The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

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The 2011 Questars Adventure Race Series - Race 1

Results:

Full race results, provided by EMIT, are available to download and view above.

Photos:

Photos taken during the event by the Quest Team have been put in the Questars website gallery here.

Race Report:

The sun shone all weekend upon the participants in the first Questars event of the 2011 series. 

The event which took place in the New Forest, with Novices taking part on Sunday following the Masters and Questars Duo participants that competed on Saturday.

Adventure racers were advised at the Race Briefing that the clear weather of recent weeks had dried many of the trails and tracks across the forest and heathland making for ideal conditions. In order to gain access to some of the best terrain in the national park everyone departed from the event HQ on bikes and headed via a scattering of optional biking checkpoints for the remote transition point that was located beside one of the many lakes in the Avon Valley. Here teams could choose whether to run next or kayak on the lake.

The attractive lake provided a very scenic venue for the kayaking stage of the Questars Trio event. The Quest fleet of orange and yellow sit on top kayaks were a colourful sight as teams fanned out to all corners of the lake in search of the floating checkpoints. Everyone then converged upon a special X checkpoint on the western shore to validate the points gained.  For many newcomers the nerves of kayaking for the first time were soon overcome as racers appreciated how straight forward the kayaks are to paddle. A good number of teams managed to collect all the available points by visiting all the kayaking checkpoints. There were many smiles and not a few stiff legs as teams disembarked to continue their race on bikes or on foot. 

During the Trail Run stage teams discovered that the New Forest is not as flat as they thought! After some checkpoints close to the lake further trail run points were only available after climbing up the western edge of the New Forest plateau. For those with the energy to do so, this afforded some wonderful views all across the wide open heathlands of the north western parts of the national park. Whilst most of the area had dried well there was still some mud to be found. A clue in the name of the area around CP18 advised teams to be prepared for wet conditions in Linwood Bog!  A few brave teams managed to collect all 16 of the trail run checkpoints  - a significant achievement.

Other teams majored on the biking checkpoints and really enjoyed the network of designated cycleways that criss cross this part of the New Forest. Alot more teams managed to visit all the biking red checkpoints and in doing so covered over 50kms. Teams returned with many tales of seeing a variety of livestock including the iconic New forest ponies, plus donkeys, cattle and deer. Indeed the course planner sighted a rare albino deer when placing out the checkpoints the day before.

Most teams timed their return to event HQ well and crossed the finish line within their allocated 5 or 6 hours. For others caught by the temptation to visit just one more checkpoint or those that suffered an unwelcome puncture there were a few penalty points for arriving back late. The sense of achievement at completing for many their first adventure race was evident. Rest and recovery at the end of the day was boosted by the welcome sight of the Quest Kitchen providing food and drink. A sports massage service also aided rapid recovery from all the exertions.

Teams then gathered in the spacious sports hall to applaud the class winners and view their own results. Congratulations to all participants and especially to those that took part in an adventure race for the first time.

 

The next Quest event is in the nearby and very scenic Purbeck area of Dorset, known as Q2 The Quest Challenge. Held over the weekend of 16 & 17 April its a two day multi stage event. There's time to recover between the various stages that involve running, biking, kayaking and some team challenges too. Like Questars its ideal for both novice and the more experienced teams of 1,2,3 or 4. There are some places still available for this event by entering on line. Further details can be found here.

 

The next one day Questars is in hillier terrain with kayaking on the tranquil Monmouthshire and Brecon canal in the Brecon Beacons on 21 May. Read more here...

 

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