Peak District
race report

The third event of our 2024 Summer Series took place from Linnet Clough Scout Camp on the edge of the Peak District and, as well as the normal Questars Summer Series events, we had a two-day option for those looking to explore the area that little bit longer!

Although the promised dry day started a little damp on Saturday morning, the weather soon cleared up and made way for near-perfect racing conditions.

The course itself was a challenging one. The area is a warren of footpaths and bridleways giving lots of route choice but the hills mean that the shortest routes aren’t necessarily the easiest. At least the kayak leg was flat but at just over 6km it was a real push for those teams wanting to pick up maximum points on this leg.

In total, twelve teams completed the kayak leg with Team HC Racing (Mark Clarkson, Andrew Higgins) fastest in a time of 55:11 and there must have been some furious paddling and constant watch checking by teams on the way back with five teams finishing within two minutes of the cut-off (and a 50-point penalty) including Steve Burnham who completed the leg and avoided penalties by just 16 seconds!

There were four teams who completed the run leg with Ben Hawkins fastest in a brilliant time of 1:55:23.

Only Tom Gibbs completed the bike leg in a superb time of 2:46:18 and, in so doing, became the only person to complete the course by picking up all checkpoints and coming in an impressive eleven minutes early.

As ever, there were some incredible stories out on course with teams overcoming all manner of bike mechanicals and navigation errors to get back to the event base where warm weather, cold drinks, and hot food greeted everyone. For those on the two-day event, this was a chance to rest and refuel, in preparation for Stage Two.

Stage Two was a trail run orienteering event taking in some local hills and rewarding racers with fantastic views out towards Manchester and the setting sun beyond. The Masters racers had two hours whilst the Novice racers had one hour. The Masters course racers had an extra challenge of having to solve five sudoku puzzles to work out which of the checkpoints were ‘dummy’ checkpoints (i.e. worth zero points) and which of the checkpoints were worth double points. By either luck or judgement, all teams bar one managed to pick up both double scoring checkpoints and there were some standout performances with Eddie Winthorpe finishing in second place overall on the Stage and Team JPEG (Eleanor Thackeray, Pollie Boyle) finishing in fifth. In the Masters category, Tom Gibbs once again won the Stage with an overall score of 182 points and it was very close behind him with second through twelfth separated by less than 20 points. In the Novice category, Ruby’s Rockets (Sarah and Mark Lowden) won a very close Stage with 95 points with three other teams all collecting the same number of checkpoints but being separated by the bonus points for finishing early. It just goes to show that adventure racing is not over, until it’s over.

After Stage Two finished, there was just time to compare sudoku skills and get a bit of fuel from the Questars Café before racers headed to bed to snatch as much rest as they could before Stage Three on Sunday morning which was due to start with a mystery Special Stage.

There was a lot of guessing taking place on Saturday evening and Sunday morning as to what the Special Stage would entail. With a PGA Professional in their team, the Ballinger Ballers were rather hopeful it might involve the pitch and putt on the Scout Camp grounds, instead it was a Cave Bus which would involve tired racers dragging tired bodies through all manner of tight spaces to collect two checkpoints. With Kevin Stephens quipping on exit that it reminded him of why he disliked public transport!

Once the Special Stage was complete, it was time for racing to resume with the final stage of the two-day event, either 5 more hours for Masters or 4 hours on the Novice event. There were many close battles to be decided. The Stage itself took in a different area but one that was just as hilly and challenging. The turn in weather, with clouds rolling in, a drizzle to start and a few showers in between some very gusty winds, made for another tough day on the hills, but lots of smiles and stories to rehash at the finish.

In the Masters category, Tom Gibbs held off the challenge of Team HC Racing to win the Stage overall by just three points and complete a clean sweep for the weekend. In the Novice category, The Derby Dashers put in a terrific performance to win the Stage by 57 points from Ruby’s Rockets, which moved them up into second place overall.

It brought to a close a terrific weekend of racing and probably our favourite event to put on. We really enjoyed the mix of competition and camaraderie that developed over the weekend and we have plans to do it all again next year. Watch this space!

Thank you to everyone who came out and raced with us either for the Saturday or the whole weekend.

Full results can be found here, pictures here and Sleepmonsters race report here

A summary of the results follows:


Run-only (2 hours)

In the run-only category, it was a bit of a family affair with brother and sister duo Ben and Poppy Hawkins bookending the podium with Ben finishing first with 374 points and Poppy and teammate Jessie Bull finishing in third place with 240 points. They were separated by Jack Benham (BML Print) who finished in second place with 301 points.

Duo (Run & Bike 5 hours)

In the Duo category, One half of the Macc Lads (Warren Mason) won the day with 756 points ahead of Cann Do Attitude (Nick Cann) with 545 points.

Trio Novice (Run, Bike & Kayak 5 hours)

It was an incredibly tight finish in the female category with just one point separating first and second! Team Shallower (Steph Shallow, Emma Vidler) finished second by 5 points last time out but came first by one point this time around with a score of 497 just ahead of Wiltshire Warriors (Miranda Naish, Clare Doherty) with 496 and Stupid Idea (Elizabeth Sale, Naomi Giffen) made up the podium with 345 points.

In the Open category, Pannier Boys (Nathan Limbach) finished on 637 points ahead of Pannier Bros (Michael Crooks) on 558 points with Team LionHeart Conditioning & Development (Dale Boydell, Robert Taylor) making up the podium with 510 points.

In the Mixed Teams category, Team Thackiyama (Tasha Thackrah, Iain Thackrah) won with an impressive 625 points ahead of Team Elmhurst (Mark Hazell, Annalise Ryan) in second place on 501 points and Grandy&Granny’s Great Adventure (Lesley Foskett, Andrew Foskett) making up the podium with 475 points.

Trio Masters (Run, Bike & Kayak 6 hours)

In the female category, Fat Bike Ladies (Helen Wise, Alexandra McClellan) came first with 498 points.

In the Mixed Teams Category, Team Gill (Richard Gill, Emma Gill) won with an impressive 823 points which was also the best one-day score of the day. In second place were Team Isotopes (Katherine Gibbs, Todd Fallesen) with 670 points ahead of Northern Dogs (Lewis Gray, Mica Watson) in third with 535 points.

In the Open category, Team Easy Riders (Peter Pawlik, Bevan Wynne Roberts) won with 788 points, just ahead of Steve Burnham with 770 with Paul Cantrill making up the podium with 725 points.



Trio Novice (Run, Bike & Kayak 5 hours; Trail Run 1 hour; Run & Bike 4 hours)

It was an incredibly close battle in the Novice Mixed category with less that one hundred points separating the top-three after ten hours of racing. Ruby’s Rockets (Mark Lowden, Sarah Lowden) came out on top with 1181 points overall having scored highest in the first two events. In second place, Derby Dashers (Jon Hicks, Sarah Polglass) had a brilliant last stage to leap into second place finishing on 1136 points with York Alpine Club (Simon Caldwell, Carmen Elphick) finishing in third with 1095 after a really solid weekend of racing.

It was even closer in the Open category with just 26 points separating the podium!
Burning Sensation (Stefan Douglas, Nick Hopewell) finishing in first with 918 points ahead of Team Zero G (Chris Brown, Paul Allen) on 910 and McDoug (Lee Douglas, Graeme McFarlane) in third on 892 points.


Trio Masters (Run, Bike & Kayak 6 hours; Trail Run 2 hours; Run & Bike 5 hours)

In the female teams category, Team JPEG (Eleanor Thackeray, Pollie Boyle) topped the podium with an impressive 1397 points after 13 hours of racing just 18 points ahead of Team Sheffield (Katherine Hargreaves, Laura Evans) with 1379 points in second place and Waspy’s Wonders (Isla Reynolds, Nina Ingham) in third place with 1110 points.

In the Mixed Teams Category, Team Mongaru (Nick Gracie, Katherina Pedersen) had a brillirant weekend of racing to finish first with 1656 points and it was a really close battle behind them with only six points separating second and third. Nav4 Orange (Vanessa Fisher, Matthew Saunders, Mark Hinde, Zoe Sewter) came out on top to finish in second on 1283 points just ahead of Midnight’s Runners (Laura Ashfield, Ross Remnant) on 1277 points.

In the Open Teams category, Team HC Racing (Mark Clarkson, Andrew Higgins) topped the podium with 1872 points for the second best score of the weekend. In second place, ACDC AR (David Webster, David Hughes, Alasdair Jackson) finished on 1416 points ahead of Mind the milkfloat! (Phil Raven, Chris Sibthorpe) on 1322 who edged out Blazing Ballers (Jakub Malik, Mark Boscott, Craig Scott) who finished just 17 points off the podium in fourth place.

In the female solo category, Helen Chapman put in an imperious display of racing to finish in first place with 1627 points ahead of Ella Pyman in second place on 1286 points and Kate Higham in third on 1075 points.


In the Open solo category, Tom Gibbs put in a perfect display to win each stage overall and to finish in first place with a brilliant cumulative score of 1926 points. There was a real ding-dong battle for second place with Tom Hards having a great first stage before being clawed back by James Lea-Cox with James finishing in second place with 1749 points and Tom in third with 1700 points.  

The 2024 Questars Summer Series


The next race of our Summer Series takes place on 6 July in the Mendips. Anyone entering into any of our adventure races will be automatically entered into our Series Championship with each individual’s top four one-day results counting towards the final Championship position. Full details can be found on our Series Championship page.

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