Due to the way Questars are planned they attract people of all levels from beginners through to some of Britain's best adventure racers. Both the one-day and the two-day races accommodate all-comers.
On this page you'll find information on the race format for the one-day Questars adventure race series. Q2 The Quest Challenge is similar but does have some differences. Specific race information for Q2 The Quest Challenge two-day events can be found on their relevant race pages - click on the relevant link on the race programme page here.
Questars Trio races have three stages – trail running, mountain biking and kayaking. Within each stage there are a range of checkpoints to visit. Each checkpoint has a value and the winners are those that have accumulated the most points within the time limit. The race is continuous. Transition between stages is all part of the race. Teams choose in which order to do each stage.
Navigation between checkpoints is straight forward, with the course set so that you can make use of the many cycle tracks, footpaths and bridleways in each area.
Is a two stage race over the same course as the Questars Trio without the kayaking stage. Its designed for those who prefer not to kayak.
It is up to you how many checkpoints you choose to visit. All you need to do is visit at least one checkpoint in each stage to avoid a penalty. So if you would prefer to spend more time mountain biking than trail running for example, you can.
This format gives teams maximum flexibility. You can play to your strengths, choose your own route and even change your race plan midway through!
The provided kayaks are very stable and straight forward to use sit on top double kayaks. No previous experience is needed and many racers enjoy this stage most. So why not give it a try?
The courses are set to provide a great deal of route choice and to cover the best parts of the event area. Many teams reach 50-75% of the checkpoints. Only the strongest teams will cover all the checkpoints in any stage and in so doing cover distances of about 20-30 km trail running, 30-40 km mountain biking and 6-8 km of kayaking.
The competitions are designed for teams of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people.
There are no restrictions on the make up of teams in terms of the number of male and female competitors.
All members of the team compete in all three stages in Questars Trio or both stages in Questars Duo.
In the Questars Trio there is a Novice category for those new to adventure racing and a Masters category for previous adventure racers with a bit of experience. Within both the Masters and the Novice category there are different classes for men's, ladies and mixed teams. Teams with an average age over 40 are classified as Veterans.
You must enter the Masters category if everyone in your team has finished top of their class at a previous Questars adventure race and hence have won a prize for doing so. The only exception to this is if a significant amount of time has passed since you last won and your ability is not what it used to be i.e. you're highly unlikely to win your class if you take part in the Novice category.
You should also enter the Masters category if it's been more than a year since everyone in your team did their first Questars adventure race and each of your team members have taken part in 3 or more Questars adventure races (not necessarily together). We are a bit more flexible on this as we understand everyone learns and improves at different rates, so treat this more of a guideline than a rule.
Newcomers to adventure racing can benefit from a Questars expert on race day who will answer any questions and provide help and advice on navigation.
Quest deploy the latest electronic scoring system which enables quick and simple recording of your visits to each checkpoint and your overall score and time. Its operation will be explained at the race briefing.
The objective of the Questars adventure race is to enjoy covering some tremendous countryside, visiting as many checkpoints (CPs) as possible to collect up to a maximum of 1000 points (slightly less for the Questars Duo competitors without the kayaking stage) in the shortest time.
- The waterproof event map is pre-marked with the location of the mountain bike (in red) trail running (in blue) and kayak (in green) checkpoints (CPs). Check the time of your kayaking stage (as detailed on the team list displayed on the website just before the event and at the event centre) and choose in which order you plan to do the three stages.
- Each CP has a value. These are listed on a checkpoint values and description sheet given to each team as you start the race. The description describes the feature at the centre of the marked circle where you can locate the CP.
- Within each stage you can visit as many CPs as you wish, in any order. You must visit at least one CP in each of the three stages to avoid a penalty of 100 points. questars Duo competitors need to visit at least one CP in each of the two stages to avoid a similar penalty.
- You cannot visit trail run CPs on bike or bike CPs when on your trail run stage. If you do, this you'll be penalised and the points deducted from your score. Advise Quest at the Download station at the end othe race if you have inadvertently mispunched a run or bike CP out of stage. All the kayak CPs are on the water so can only be visited by kayak!
- Remember to make a note of your allocated kayak times as detailed on the team sheet displayed at the event centre. This shows the time period your team may be on the water. You do not have to use all this time. You can start kayaking any time within the allocated time period. Teams must be off the water by the end of your allocated time to prevent incurring a 50 point penalty.
- You can transition only once between the trail run and mountain bike stages. If for example you decide to run first you should do all the run CPs you wish to do before transitioning to the mountain bike stage.
- You may break either your run or bike (but not both) stages to visit the kayak transition point (TP) and undertake the kayaking stage – during your allocated kayak time period. Then you can resume your run or bike stage.
- Plan how many CPs you can visit, and adjust this as you go along. There are penalties of 5 points for each minute or part thereof over the 6 hours race time for Masters. Novice teams in Questars Trio have 5 hours and will incur a 2 point penalty for each minute or part late back. All Questars Duo teams have 5 hours and will incur a 5 point penalty for each minute or part they are late back.
- Just to keep you guessing a little, three of the mountain bike and three of the trail run CPs marked on your map do not exist! They are dummy controls. Which ones they are will be disclosed as you cross the start line and collect the CP descriptions and values card.
- All areas not shown on the event map are OUT OF BOUNDS (OOB). Other areas on the map such as busy roads may also be OOB and are highlighted in pink. This means that you cannot take ‘short cuts’ by venturing off the map or along OOB roads, and some CPs may involve ‘out and back’ routes. Quest marshals are out on the course and there is a penalty of 200 points for any team OOB.
- Teams must stay together throughout the race, this means within 10m of each other at all times. During the mountain bike stage you must have your bike with you at all times ie. no leaving it and running to the CP!
- Always follow the Countryside, Mountain Bike and Navigation Codes at all times:
The Countryside Code
- Leave gates and property as you find them
- Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home
- Consider other people
- Be safe - plan ahead and follow any signs
The Mountain Bike Code
- Ride in control at all times. This preserves you, other users and the environment.
- Respect the rights of others. Take pride in sharing the outdoors with people enjoying other forms of recreation.
- Be considerate towards walkers. A speeding bike can frighten walkers. Use a bell or call out to announce your presence. Give them right of way. Pass at no more than twice their walking speed.
- Always give way to horses. Horses are easily frightened by bikes. A spooked horse can endanger you and its rider. Announce your presence, stop and talk to the rider as the horse passes. Be alert for signs of horses on the track (hoof prints or droppings).
- Avoid skidding.
- Do not cut corners, stay on the track.
- Do not ride where cycling is not permitted or where public access is prohibited.
- Wash your bike tyres before riding in a different area. This will reduce the chance of spreading plant diseases.
- Avoid introducing road rage to the trails.
- Be an ambassador for your sport, tell other people about this code.