The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

 

The Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series - Race 2

Results:

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.

Photos:

Photos of this race can be found in the questars online gallery here.

Race Report:

The second sell out event in the Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series took place on a gloriously sunny day in the stunning Brecon Beacons National Park on Saturday 30 May.

At the pre race briefing teams were welcomed and advised that they had a real treat ahead with the classic 5 Cs of adventure racing available in spades, with lots of Challenge and Competition – as the surrounding hills and full hall of expectant teams testified. With 36 optional checkpoints to choose from there was a great Choice for teams who were able to make their own route choices to match their strengths. These checkpoints had been specially sited to maximise the opportunity for teams to see the best of the wonderful surrounding Countryside and gain many spectacular views. And finally the all important Camaraderie of adventure racing was clear as team mates were encouraged to help each other and cheer on other teams as they passed each other around the course.

Soon pre event nerves were forgotten as teams started under the big yellow arch and received the key Checkpoint card. This revealed the value of each of the checkpoints and which three of the trail run and mountain bike checkpoints did not exist. Some quick revisions of routes took place and teams resolved that it was worth going to the top of some of the hills to pick up the highest value checkpoints. There were plenty of closer checkpoints too so that all comers were able to devise a course that suited their experience and stamina.

The sunny conditions and warm temperatures were quite a factor. The strong breeze was very welcome. As was the shade and cooling waters of the tranquil Monmouthshire and Brecon canal that provided the venue for the kayaking stage of the event. With five canal checkpoints to the east of the kayak transition point most teams headed off in that direction first to see how far they could paddle and return within their allocated 55 minutes on the water. Would there be enough time to return and go under the bridge as far as the lock to gain the sixth checkpoint?

Returning to dry land after kayaking is always tough as leg muscles need to get back into running mode and also the fierce sun could no longer be avoided. Some of the nearest checkpoints were along the rocky banks of the beautiful River Usk had the advantage of still being in the shade. There were at least four different circuits available on the trail run stage most involving some significant climbs. The highest value checkpoint of the day was at the summit of the highest hill – or rather mountain - as 551 metre Tor y Foel was a worthy summit and afforded magnificent 360 degree views across to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons.

With many off road tracks and great diversity of terrain the mountain bike stage was the highlight for many teams. The widely distributed bike checkpoints needed careful route choices and a clear strategy to link them together. The results show that there was a wide variation in routes taken. Everyone who got upto the bike checkpoints around Talybont Reservoir had a great time with challenging descents and a fair bit of mud, despite the dry conditions elsewhere, on an old tramway route.

Five teams managed to visit all 15 bike checkpoints and pick up all 450 points available on this stage. This included Patrick Meldrum running as UK Adventure Sports Magazine. Patrick repeated his overall win at the first event in The Likeys 2009 questars Adventure Race Series with another very impressive haul of points. This time he was pushed very hard indeed by 2007 & 2008 questars series champion Matthew Leathwood who gained more trail run and kayaking points but lost out to Patrick by just 5 points overall.

After teams returned exhausted and exhilarated to the Finish line they quickly recovered with the aid of the Quest kitchen (supplying much needed food and drink) and a welcome shower and change of clothing. As teams relaxed in the sun afterwards they had to be encouraged inside for the announcement of results and prize giving. Team members in the eleven race categories were awarded by Sue from series title sponsors Likeys, prize certificates that incorporate vouchers for spending at the Likeys adventure store that has now become a regular feature of questars events. They can be exchanged for any items in their extensive range of specialist outdoor and adventure clothing and kit available from Likeys which you can check out at www.likeys.com

The popularity of questars events are such that all available places for this event sold out over 6 weeks beforehand. So teams that have not as yet entered the next two events in the series were encouraged to do so via the questars online entry system to secure a place. These events are on:

  • Saturday 18 July  -  based at Pewsey with a course exploring the Wiltshire Downs and the Kennet & Avon canal, and  on
  • Saturday 5 September  - based at Pershore, Worcestershire with some wonderful Cotswold countryside and kayaking on a lovely stretch of the River Avon

‘Thanks for organising another fantastic event at an excellent location on an absolutely glorious weekend. Had a thoroughly brilliant day, dancing over the rocks by the River Usk, clambering up the hills and thundering down some awesome descents on the bike’. Team Wight Mountain

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