The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

The Chilterns Adventure Race

 

Course Conditions

Information about the course area and its condition for the 2017 Chilterns adventure race

 

Special Notes

Watch out, slow down and give way to other people and animals. Parts of the course area are popular with walkers, cyclists and horse riders so expect some of the trails to be busy with other members of the public out and about. A bike bell is strongly recommended so you can warn others of your approach.

There are also a few fields with livestock in them. Please make sure gates are both shut and properly fastened behind you, so animals do not escape from where they are supposed to be.

Whilst virtually all the off road routes were clear of vegetation when we did our final recce last week, one or two of the trails were verging towards becoming slightly overgrown. We don't envisage there to be any major problems with stinging nettles - it's more likely to be from crops - but it's impossible for us to check all the footpaths in the area so you may wish to wear long socks or carry leg protection with you just in case you do take one of the lesser-used routes and come across a patch of stinging nettles. 

 

Trail Run

The Trail Run is largely on public rights of way (e.g. public footpaths and bridleways) and a few other permitted trails (e.g. permitted footpaths), with a few sections on tarmac (pavements / minor roads) to link them together.

There are some flat sections along by the canal and some undulating to hilly sections along the Ridgeway. Some of the paths are grassy whilst others are gravelly or on bare earth and there are a few short sections on tarmac. Whilst running along roads you must use pavements if present.

The ground is firm / baked hard especially in open areas and on the well drained chalk hills. However, in the woods and on parts of the towpath where the shade from trees prevents the suns rays from reaching the ground and drying it out, there may be pools of softer ground / wet mud. Trail shoes with a decent tread are therefore recommended if you have them.

Where footpaths run adjacent to roads, please make sure you use the path and not the road - not only is this safer and more considerate to drivers, but it is easier going on the legs and feet.

The paths are generally well used and therefore not overgrown so you shouldn't encounter any nettles but we still recommend you carry full leg cover with you just in case. Also, there are one or two places where it is difficult to spot the fingerpost or find the start of the footpath because the hedge is overgrown.

 

Mountain Biking

Bikes are only allowed on roads, bridleways, byways and other designated off road cycle routes. Taking your bike on footpaths, including the towpath alongside the Grand Union Canal, or any other unmarked trail is against the law and therefore strictly forbidden - there are no excuses - pay attention to the information on the map and the signs on the ground! Make sure you know the difference between footpaths and bridleways. Look out for fingerposts and waymarker posts to keep you on the right track and make sure you follow any other signs.

The nature of the off road surfaces varies quite a bit from fast firm gravel tracks through to bare-earth and grassy trails. In the woods the surfaces tend to be not so good with hard-baked uneven mud and tree roots common and one or two softer / wetter patches in places. Most of the routes are clear of vegetation and not too overgrown, however one or two of the lesser-used bridleways were covered in long wild grass.

Cyclists are required by law to give way to walkers and horse riders on bridleways. Please make sure you do this and that you slow down / stop when passing horse riders.

When on roads, always cycle single file (apart from being considerate to others, it's more efficient) and keep in to the left hand side so that vehicles can pass when it's safe for them to do so. Some of the roads are rat-runs and others are narrow - moderate your speed when descending narrow lanes and take extra care at sharp bends / road junctions.

 

Kayaking

The kayaking takes place on a stretch of the Grand Union Canal. Part of it is in the open and part of it is in a cutting and is therefore protected a bit from the elements.

Access to the water is via a wooden platform along the edge of the canal. Best to put the kayak on the water, sit on the edge of the platform with your feet on the kayak and then gently swing your bottom round and down onto the kayak.

Access to the kayak transition by vehicle is prohibited. Any spectators wishing to see the kayaking should park at or near Tring Station and walk along the towpath by the side of the canal. Please ensure anyone accompanying you does not drive along the narrow road to the kayak transition as there is nowhere to park and lots of vehicle movements will cause congestion, putting the safety of participants at risk. The kayak transition area is quite small and will get very busy at times so spectators are kindly asked to watch from towpath on the other side of the canal and not to enter the kayak transition area itself.

 

Photos

View all the photos taken on recent recce's showing different parts of the course here

 

 

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