Helen is an experienced racer and shares her tips for adventure racing success. So, let’s dive in and explore the wonderful world of Questars adventure racing.
When did you participate in your first Questars adventure race?
I first participated in a Questars Adventure race in 2012
How many Questars adventure races have you participated in?
What do you like most about Questars adventure races?
I find Questars Adventure races fun and they are a chance to explore an area with the challenge of trying to complete a course. I also like the social aspect and the chance to catch up with people before and after the race.
What do you like most about adventure racing?
I like that adventure races give you a chance to challenge yourself with like-minded
Why did you first get into adventure racing?
In 2012 I got involved in the ‘wrong crowd’ while trying to make friends and find people to train with for a charity cycle ride I had signed up for across Vietnam and Cambodia. I enjoyed it and so carried on!
What advice would you give to someone just getting started adventure racing?
Enjoy it and if you have any questions just ask, the adventure racing community is very friendly.
What is the best piece of advice that you were given when you started adventure racing?
Work out what speed you are likely to race at during an event so you can plan how far you can go accordingly.
What is your strongest and weakest race discipline? How do you combat your weakest discipline?
I am strongest on foot (I blame my parents for dragging me out Orienteering as a kid) and I am weakest kayaking as I hadn’t really picked up a paddle until I started Questars adventure races. I’ve tried to combat this by buying an inflatable kayak so I can go out and practice.
What does your training plan for an adventure race look like?
I’m not good at this and I just like being out and about doing exercise, be that a hike or cycle, preferably with other people and having two days a week where I don’t do anything, but also mixing in some days where I do two different sports. For longer races I try to build up the fitness in a slightly more focused way trying to have two heavier training weeks followed by one lighter rest week.
What is your favourite pre-, during- and post-race food for a Questars adventure race?
Pre-race – pasta as I like getting a big brekkie in me to see me through the day
During – tuna and cheese wraps
Post – Chilli – it’s kind of a tradition now having competed in so many Questars where this was offered after!
What type of bike do you normally use for a Questars adventure race?
I prefer a cross bike as it is good for the tarmac and fast on the off-road sections, but until I can justify a new one, you’re likely to see me on my 29” MTB
What’s the one piece of non-mandatory kit in your bag that you could not do without?
Some jelly babies for when the energy levels start to drop
What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made during an adventure race?
I once visited the same check point from the south and the north, my racing partner was not amused… I’ve also dropped the map from tiredness, strangely my team let me keep on navigating so we decided to share the blame of going up the wrong valley…
What have been some of your greatest adventure racing achievements?
Completing the long kayak stage in ITERA 2019 – the team all really pushed hard to get through in really tough and miserable conditions.
What is the most difficult part of adventure racing?
I really struggle staying warm so dealing with cold and wet condition is most difficult for me – give me a hot day every time!
What is your top tip for racing as a team?
Try to get to know each other so you can spot when someone is struggling (jelly babies are also good to give people a sugar boost or to silence grumbling!)
What are your top five tips for adventure racing success?
Be realistic about what you can do in the allotted time frame
Be flexible and have ideas about what you can do if the course runs slower or faster than you planned
Eat/drink before you get hungry/thirsty
Don’t be afraid to go out with people better than you
Thank you, Helen! Some brilliant advice to help make your next Questars race a success.
Do you fancy giving Adventure Racing a go? Follow the link below to sign up for one of our races
The 2023 Questars Series
The Wiltshire race is the first of our four one-day races which make up our 2023 Series Championship. Anyone entering into any of our adventure races will be automatically entered into our Series Championship with each individual’s top three one-day results counting towards the final Championship position. Full details can be found on our Series Championship page.