Our featured Adventure Racer of the month is Kelly Lehmann who celebrated his ten-year anniversary with Questars in September. This Q&A was requested by a few people and we hope you enjoy reading it as much as we did.
How would you describe yourself?
I am the Adventure Racer who allows Questars to say that competitors are welcome “irrespective of their ability”.
When did you participate in your first Questars adventure race?
7th September 2013 in the Wyre Forest. I scored 365 points. I’m still aiming to reach 500 one day.
Roughly how many Questars adventure races have you participated in?
The magnets on my trophy board show it to be 32.
What do you like most about Questars adventure races?
They are well organised, by a friendly team with an ability to plan routes that you would never otherwise visit.
What do you like most about adventure racing?
I like that some athletes are running, others are cycling, many are kayaking and some are resting. Those on-the-move are going in lots of different directions. Collectively this gives a feeling of constantly being at the heart of things.
Why did you first get into adventure racing?
One day, I saw runners passing my house, in both directions, for several hours. Having discovered that they were Questars Adventure Racers, I visited the race HQ; at Youlbury Scout Camp.
There, over a plate of chilli, I learned more about Questars and I’ve been joining in ever since.
What advice would you give to someone just getting started in adventure racing?
Ignore the race – enjoy the event.
What is the best piece of advice that you were given when you started adventure racing?
I really can’t remember any – maybe if I’d been a better listener, I would now be more proficient.
What is your strongest and weakest race discipline? How do you combat your weakest discipline?
I am not particularly strong at anything – but I like the kayaking best; as there are no hills.
Whatever the discipline, I spend far too much time looking at the map.
I take a magnifying glass to help me figure-out the tiny details.
What does your training plan for an adventure race look like?
I get my bicycle serviced at the start of each season.
How do you fuel yourself for a Questars adventure race?
Blackcurrant jam sandwiches. My daughter says it’s like going out with Paddington Bear.
What’s the one piece of non-mandatory kit in your bag that you could not do without?
It has to be the magnifying glass.
What’s the worst mistake you’ve ever made during an adventure race?
Forgetting my wet weather gear on a rainy day in the Brecons. I cycled into town to buy replacements and that meant I took about 90 minutes to reach the first checkpoint.
What’s the weirdest/funniest/strangest thing that has happened to you during an adventure race?
One time, trying to kayak in the Solent. The onshore wind was so severe that I couldn’t actually get off the beach. I reverted to extra running.
What is the most difficult part of adventure racing?
Estimating the distance travelled and thus knowing when you should worry that you might be going the wrong way.
What are your top five tips for adventure racing success?
I am not qualified to offer advice for success but, if you have fun, you will come back for more and, over time, you just might get better. Even if you don’t, it’s always better joining-in than watching.
Thank you Kelly! A great write-up, I particularly like the image of the trip into town mid-race to re-stock on wet weather gear!
Do you fancy giving adventure racing a go? Follow the link below to sign up to our next events:
The Questars Winter Series Championship
The Questars Winter Series Championship spans the four winter races starting in the South Downs in November and culminating in the Cotswolds in February. This series of races is not just about testing your physical limits but also about strategy and embracing the unexpected challenges that adventure racing throws your way. Full details can be found on our Series Championship page with the key details below:
- Your top three results count towards your series score so consistency and performance across multiple races matter.
- No registration is required to take part in the series – series scores are automatically calculated for every finisher of every race, irrespective of the number of races they’ve done.
- Series scores are calculated for every unique team member’s name so make sure your name is spelt the same for every race that you enter.
- Changing teams / team names throughout the series won’t affect your series score.
- Series prizes will be awarded to those at the top of the series leaderboard, i.e. those with the highest series scores, after the final race of the series. The competition is fierce, and the rewards are worth the effort!
- In the event of a tie at the top, head-to-head race results will be used to determine the series winner (i.e. who beat who in the races in which all the tied participants took part). If this is also tied then the combined times (only for these head-to-head races) will be used, with the person with the fastest cumulative time being crowned the series champion.
We look forward to seeing you soon for a winter adventure!