City to Summit is a essentially an epic duathlon. It is not a race but a challenge whereby all competitors’ progress will be live tracked by GPS trackers and available to be viewed online. The challenge is to complete the journey from central Edinburgh to Fort William (via the summit of Ben Nevis) by completing three sign-posted sections: mixed terrain half marathon run, iron-distance 114mile road bike ride, mountain marathon. This journey can be undertaken as a One Day ‘Expert’ or a Two Day ‘Challenger’.
The concept relies an element of self-sufficiency and preparedness where participants are required to carry the nutrition and use equipment as specified in our event guidelines. One such guideline is the prohibition of the use of time trial (or TT ) bikes and the use of tri bars.
2 day Challenger Registration will take place at North Queensferry Community Centre Brock St, North Queensferry, Inverkeithing KY11 1JD on Friday the 27th July at 3pm – 9pm. All Challengers must register within this time, there will be no registration on Saturday morning before the race.
1 day Expert Registration will take place at North Queensferry Community Centre Brock St, North Queensferry, Inverkeithing KY11 1JD on Saturday the 28th July from 1pm – 5pm. All Experts must register within this time, please note Experts cannot register on the Friday this is for Challengers only. There will be no registration on Sunday before the race. If you fail to register you will not be allowed to take part, everyone must register in person with photo ID.
Please see our Mandatory Kit List page for the items we need you to use during City To Summit.
The start line is in central Edinburgh within the shadow of Edinburgh Castle. On Saturday 28th July all Challengers will set off on the first run at 6:30am, Experts will start at 4am on Sunday the 29th July.
Cut offs and time limits
Cut-offs are an important part of our Event Management Plan and Risk Assessment and so will be rigidly enforced. Cut-off times are applied to your departure from a location and not your arrival. Expect the following time limits:
Challengers have until 09:30 to depart T1 and then everyone must reach the halfway point by 17:00. They must then depart the halfway start line between 07:00 and 08:00 on Sunday morning and depart T2 on the final run by 11:30. The check point at the base of Ben Nevis is critical and relates to the safety of everyone on the mountain – participants and crew; if you make it through this check point after 19:30 but are slow it is likely you won’t make it to the summit check point as we will bring this turn around point down the mountain. Ben Nevis Summit, 21:30, at this time the summit crew will leave and make the descent to the finish. If you are still ascending the mountain at 21:30, you will be turned around by the descending summit team in order to return to the finish.
Experts have until 07:00 to depart T1, you must then depart T2 by 16:00 The check point at the base of Ben Nevis is critical and relates to the safety of everyone on the mountain – participants and crew; if you make it through this check point after 19:30 but are slow it is likely you won’t make it to the summit check point as we will bring this turn around point down the mountain. Ben Nevis Summit, 21:30, at this time the summit crew will leave and make the descent to the finish. If you are still ascending the mountain at 21:30, you will be turned around by the descending summit team in order to return to the finish.
Part of this challenge is to be as self-sufficient as possible. We will have several pit stops along the route where you can top up and refuel from our supplies. You will also be allowed to interact with your supporters at these locations which can be viewed here. These pitstops will include:
Run Day 1 – 1 pit stop; Water and energy drink only.
Bike Day 1 – 2 pit stops; water, energy drink, snacks (sweet and salty) and Bananas.
Run Day 2– 1 pit stop; water, energy drink, snacks (sweet and salty) and Bananas.
Run 1 – 1 pit stop; Water and energy drink only.
Bike – 3 pit stops; water, energy drink, snacks (sweet and salty) and Bananas.
Run 2 – 1 pit stop; water, energy drink, snacks (sweet and salty) and Bananas.
What are the distances?
The model for City to Summit is a Half Marathon* followed by a 180km bike ride and a marathon* distance final run section.
In reality the half marathon is slightly long and the marathon is slightly short. This is due to the location of the transitions, which are positioned to give you the best possible service and experience.
The distances for each section of the event may change slightly up and down, but as a guide, these are the anticipated distances for 2018*:
Run I: 14.9 miles – 728 ft
Bike: 114.5 miles – 5,364 ft
Run II: 24.5 miles – 6,764 ft
The Challenger route is approximately 76 miles on day one, leaving approximately 38 miles for day two.
*The use of ‘standard’ terms such as ‘Half Marathon/Marathon’ is terminology used to give a guide on format. In some cases, true event distance will not adhere exactly to that terminology – in short, these are ‘rough guide’ terms. Distances given in GPX and route map materials will be a more accurate representation the actual route. HOWEVER, we use an online resource alongside some real-life measuring to record distances as accurately as possible and these are as accurate as we will publish. There will always be some variation on the ground. Also, the route and therefore the distance are subject to change right up until (as well as during the day of) the event. We will endeavour to make you aware of any major changes in advance; however it may not be possible to share some minor changes as they occur. Please understand that all distances are therefore, by their nature, as exact as we can make them but can never be truly accurate to the metre.
Support on route
The course is full waymarked, staffed with paramedics, motorbike outriders on the bike section and hired mountain rescue safety personnel on Ben Nevis alongside our standard event staff and marshals. There is parking available immediately at our Gleneagles and Tyndrum pitstops for supporters, with nearby parking available at the Lochearnhead pitstop. Please ensure your supporters do not cause hazards to other road users. All participants will be satellite tracked and can be followed online. Further details will be provided before the event, allowing everyone to track the progress of their friends and family. Please see our Event Logistics (LINK) page for information on aspects such as bag, bus, and bike transfers.
The finish is in Fort William. Here you will find a plethora of accommodation options and it is a transport hub for the journey home.