The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

Poole Adventure Race



Course & Conditions

Information about the course area and its condition for the adventure race on Saturday 6 September 2014


Special Notes

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. Also keep an eye out for these animals.

The course has been designed so there is something for everyone. Most of you won't have time to do everything. So make sure you spend time doing the bits that interest you the most and don't be afraid to miss out / cut short the bits that you're not so interested in.


Mountain Biking

The mountain biking is largely on roads and bridleways, though there are one or two other off road cycle routes that you can also use if you wish. Taking your bike on footpaths 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 narrow lanes and take extra care at road junctions and roundabouts.

In the forest around Poole Harbour, the bridleways are a mix of mainly hard earth and gravel tracks providing a fast firm surface on which to ride and softer dirt tracks which require a bit more work and are very dusty when dry. One of the bridleways is covered in long grass but it is still very much rideable. The forest tracks are popular with horse riders - please remember to slow down and give them a wide berth.

The Purbeck Hills overlook Poole Harbour. This chalk ridgeline of rolling hills is well drained and again popular with horse riders. The bridleways on top of these hills are largely hard earth and short grass, again providing a good fast firm surface on which to ride. Some of the bridleways up onto the ridge are steep with loose stones in places and have exposed tree roots. Others are narrow, entrenched and a bit more overgrown.


Trail Run

During the Trail Run you must stick to the public rights of way that are marked on your map (refer to the key that will be printed on your map). Where routes are different on the ground to those marked on your map, you should follow the signs on the ground.

The trail run is virtually all off road. Trails vary from easy-going flattish gravel tracks and dirt tracks in the forest around Poole Harbour to undulating grassy bridleways up on the Purbeck Hills. The heath lowland between the two is sandy. The trails here are covered with deep sand in places (soft / loose sand when dry) and are narrow and encroached by gorse bushes on either side.

Some of the public rights of way on the heathland cross a golf course which is likely to be busy on a Saturday. Follow the stone sign posts and keep to the bridleways. Stop and look both ways to check no golfers are teeing off before crossing the fairway on the bridleway.

The majority of the trails are well used and hence clear of vegetation, but the brambles and ferns do encroach on one or two of the lesser used paths, which can be a bit overgrown at this time of year. On the coast, keep well back from the edge of the cliff.



The kayaking takes place in Poole Harbour which is tidal. There is quite a difference between high tide and low tide at the transition point (where you will get on the water).

At high tide (in the morning), access is via a small shingle beach / sand bar. Due to the low angle slope of the sand you will need to walk into the water a bit with your kayak before sitting down on it so please wear something on your feet that you don't mind getting wet. Going bare foot is not recommended as the sand contains angular stones and sharp shell fragments. Please follow the marshals instructions and launch / egress between the two stakes (that we'll place in the ground) so you don't get stuck in the mud (which is lurking just below the waterline at high tide).

At low tide (in the afternoon), access is via the same sand bar (as mentioned above) but the tidal range on Saturday is such that the water is likely to drop below the end of the sand bar. When this happens there will be a short section (up to 10m) of tidal mud flat that you will need to cross to reach the water. We aim to lay down some planks for you to walk on across the mud so hopefully you won't get as muddy as we did on a recent recce of the site, but this has not been tried / tested so there is no telling whether it will work. We kindly ask that you therefore bring a sense of humour / sense of adventure with you (along with some good fitting footwear that you don't mind getting muddy)!

Whilst on the water, stay outside of the main shipping channel as much as possible (marked by red and green marker buoys / posts). When you need to cross the shipping channel you should do so as quickly as possible and give way to other vessels - some of which can be quite large!

If you visit the furthest kayak checkpoint you will need to get out of your kayak on a stony, shelly beach in order to reach the checkpoint. Hence you will want shoes with you for this. All the other kayak checkpoints can be reached from on the water.



View all the recce photos showing different parts of the course here


Design by eightyone | Programming by Switch Systems