The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

Dorset Adventure Race

 

Course Conditions

Information about the course area and its condition for the adventure race on Sat 19 March 2016

 

Special Notes

If you haven't ventured off road / into the countryside recently you should note that all the wet weather we have had this winter means the ground is fairly saturated. Last week it was very wet and muddy in places around the course. Some trails may dry out a bit in the spell of more settled weather forecast for this week but overall the ground is likely to remain soft.

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.

 

Trail Run

The majority of the trail run takes place off road on public footpaths and bridleways although there are one or two short sections where you will be on minor roads / pavements.

Trails vary from easy-going flattish gravel tracks and dirt trails to grassy paths up on the Purbeck Hills, some of which are steep. The relatively flat heathlands are sandy in places and boggy / muddy in others.

The majority of the trails are well used and hence obvious to follow and clear of vegetation. This does mean that where paths are wet / muddy they are quite cut up.

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 (or venture onto open heath or grassland). 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!

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 can also use if you wish. Taking a bike on a footpath is illegal and is strictly forbidden.

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.

Some sections of bridleways which have been used for previous Questars adventure races were so wet, muddy & cut-up last week that they were unrideable. These have been marked as wet / muddy on your map and are best avoided as it is quicker to use an alternative route rather than plough through the quagmire. The 'alternatives' may not be shorter but they will be quicker and will mean you can ride your bike as opposed to having to get off it and push it a fair distance through lots of mud.

Given the conditions last week, our top MTB tips are:

But it's not all muddy! In the forest 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 and softer dirt tracks and sandy trails which require a bit more work.

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.

 

Kayaking

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

Access to the river 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, 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.

There is quite a flow when the tide is going out but nothing that you can't paddle against. Just be aware of which way the water is flowing and allow plenty of time to return if necessary.

The river is quite wide especially towards it's mouth / Poole Harbour which is 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!

 

Photos

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

 

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