The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

Dorset Coast Adventure Race

Course Conditions

Information about the course area and trail conditions for the 2018 Dorset Coast Adventure Race.

Special Notes

The good news is that at the time of writing (10 days before the event) the ground is not as wet or muddy as it was two years ago in March 2016. The bad news is that it is still quite wet and muddy in a few places.

Checkpoints have been positioned to avoid the need to use the worst of the trails but expect to encounter short patches of ankle deep mud on a few trails particularly around stiles and gates.

Once you start, you will not return to the event base again until the finish so you will need to carry everything you need with you.

It is very important that you ensure gates are shut and properly fastened behind you as there are livestock both in fields and on the hills.

Take extra care when crossing railway lines and follow the instructions.

All the footpaths and bridleways are well signed so look out for these to help you.



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


Trail Run

The majority of the trail run takes place off road on public footpaths and bridleways although there are a couple of times when you will need to use minor roads / pavements.

On the whole the trails range from grassy lowland paths to grassy paths up on the Purbeck Hills and grassy coastal cliff-top paths. There are also some bare earth / dirt trails and stony surfaces in places.

Virtually all the trails are open and clear of any vegetation that might slow you down but there are one or two places where the trails are narrow with vegetation high on either side.

Some field corners - particularly around gates and stiles - are very wet and muddy but such sections are short and soon passed.

Obviously you may stick to the side of paths / tracks to avoid the worst of the water / mud but you must not cross or walk along any fences / boundaries that run along the side of some paths / tracks. You can't get past some sections without going through the ankle deep mud so don't waste time circumnavigating the first muddy stretch you come to as you will only be delaying the inevitable!

After completing a reece run around the whole Trail Run course, this is how muddy we got.

Given the course and the conditions, trail shoes with a decent tread are recommended.


Mountain Biking

The Mt Biking is largely on minor roads and bridleways, though there are one or two other off road cycle routes that you may also use. Taking a bike on a footpath is illegal and is strictly forbidden. Most routes are well sign-posted.

When cycling on roads keep in to the left hand side so that vehicles can pass when safe to do so. Some of the roads are very busy (even the B-roads) and others are very narrow - moderate your speed when descending steep narrow lanes and take extra care at road junctions and roundabouts.

A few tips to help you enjoy the mountain biking...

1) When offroad stick to the ridgelines (hilltops) where possible - the ground is firmer and not as wet / muddy as elsewhere

2) Bridleways that follow tracks (double black dashed lines on the map) tend to have a firm hardstanding base where as bridleways that don't are often grassy and hence can be muddy in places.

3) The shortest route is not always the quickest. It might be quicker to go the long way round on roads rather than take the most direct route off road.

In the lowlands around Poole Harbour, the bridleways are a mix of mainly hard earth and gravel tracks providing a relatively fast firm surface on which to ride.

Many bridleways are popular with horse riders - please remember to slow down and give them a wide berth. Some of the bridleways up onto the hills are steep with loose stones in places and have exposed tree roots which are very slippery.



The kayaking takes place on a tidal stretch of river which flows into Poole Harbour.

Access to the water is via quite a steep concrete slipway which is incredibly slippery, especially when the tide is out.

You will need to step into the water before getting on your kayak, so expect to get your feet wet. If you don't do this and your kayak rests on the ground when you get on, it is likely to roll onto one side of the keel, possibly tipping you off which means you'll get a bit more than just your feet wet!

Once you are on the water, there is no need to get off until you have finished kayaking - you should be able to reach all the kayak checkpoints from your kayak.

The tide will be incoming throughout the day. It will be cancelled out somewhat by the flow of the river so whilst there will be some movement of water there won't be any strong ebb tides to worry about (when the flow of the river combines with the outgoing tide).

The river is quite wide at high tide - especially towards it's mouth where it enters Poole Harbour - and it is therefore very exposed to any wind, so do make sure you take this into account and carry sufficient clothing with you.

Please keep away from moored vessels and well out of the way of any moving craft - we want to be able to return to use this lovely location again in the future!

The video below gives a sneak preview of the stretch of water that you will be kayaking on...


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