London, July 19 : The fifth annual Edinburgh Rat Race is starting this noon in Scotland's capital.
The race, on Saturday and Sunday, will see several teams of sports enthusiasts taking on adventurous challenges like running, climbing, mountain biking, kayaking, and abseiling.
This is one event where the cityscape becomes a playground with virtually no square foot off limits, from rooftops to sheer walls.
Competitors will be in mixed teams of three who plan their own route, factoring in rest and food as they see fit.
Organisers of the even have revealed that the participants would be asked to make their way as far as the Edinburgh International Climbing Arena at Ratho, and maybe even further.
"Adventure racing is the ultimate team sport. You experience some of the highest highs and the lowest lows of your life, and it's great to share those moments with your team-mates. I love that adventure racing is a team event and that you don't know quite what you'll be doing until you start and there's always a few surprises," the Scotsman quoted Bruce Duncan, 27, a reservoir engineer from Aberdeen whose team is a favourite this year, as saying.
"Sometimes there's a food challenge involved - you have to eat a deep-fried Mars Bar or a jellied eel. It involves all the activities I like anyway and it also incorporates navigating, which makes it much more complicated than a triathlon. The terrain in a city can be really challenging too. Edinburgh is my favourite city for adventure racing. There's so much variety," he added.
In the past, Rat Races have also included things like head shaving and karaoke along with more serious sporting challenges.
Gary Tompsett, the planning chief of Rat Races across the British Isles, said: "This year we'll go to some of the key landmarks around Edinburgh, and some of the highest points, with great views. We'll be crossing water, and we'll be going to the world's largest indoor climbing arena. There will be a bit of busking and some fairly shocking challenges."
Spectators will be able to watch all the action on a giant screen in the grandstand of the Adventure Village.
Money raised through the event would go towards the Teenage Cancer Trust.