The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series
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Full Race Results available via http://www.emituk.com/

 

The third event in the Rivette 2008 questars Adventure Race Series was held on Saturday 19 July in the ever popular Cannock Chase. It is three years since questars visited the Chase so both organisers and participants alike were pleased to be returning to a favourite area for adventure racers.

 

Read on for a report on this race

 

Action shots of participants are available at www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk

 

 

The third event in the Rivette 2008 questars Adventure Race Series was held on Saturday 19 July in the ever popular Cannock Chase. It is three years since questars visited the Chase so both organisers and participants alike were pleased to be returning to a favourite area for adventure racers.

 

At the Race Briefing varied terrain was promised. The Chase certainly delivered this. It has delightful deciduous woodlands and coniferous plantations, and many areas of open heathland.  With the special permission of the local estate some splendid parkland close to the event centre added further variety to the course. Additionally teams enjoyed a scenic stretch of the Staffordshire and Worcestershire canal on the kayaks and the canal towpath has recently been designated as an off road route and this too was incorporated into the many course options. 

 

Variable weather complemented the varied terrain. Just as the last Masters teams were starting their races the threatening clouds opened and provided the first heavy shower of the day. The gusty wind that was proving problematic to golfers at the Open also impacted on teams as they criss-crossed the Chase. Thankfully the temperature was mild and the sun frequently came out and rewarded everyone’s exertions by shining strongly at the end of the day, enabling teams to enjoy their hot chilli outside after the event. 

 

A remote run/bike transition in the heart of the Chase opened up many different routes for teams. Everyone started and finished their race on bikes and could then pick up biking checkpoints at anytime between visiting the two transition points. This gave rise to virtually every team taking different routes and teams spreading themselves widely over the area. Do take a look at the full results at http://www.emituk.com/ where you can review which route each team took and their split times between each CP. 

 

The kayaking stage was based at a lock a little north of the event centre. The six kayaking checkpoints and the Quest fleet of stable sit on top kayaks were divided in two – half north and half south of the lock. Most teams therefore did not need to portage their kayak around the lock -just enjoy the calm water and water birds whilst collecting CPs. Being in sync. with each other is key to success when paddling and interestingly a good number of the eight teams that cleared all six canal side CPs are husband and wife teams……  

 

Trail running checkpoints were scattered liberally across the core area of the Chase. This gave rise to many strategic decisions as to when to turn back to the transition point. The sole participant to clear the whole run stage commented that he’d particularly enjoyed this mental challenge as to which checkpoint to visit next. 

 

Another little surprise for this event was revealed when teams collected their Checkpoint Values and Descriptions card under the big yellow start arch. This normally reveals the three dummy checkpoints on the run and bike stages. Teams were surprised to find that only the run had dummy checkpoints and that all 18 red CPs on the map were able to be visited on bikes to collect points. This gave even more route options whilst on bikes and acknowledges that the Chase is a mecca for mountain bikers with its myriad of off road routes. 

 

Teams who know the Chase well mentioned afterwards that they still visited parts they’d never been too before. Newcomers to the area left with lasting memories of the great terrain on offer in the heart of England. A number commented that in future when travelling on the M6, that bounded the western edge of the course map, they’d look across at the green Chase and remember their adventure race there. Many vowed to return soon. 

 

Strong scores were posted by many teams. Prize winners in eleven categories collected a bag full of great prizes donated by questars events sponsors including SIS, Silva, Timex, The Bike Chain, 2 Pure, Rivette, Merrell and Likeys. Indeed Matt and Barry from Likeys – the adventure racing equipment and clothing specialists – not only provided some of the prizes, they also provided a great array of their merchandise at a shop in the event centre and took part in the event themselves in the Masters Mens Team category.  

 

Another familiar face at questars, the photographer, Jon Brooke also took part and indeed posted the fourth highest overall points total. To celebrate this Jon is offering a number of the great images of teams, taken throughout the day by his colleague Lauris, free of charge. You can view these at their website at www.rightplacerighttime.co.uk 

 

The final event in the 2008 Rivette questars Adventure Race Series will be held on Saturday 6 September on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset. 

Not a true island – Purbeck is a scenic jewel, just to the south of Poole Harbour. Places for this event are being taken up extremely quickly with three quarters of available places already taken. So if you are intending to take part do enter online quickly via www.questars.co.uk to secure a place as its certain to sell out well before the event. Results there will decide the final position in the series leaderboard. The top ten overall point scorers across three of the four questars events will receive tremendous series prizes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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