The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series



The Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series - Race 3


Full race results are kindly provided by EMIT and are available above. Click here to see the 2009 series leaderboard which has been updated with the scores from this race.


Kirk Lee, a Sleepmosters photographer, took photos of teams during this race. You can have a look at these photos and purchase copies from the Sleepmonsters website here.

Race Report:

Over 400 adventure racers gathered in the Vale of Pewsey for the start of the third event in the Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series on Saturday 18 July. The morning brought with it bright but breezy conditions which was more than welcome after all the heavy rain, and thunder & lightening, on Friday.

Upon arrival, teams collected their race packs which contained, amongst other things, a pre-marked map printed on waterproof paper showing the location of all the trail running, mountain biking and kayaking checkpoints. Teams studied the map intensely looking at the many different route options, trying to decide which was best for them and whether they would run or bike first. However, with a few checkpoints being dummies, and these not being revealed until the start, teams would have to adjust their preferred route as they started.

Some of the public rights of way marked on the map did not exist on the ground while others that were marked on the map did not accurately reflect what was on the ground. Where possible these had been corrected on the map and were highlighted at the pre-race safety briefing, attended by all competitors. Teams were warned that these issues may affect other public rights of way not highlighted and if they were in any doubt then they should follow what was on the ground rather than what was on the map. Racers were also advised to take full leg cover with them as the vegetation was high along a few of the narrow paths and bridleways.

Soon teams gathered under the big yellow arch for the staggered start which saw teams punch the start control and collect a checkpoint descriptions card before heading off on bike or on foot. The majority of teams preferred to run first heading out along the Kennet & Avon canal towpath to pick up their first checkpoint. Crossing the dummy checkpoints off the map revealed the remaining trail run checkpoints formed a figure of eight course with one loop stretching up onto the Wiltshire Downs to the north of Pewsey and the other heading south up onto another range of chalk hills. High value checkpoints up on the hills tempted many to make the short but steep climb up onto them. Once on the ridgeline teams were rewarded with spectacular views down over Pewsey Vale and for some of the top teams, that made it up onto both ranges of hills, they could look across at the other range of hills in the distance and see just how far they had run.

Throughout the day, teams came back to kayak on a lovely tranquil stretch of the Kennet & Avon canal. The kayaking stage is often the highlight for many people as it is a welcome break for many legs tired from running or biking. With teams only allowed a maximum of 55 minutes on the water and checkpoints well spaced out along the canal it was only the bravest of the fastest teams that managed to visit all the kayaking checkpoints in the time available. 

Teams ventured up onto both the range of hills to the north and south of Pewsey again for the mountain biking but this time they had to go beyond and further along them in order to reach the mountain bike checkpoints. The going was generally firm along the ridge lines, with all the rain that had fallen in the previous 24 hours draining much better off the chalk hills than the surrounding lowland. Teams were encouraged to head southwards where, although checkpoints were widely spaced, the tracks were hard and fast. That was apart from one particularly boggy bridleway which was aptly named as Clay Lane on the map, but even this didn’t put off many unsuspecting adventure racers from trying to cycle along it.

With the Masters having been out for almost six hours and the Novices out for just under five hours, all teams started to arrive back at the finish. Some cut it rather fine and had to rush to the line in order to avoid getting a penalty for being late back. There were smiles all round as people were both relieved to have finished and happy to have achieved their own personal goals. Many people took the opportunity to get hot food and drink from the Quest kitchen, with the beef curry proving very popular. There were also a couple of masseurs on hand from coast massage, who were kept busy tending to weary limbs. As teams recuperated in the sports hall, photos taken throughout the day by Sleepmonsters were projected onto the wall for all to see. 

The prize giving took place inside as soon as all the results were in. Sue from series title sponsors Likeys presented the team members of each of the eleven categories with there prize vouchers, that could be redeemed against the purchase of adventure racing clothing and equipment from the Likeys online store at Top honours went to Matthew Leathwood who visited all the running and the mountain biking checkpoints to win the race outright with an amazing score of 975 points. But the fast course meant several other teams scored more than 900 points, and in doing so they recorded personal best scores for the season - so well done to all you too!.

This was another sell out questars event, with kayak places being filled several weeks beforehand. So teams interested in taking part in the next questars event are advised to enter soon here, if they haven’t already done so. This is the fourth and final questars event of 2009 and it is being held on Saturday 5 September at Pershore, Worcestershire. The course is set in some wonderful Cotswold countryside and with the kayaking on a lovely stretch of the River Avon, this promises to be a great event to round off the Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series.

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