Dallow, who runs the event along with Nick Hamilton, said: “A stellar field of athletes and pro riders rocked up to the Howard Street Dual. Not only did it bring this great sport out of the woods for everyone to enjoy, but it also built on Sheffield’s reputation of hosting ‘the biggest littlest race in the world’”.
In The Magnificent Seven cycling challenge on the Sunday, 107 riders took on the 26-mile route, which included seven of Sheffield’s toughest hill climbs.
Competitors came from all over the country to take part, but it was three riders from Sheffield who took the top prizes; Kieran Savage, Rebecca Goodson and James Allen.
Event organiser and secretary to Sheffield’s largest cycle club, SheffRec CC, Marc Etches, said: “This year’s Magnificent Seven was the best yet. The crowds were again amazing, and the residents came out in force to support the race, which was great to see.”
At the 13th Sheffield Adventure Film Festival (ShAFF), many of this year’s strongest films featured women and almost one third of the 112 films had female leads or were made by women – more than ever before.
And at the Rab Climbing Works International Festival (CWIF), two Sheffield residents fought off a world-class pool of 134 female competitors to make the podium, with Michaela Tracy in second and Leah Crane in third.
Sam Whittaker said: “This year’s Rab CWIF was a huge success with over 380 competitors from 23 countries around the world.
“The semi-finals were some of the best I’ve ever seen. It was a great start to the competition season and everyone seemed to have a great time enjoying the climbs over the weekend.”
The Outdoor City website also received even more hits than last year’s record-breaking year, with more than 6,000 visits to the site from hundreds more users over the course of the 2018 Weekender.
The Weekender launched the city’s calendar of outdoor adventure for 2018. To see what else there is to look forward to in Sheffield this year, please visit www.theoutdoorcity.co.uk/the-outdoor-city-in-2018.