The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

The Malverns Q2 Adventure Race

 

Course & Conditions

Information about the course area and its condition for the adventure race on the 25 & 26 April 2015.

 

Special Notes

All run-bike transitions take place back at the event base so you don't necessarily need to carry running shoes with you whilst cycling if you wear different shoes for each. That said you will have to walk / run approximately 750 metres from the bike drop area to the water for the kayaking (down a concrete track / tarmac road) so you may want to carry different footwear e.g. light weight neoprene shoes (if you have them) with you for this / for kayaking.

The Malvern Hills are very popular with walkers and horse riders. Please watch out for other people and animals, especially when on the hills. Always slow down, give way and be courteous to other members of the general public. The fields are full of sheep with young lambs. It is therefore even more important than normal that you make sure gates are shut and properly fastened behind you.

The weather can change very quickly and it can still be quite cold at night at this time of year. Please make sure you are fully prepared for all weather. The hills are very exposed to the elements.

 

Trail Run

When visiting Trail Run checkpoints you must stick to public rights of way (see key printed on each stage map). The only exception is on access land where you may also use other formed paths and tracks. You must stick to the trails at all times – that’s why it’s called a Trail Run! Cutting across open grassland - even on the open access land on the hills and commons - is not permitted and as this disturbs ground nesting birds at this time of year. Malvern Hill Rangers will be out and about, and they will report back any offenders who will be disqualified as this contravenes a condition of our event permissions.

The ground is generally quite dry and firm at the moment, however some paths – usually in woods and sheltered from direct sunlight – are still a bit soft and muddy in places. On the hills there are a mixture of grassy paths and dirt trails, some of which are stonier and more rocky than others. Water seeps from the ground in places so expect to get wet / muddy feet whatever the weather does on the day. Trail shoes with a decent tread are therefore recommended if you have them.

Wooded areas provide some shade and shelter on some sides of the hills but the ridgeline along the hill tops is open and exposedThe sides of the hills are quite steep but once up on the top the rolling ridgeline is more run-able and the views are amazing. However you don’t need to climb up to the ridgeline if you don’t want to – there is plenty of pleasant running to be enjoyed on the many trails that contour around the sides of the hills, and you still get a good view of the surrounding area.  

There will be a bit of crossing roads and running along pavements and through urban corridors – the exact amount depends on your route choice - but the vast majority of the Trail Running is off-road.

The nettles are starting to make an appearance but they shouldn’t cause you any problems. The gorse is more of an issue as it has grown across some lesser used trails but these are not marked on your stage maps and there is no need for you to use any routes other than those marked on the stage maps. 

 

Mountain Biking

The mountain biking is half on road and half off road (although the exact amount on each will depend on your route choice somewhat). The vast majority of the off road routes are public bridleways but there are one or two other routes with public access that you may also use. You must not take bikes on footpaths – this is illegal. The condition of the bridleways varies widely from soft mud which has been cut up by animals / farm vehicles to firm gravel tracks.

Not all the public bridleways marked on the map are suitable for cycling along. Some have lots of gates along them, others are so soft and cut up by horses that they are not ride-able and other lesser used ones have numerous fallen trees lying across them. Where identified, these have been marked as unsuitable for bikes on your stage maps. In every case there is a suitable alternative route nearby that you can use so don’t go wasting time by trying to cycle along a route which is marked as unsuitable.

Again, on the Malvern Hills themselves, there are lots of bridleways marked on the map but not all of them are suitable for cycling along. The mountain bike checkpoints have been positioned only on those bridleways which can be cycled along, and where not clear, the bridleway that you should use to get from one checkpoint to the next has been highlighted.

Please take care whilst cycling on roads. The roads around the event base are busy and fast. Keep in to the left hand side so that vehicles can pass when safe to do so. Other roads are steep and narrow. Descend these with caution as there could be an oversized tractor around the next bend - expect the unexpected!

 

Kayaking

The kayaking takes place on the River Severn which you will cycle to and from. There isn’t much space at the get on – get off point so you will need to leave your bikes with a marshal in a field approximately 750m from the river and make your way on foot to the water’s edge.

Access to the water is via a small slipway down the river bank. Please be both careful and patient with others as it is steep and covered in mud which will be wet and slippery from where other people have got off the water. Similarly please don’t dilly dally on the slipway / by the water’s edge as you will hold everyone else up - this is not the time or the place to debate who is sitting where in the kayak, do that before you get on the slipway!

The lack of any significant rain recently means the water level is quite low (NB. it's still deep though) and consequently the river is moving relatively slowly. The river is over 50m wide and the banks steep and high. Please watch out for and keep away from anglers on the side of the river and out of the way of other vessels – some of which are quite large. In general you should paddle along the right hand side of the river so oncoming boats can pass on your left (like driving on the continent). It’s highly unlikely that anyone will capsize but in the event that you do end up in the water, and you can’t get back on top of your kayak, it is best to hang on to the kayak which will give you additional buoyancy. If there is no one else around to help you then make your way together with your kayak to one of the many fishing platforms along the side of the river at water level. You will then be able to get out of the water. There will be a safety boat on the water, but it may take a while to reach you depending on where you are.

 

Photos

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

 

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