The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series


Final details for the Wiltshire Downs Questars adventure race on Sat 13 July 2013


Team Numbers & Start Times

Your team number, start window and kayak slot time can all be found on the Team List. Do make a note of these. You can start anytime within your allocated start window.


Entry Amendments

Any entry amendments should now be made on the day itself. Just inform the Quest staff at the Front Desk before the Race Briefing.



The event base will open at 0800. Please give us sufficient time to set-up by not arriving before 8am.


•    0815-0845 Recommended Arrival Time
•    0845-0915 Team Pack Collection
•    0915-0930 Race Briefing
•    1000-1100 Teams Start
•    Time Limit – 6 hours from when you start
•    1600-1700 Teams Finish
•    1730-1740 Results & Prize Giving


•    0915-0945 Recommended Arrival Time
•    0945-1010 Team Pack Collection
•    1010-1030 Race Briefing
•    1050-1150 Teams Start
•    Time Limit – 5 hours from when you start
•    1550-1650 Teams Finish
•    1730-1740 Results & Prize Giving



Things you need to bring and things you are advised to bring can be found on the Race Entry page here.

In addition you are advised to bring the following:

•    A back pack big enough to carry everything you need with you, including your running shoes if different from the shoes you wear cycling
•    Leg cover and cycling gloves to protect against nettles if you come across them - waterproof over trousers are ideal for the legs (or a pole/stick to beat them back)
•    Sun tan lotion and sufficient water carrying capacity to last you for 2-3 hours of activity (you can top up with water at the transition points during the race but you will need to carry enough to last you in between transitions)


Course & Conditions


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.

There are livestock in some of the fields and on the Downs so please make sure you shut all gates and properly fasten them behind you.

For your safety, please try not to disturb the livestock. Proceed with caution around the livestock where present. Do not run. Do not get between the cows and their calves.

Some of the lesser-used paths and bridleways are a bit overgrown in places. The checkpoints have been positioned to avoid the worst areas but, depending on which route you take, you may come across one or two places where the grass / nettles on either side of the footpath / bridleway are so high they lean right across the path / single track - see photo here.


During the Trail Run you must stick to public rights of way, roads and signed permissive paths. You must not cut across open grassland or follow informal paths / tracks.

The ground is generally quite firm but there are some short, steep grassy sections which can be slippery first thing if there is a heavy dew. Trail shoes with a decent tread are therefore recommended.


Bikes are only permitted on roads, byways and bridleways.

The byways and bridleways are quite firm and generally provide a good hard surface on which to ride. Last week the bridleways were still a bit wet and muddy in one or two of the woods, but it was all ride-able then and will have been drying out ever since, so it should make for a fast MTB course.

Consequently the MTB course is a big one - too big for the usual 1:25,000 scale map that regulars will be used to - so instead, this time you will be given a 1:50,000 Ordnance Survey map for the Mt biking. Familiarise yourselves with how public rights of way are shown on these maps and ensure you know the difference between bridleways (on which you may cycle) and footpaths (on which you must not take bikes). Download a copy of the 1:50,000 map legend (~1Mb).


The kayaking takes place on the Kennet & Avon canal. There is bit of a drop down to the water. The best way to get on the water is to sit on the bank with your feet on the kayak (which is on the water). Then swing yourself round and lower yourself carefully down onto the kayak. It's worth taking the time to get it right!

There is not that much space at the kayak transition so if accompanied by spectators, please remind them to keep out of the way of other participants.


View photos of different parts of the course so you can see what sort of terrain and conditions to expect.



Facilities at the event base include:

  • Changing rooms, showers and toilets
  • Food and drinks available both beforehand and afterwards - see menu
  • An indoor area for collection of team packs, the race briefing and the prize giving
  • Map pens available to buy from the Front Desk
  • A medic on standby to provide first aid


Directions & Car Parking

The base for this adventure race is St Francis School, Marlborough Road, Pewsey, Wiltshire, SN9 5NT.

The school is on the west side of the A345, just south of the Kennet & Avon canal - view on Google Maps. The entrance to the school is at grid reference SU 157 610.

Once on site, follow signage and/or marshals directions.


On Arrival

Make your way to the event HQ in the Sports Centre - view on Google Maps. No registration is required.

Grab a bite to eat and drink from The Quest Kitchen

At the appropriate time, collect your team pack from around the edge of the room. These will be laid out in numerical order. If your team pack is not there, come to the Front Desk to collect it.

Each team pack contains:
1 course map (printed on waterproof paper and pre marked with all the available checkpoints)
1 race number (to be worn by one member of each team - must be clearly visible)
4 safety pins (for attaching your race number)
1 EMIT card (electronic scoring device)
1 piece of cord (to secure your EMIT card)
1 plastic wallet (to protect your map)

You will be given the checkpoint descriptions and values (printed on waterproof paper) as you start.

At the appropriate time, attend the race briefing.

Bring your bike to the start and put it in the designated area for bikes when you are ready to begin.


Race Information

This event follows the usual Questars format. There may be one or two things which are slightly different from normal. You will be informed about these at the race briefing.


•    Come to the yellow arch on foot to start. Once you've started, proceed on foot to collect your bike. Exit the school on your bike.
•    When finishing, punch the finish control to stop the clock. Then hand in your EMIT card at the download station in the event HQ (Frank Parkinson Centre).
•    The course closes at 1700. Please make sure you have handed in your EMIT card at the download station before this time. You should use the Emergency Contact number (on your map) to let us know if you are running late and won't finish before 1700.


•    You can visit Mt Bike checkpoints before and after you do your Trail Run, and before and after you do your Kayaking.
•    Always wear a bike helmet.
•    Always dismount when passing horse riders. Slow down and give animals roaming free a wide berth.
•    Always follow the Mountain Bike Code and the Highway Code.
•    The terrain varies and includes some steep inclines and narrow roads. Take care. Always expect to find oncoming traffic around the next corner. Moderate your speed and keep within your technical riding capabilities.


•    The Trail Run starts and finishes from a remote transition point, which you cycle to and from.
•    You can break your Trail Run to do your Kayaking but you must not break your Trail Run to do some Mt Biking.
•    Always follow the Countryside Code


•    The kayaking starts and finishes from a remote transition point, which you cycle to and from.
•    You can only kayak within your allocated kayak time slot.
•    Maximum of two people per kayak. Solos & pairs use 1 kayak. Teams of 3 and 4 use 2 kayaks.
•    Always wear a correctly fastened buoyancy aid.
•    Ask the Quest staff at the Kayaking Transition Point for help if uncertain about where to sit / kayaking technique.
•    The double sit on top kayaks are like giant floats, cannot sink and rarely capsize. They are great fun to paddle.
•    Always follow the Navigation Code whilst on the water. Stay in control and keep clear of anglers' lines.
•    You should be able to reach all kayak checkpoints from the water without having to get out of your kayak. The checkpoints are attached to white floats which are tied to objects on the side of the canal (e.g. trees). Glide up to the checkpoint in your kayak, punch them with your EMIT card as normal and kayak on. Don’t lean out of the kayak too much as you could over balance. Do not pull on the rope as you may pull the checkpoint off. Should this happen, reattach the checkpoint and inform one of the marshals at the kayak transition.


Marshals will keep an eye on transition areas during the race but they can get pretty busy at times. In the past a couple of people have returned to transition unable to find something of theirs because they left their things loose / on their own and these became muddled up with other people's things. We therefore suggest you take the following precautions to safe guard your equipment:

•    Mt Bike items (e.g. helmet, SPDs etc.) should either be attached to or left with your bike whilst you are running / kayaking.
•    Teams lock their bikes together and solos lock one of their wheels to their bike frame.

Water will be available at the transition points for you to top up during the race.


•    Close all gates behind you.
•    Where routes are different on the ground to those marked on your map, you should follow the signs on the ground.
•    Leaving litter on the course is totally unacceptable and won't be tolerated. Please make sure all empty wrappers are securely stowed and carried back to transition / the finish with you.
•    Ensure that your competitive instincts do not override your common sense.
•    Each team must carry a first aid kit and a whistle with them.
•    If you have a serious accident, summon help by blowing six short blasts on your whistle every minute. If you hear this go immediately to assist (times of teams that give assistance to others can be adjusted accordingly). Phone 999 and tell the ambulance service where you are. Then phone one of the emergency contact numbers (on your map) to let us know.



Not all the footpaths and bridleways are obvious / clearly signed so you may find it useful in one or two places to have a compass handy to point you in the right direction.

Checkpoints are easily found if you are in the right place. Refer to the checkpoint descriptions handed out as you start so you know exactly where to look.

Ensure you know the difference between bridleways on which you can take bikes, and footpaths / other tracks on which you must not take bikes. You must keep to the permitted routes (as detailed on your map). Do not trespass onto private land or property.

For further information please see the navigation section on the race preparation page.


After the Race

Proceed immediately to the Download Station (in the Sports Hall). Remove the cord and hand in your EMIT card. You’ll receive a printout showing your total time and the split times between all the checkpoints you visited. This print out will not show your points. Results will be announced at the Prize Giving in the sports hall and put up on display afterwards.

Eating within 20-30 minutes of the finish significantly aids recovery. Food and drinks will be available from the The Quest Kitchen.

Changing rooms, showers and toilets will also be available.

A medic will be on standby throughout the day. If you pick up any minor injuries do see them afterwards as prompt attention can aid rapid recovery.

Prizes are awarded to those in the top team in each of the eleven different race categories. There are up to £1000 worth of prizes up for grabs, thanks to support from both Likeys & MuleBar.


Final Word

Remember to:

•    Respect the area and the local community
•    Be great ambassadors for adventure racing
•    Give way to members of the public
•    Give all animals a wide berth

For further information please download a copy of the Race Day Hints and Tips

Download a printable copy of all the above information here


We look forward to seeing you all on Saturday,

The Quest Team


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