Dog sled races set to pull in New Year crowds once again

HOGMANAY organisers have announced the return of two events which will see New Year revellers of both the two and four-legged variety battle it out around the city.

The New Year’s Day Triathlon and Edinburgh’s Dogmanay will both take place on Tuesday, January 1 2013 after a brief three-year hiatus.

Peter Irvine, Artistic Director of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay, said the popular events are being brought back to mark the 20th anniversary of the Capital’s Hogmanay celebrations.

He said: “We are delighted to be able to support these two extremely popular events and bring them back to Edinburgh’s Hogmanay this year. Whether you’re participating or spectating, it’s a great way to get some fresh air and exercise on New Year’s Day and blow away those cobwebs.”

The New Year’s Day Triathlon last took place in 2009, before the renovation of The Royal Commonwealth Pool. This year both the triathlon and the kids’ duathlon will set off from the newly reopened facility at 11.30am and 12.30pm respectively. Open to everyone, the race will feature a 400-metre swim, followed by an 11-mile cycle and 3.5-mile run around Arthur’s Seat. A separate shorter event will be held for families and children.

Race director John Whitaker said: “We have missed having the race in our calendar over the last few years. With the pool looking fantastic and a few wee changes to our transition space we are looking forward to a brilliant event.”

On the same day, Edinburgh’s Dogmanay will take place in Holyrood Park. Sled dog teams will compete in timed races and spectators can meet the Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, Canadian Eskimo Dogs, Greenland Dogs and Siberian Huskies taking part.

A novelty dog show, obedience and clicker training demonstrations will also take place.

Councillor Steve Cardownie, Edinburgh’s Festivals & Events Champion, said: “These two fantastic events characterise perfectly the diversity of Edinburgh’s winter celebrations and make a welcome return to the programme this year.

“The newly refurbished Royal Commonwealth provides the ideal start to the Triathlon and I’m sure the hardy competitors will appreciate the new facilities. Meanwhile, for those happier taking a back seat, Dogmanay provides a great afternoon’s entertainment for all the family.”

Pam Addison, Secretary of The Scottish Sleddog Society, said “We are delighted to be bringing back Edinburgh’s Dogmanay – it is a great opportunity for everyone who owns a sled dog, and isn’t a member of a club, to come and get some guidance and support about the welfare of these breeds, and to fully enjoy these wonderful dogs. And, of course, a great excuse for us all to have some fun.”

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