The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

Questars 360

Thames Ridgeway Challenge

 

The Route

PLEASE NOTE...

If there are enough kayaks for all teams to kayak at the same time then everyone will kayak first from Lechlade to Oxford and run / trek second from Oxford to Cholsey (just beyond Wallingford). The details for this scenario are currently summarised on this page.

If due to high demand it's not possible for the above to happen then teams of 4 will do Stage 2 as a relay and some pairs may run / trek first and kayak second. If this is the case we will add the details to this page and give preference to those teams of two that entered first. If you are a group of 4 and don't want to do Stage 2 as a relay then you should enter as 2 teams of two.

STAGE 2 SUMMARY

+ Kayak down the River Thames for 48 km

+ Get on the water at Buscot lock and weir

+ Get off the water at Donnington Bridge in Oxford

+ Run / trek along the Thames Path for 40 km

+ Set off on foot from Donnington Bridge in Oxford

+ End on foot at Cholsey, Wallingford, Oxfordshire

+ Drinking water available on route at many of the locks

STAGE 2 MIDPOINT TRANSITION

+ Meadow Lane, Oxford, OX4 4BJ

+ Opens at 15:30 Saturday

+ Closes at 21:30 Saturday

+ Outside - no shelter available

+ Access to kit bags

+ End of kayaking

+ Beginning of run / trek

STAGE 2 TIMINGS

Kayak from Buscot Lock to Donnington Bridge

+ Fastest teams took 6.5 hrs in own kayaks and 7 hours on a sit-on-top kayak in 2016

+ Slowest teams took 9-10 hours on a sit-on-top kayak in 2016

Trek / run from Donnington Bridge to Cholsey

+ Fastest team took 4.5 hours in 2016

+ Slowest teams took 8-9 hours in 2016

STAGE 2 DESCRIPTION

The route follows the River Thames - the longest river in England - for the whole of stage 2. From Lechlade the route heads east along the Thames towards the city of Oxford, renowned for its prestigious University. You'll follow the river through the medieval heart of Oxford itself and on past the market town of Abingdon before reaching the second transition point just after Wallingford.

Expect to spend half of this stage on foot trekking along the banks of the River Thames and the other half kayaking down the river itself.

All the kayaking takes place on the River Thames. You will be paddle over a marathon distance (42 km) all down river. Any flow of water will be working with you but it is likely to be negligible in June, so expect flat water conditions. Two person sit-on-top kayaks are provided and included in the entry fee, as are buoyancy aids and paddles if you don't have your own.

There are a number of locks that you will need to portage around (and weirs that you will need to avoid) so within your team you will need two people who together can carry a 29 kg kayak for approx. 50 m around each set of locks. This might sound like bit of an inconvenience but it actually provides a welcome respite from sitting down in the kayak; a chance to stretch those legs and refuel!

Whilst on foot you'll be trekking / running along the Thames Path which is a well signed long distance national footpath that follows the River Thames closely, hence the trail meanders quite a bit. It is virtually flat, almost all off road and uneven in places. Expect to cover close to a marathon distance (42 km) on foot.

You will have the opportunity to access your kit and restock with supplies at least once during this stage (as this is a particularly long stage in terms of the time that it will take). Drinking water taps can also be found at many of the locks and these will be marked on your maps.

Relay Scenario - Teams of 4 Only

If the number of teams exceeds the number of kayaks available then teams of 4 will do the whole of Stage 2 as a relay i.e. 2 team members will kayak whilst the other 2 trek.

Each team of 4 will have one kayak which as a team they must paddle down river from Lechlade to Cholsey (just beyond Wallingford). Only two people can fit (and are permitted) on the kayak at a time so whilst two team members are kayaking the other two team members will be trekking / running along the Thames Path. It is up to your team to decide when, where and how often you swap around but all four team members must meet up at each set of locks, so this provides an ideal opportunity to swap over. The average distance between locks is around 5 km which teams should be able to paddle in an hour or less.

This is a new concept unique to Questars 360 which we think will add a novel and interesting dynamic to the stage, favouring those teams that work well together and communicate effectively. It will also break up the monotony sometimes associated with paddling / trekking for a long uninterrupted period of time. However, if you would rather all 4 members of your team kayaked at the same time (and trekked at the same time), that's not a problem; just enter as 2 teams of two so we can ensure there are enough kayaks for you to do this.

 

The details above are given only as an indication of the planned route for stage 2 - the actual route may change / alter slightly from that described and shown. Distances are approximate and rounded to the nearest 10 km. The guide time is an estimation of the time most teams are expected to take to complete this stage.

 

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