The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

Questars 360

Thames Ridgeway Challenge

 

The Route

GPX files of the finalised route will be made available when the final details are published two weeks before the event.

In the meantime you can look at the route used in 2016: View on OS maps || Download 2016 GPX file

Note: the GPX route file has been created for use on 1:50000 scale Ordnance Survey maps - this is why if you zoom in too much (i.e. in to the 1:25000 scale maps) the route may not appear so accurate

The route will be marked on 1:50000 scale Ordnance Survey Landranger maps. Teams of 2 will be given one copy of each map, whilst teams of 4 will receive two copies of each map, so you can keep track of where you are.

No event signage will be put out on the route to show you where to go as the long distance trails are easy to find and follow. Both the Thames Path and The Ridgeway are well signposted along their entire length.

GPS devices and apps may be used to assist you.

The maps below are given only as an indication of the provisional route. The actual route may change / alter slightly from that shown. Please see the final details for the most up to date route information.

 

 

The details above are given only as an indication of the planned route - the actual route may change / alter slightly from that described and shown. Distances are approximate and rounded to the nearest 10 km.

 

Questars 360

Thames Ridgeway Challenge

 

The Route

STAGE 2-3 TRANSITION

+ Located at Cholsey Scout Hut, Cholsey, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 9LG

+ Opens at 20:00 on Saturday

+ Closes at 09:00 on Sunday

+ Indoor shelter available

+ Access to kit bags, bikes & tents

+ Small grass area outside for sleeping on / pitching small tents

+ Boiling water available for adding to instant hot food / drinks

+ Drinking water available

STAGE 3 SUMMARY

+ Bike 82 km over 90% of which is off road (dirt/earth, grass, gravel and stones)

+ Begins from Cholsey Scout Hut

+ Finishes at the event base - St Francis School, Pewsey

+ No water on route - you need to carry all the water you need for this stage with you

+ Fastest non-stop team took 7 hours in 2016

+ Slowest team took just over 10 hours in 2016

STAGE 3 DESCRIPTION

The cycling for stage 3 is virtually all off road. For a large proportion of this stage you will be following The Ridgeway National Trail, which is well signed throughout.

Having picked up your bike from the Stage 2-3 transition point in Cholsey, you will join The Ridgeway - Britain's oldest road - and follow it westwards for 69 km of marvellous fast flowing off road riding all the way to the trail end at Overton Hill near the World Heritage Site of Avebury. From there it's a short ride along a couple of bridleways over the last of the downs to finish back at the event base in Pewsey.

The Ridgeway is a broad track that follows the same undulating route over the high ground used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers. Some sections of the trail have a hard stone surface while the rest remains natural so it can get a little muddy after wet weather; damage from excessive use means it is rutted in one or two places. 

As you ride along The Ridgeway you'll experience wide, open views of rolling chalk downland (unless you tackle this stage in the dark) and pass many archaeological monuments including Stone Age long barrows, Bronze Age round barrows, Iron Age forts and the figures of white horses cut into the chalk.

The details above are given only as an indication of the planned route for Stage 3 - 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.

 

Questars 360

Thames Ridgeway Challenge

 

The Route

STAGE 2-3 TRANSITION

+ Located at Cholsey Scout Hut, Cholsey, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, OX10 9LG - view on map

+ First teams expected around 18:30 Saturday (but will be open and ready before this)

+ Closes at 10:00 Sunday

+ Indoor shelter available

+ Access to kit bags, bike bags/boxes, tents

+ Small grassy area for sleeping on / pitching tents

+ Boiling water available for adding to instant hot food / drinks

+ Drinking water available

 

STAGE 3 SUMMARY

+ Bike 82 km over 90% of which is off road (dirt/earth, grass, gravel and stones)

+ Begins from Cholsey Scout Hut

+ Finishes at the event base - St Francis School, Pewsey

+ No water on route - you need to carry all the water you need for this stage with you

+ Fastest teams expected to take 6-7 hours

+ Slowest teams expected to take 8-9 hours

 

STAGE 3 DESCRIPTION

The cycling for stage 3 is virtually all off road. For a large proportion of this stage you will be following The Ridgeway National Trail, which is well signed throughout.

Having picked up your bike from the second transition point, you will cycle down to Goring / Streatley where you will join The Ridgeway - Britain's oldest road - and follow it westwards for 69 km of marvellous fast flowing off road riding all the way to the trail end at Overton Hill near the World Heritage Site of Avebury. From there it's a short ride along a couple of bridleways over the last of the downs to finish back at the event base in Pewsey.

The Ridgeway is a broad track that follows the same undulating route over the high ground used since prehistoric times by travellers, herdsmen and soldiers. Some sections of the trail have a hard stone surface whilst the rest remains natural so it can get a little muddy after wet weather; damage from excessive use means it is rutted in places. 

As you ride along The Ridgeway you'll experience wide, open views of rolling chalk downland (unless you tackle this stage in the dark) and pass many archaeological monuments including Stone Age long barrows, Bronze Age round barrows, Iron Age forts and the figures of white horses cut into the chalk.

The details above are given only as an indication of the planned route for stage 3 - 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.

 

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.

 

Questars 360

Thames Ridgeway Challenge

 

The Route

STAGE 1 SUMMARY

+ Bike 57 km along national cycle routes (half on road, half off road)

+ Starts from the event base - St Francis School, Marlborough Road, Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5NT

+ You can start anytime from 06:00 Saturday onwards (let us know if you want to start earlier than 6am)

+ No water on route - you need to carry all the water you need for this stage with you

+ Ends at Stage 1-2 transition at Buscot (near Lechlade)

+ Fastest teams took 2.5 hours in 2016

+ Slowest teams took 4 hours in 2016

STAGE 1-2 TRANSITION

+ Buscot, Faringdon, SN7 8DA

+ Opens at 08:30 Saturday

+ Closes at 11:30 Saturday

+ Outside - no shelter available

+ Drinking water available

+ Access to kit bags and all kayak equipment

STAGE 1 DESCRIPTION

The cycling for Stage 1 is all on minor roads and off road cycle routes, which are well signed with national cycle network (NCN) route numbers. The off road sections tend to have a gravel surface, the condition of which varies widely; expect uneven and rough surfaces in one or two places.

After starting from the event base in Pewsey, you'll join NCN route 4 and follow it in easterly direction before linking up with NCN route 403, taking it north through Britain's only privately owned forest - an ancient woodland home to historic oak trees.

At Marlborough you will continue to head north, this time by following NCN route 482 along a disused railway line through the North Wessex Downs. After crossing the River Kennet, this peaceful traffic-free cycle path will take you through a couple of picturesque villages before arriving in Chiseldon on the outskirts of Swindon.

A mixture of minor roads and bridleways will guide you across the green belt land around Swindon and onto the first transition point on the banks of the River Thames at Buscot (near Lechlade).

The details above are given only as an indication of the planned route for stage 1 - the actual route may change / alter slightly from that described and shown. Distances are approximate and rounded to the nearest 5 km. The guide time is an estimation of the time most teams are expected to take to complete this stage.

 

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