The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

 

2013 Questars Adventure Race Series - Race 3

Race Results

A full set of results for this adventure race are attached to the top of this page. Remember you can learn a lot for your next adventure race by looking at other team's split times in conjunction with your map to see what route they took.

The 2013 series leaderboard has been updated with the results from this adventure race - download a copy here.

Race Photos

Photos of this adventure race taken by the Quest Team whilst out and about around the course have been added to the Questars gallery.

Look at the event album to see participants in action on the water as they kayaked, at the run transition and also as they crossed the finish line.

Race Report

The third event in the 2013 Questars Adventure Race Series took place on the north western fringe of the Cotswolds. Conditions were ideal for those taking part; it wasn’t too cold or too hot and it wasn’t wet or windy either. It was a bit grey, but the cloud stayed high and even broke in places to let the sun through on one or two occasions.

There was only really one hill on the course - Bredon Hill - but at over eight kilometres in diameter and towering some three hundred metres above the surrounding area it was a big one which occupied much of the event map. However with some careful route choice, participants did not need to climb Bredon Hill more than twice (once on the trail run and once whilst mountain biking) in order to visit all the checkpoints and clear the course.

Participants collected a copy of the checkpoint descriptions and values printed on waterproof paper as they started. The first task was to cross the dummy checkpoints off their map. Then, for all but the top adventure racers who would try to clear the course, it was a case of looking to see which checkpoints had the highest value and planning routes accordingly to take in as many of these as possible. For some this made little difference to their planned route whilst others had to rethink their initial intentions.

With plans in place, everyone left the event base on bikes. The course was such that it was best to run to and from the kayak transition, visiting trail run checkpoints along the way. So those kayaking in the first timeslot cycled directly to the run transition and then ran the four kilometres to kayak transition. Everyone else meanwhile either continued mountain biking or cycled to the run transition to do the trail run first.

Participants heading for the high scoring mountain bike checkpoints on top of Bredon Hill needed to pay particular attention to the contours on the map when deciding which bridleway to cycle up and which one to descend on. Which route was right depended on your technical ability. With the near side of the hill significantly steeper in places than the far side of the hill it was best for some to cycle round the hill to the far side before beginning their ascent – once at the top they could then enjoy an exhilarating bone-shaking descent down the other side of the hill if they wanted to. However those without the strength or stamina to keep pedalling up such a sustained incline were better off pushing their bikes up the steep side. That way they could then enjoy the nice long flowing descent down the far side. But those that didn’t want to take their bikes up Bredon Hill didn’t have to. The other mountain bike checkpoints were positioned such they could miss out the three checkpoints on top of Bredon Hill and enjoy a nice long circular ride around the bottom of the hill instead, through the Cotswold countryside and picturesque villages made of Cotswold stone buildings with thatched roofs and idyllic gardens.

The bridleways were firm and generally provided a good fast ride-able surface. This was reflected by the fact that eighteen teams visited all the mountain bike checkpoints and in doing so scored the maximum 400 points for this discipline. The shortest route between all the bike checkpoints was 41.5 km and involved 675 m of ascent and descent, though most ended up cycling quite a bit more than this. Not everyone picked the most efficient route with a few cycling up and down the hill twice!

The trail run was a big one. Over 28 km and at least 625 m of up and down had to be covered in order to visit all the run checkpoints. Most of the top teams visited all but the furthest trail run checkpoint. Only two teams did make it all the way out to this checkpoint (number 17). They were Dan Brice and the men’s team of Chris Dale & Josh Baker, but both dropped other lesser value run checkpoints along the way. So no one cleared the trail run course despite the favourable conditions. A lot of participants made it up to the trail run checkpoint on the top of Bredon Hill near Banbury Stone Tower which stands tall and can be seen from miles around. The last bit up to the top (or the first bit down depending on which way round you tackled the course) was incredibly steep but the panoramic views across the Midland Plain towards the Malvern Hills and the Black Mountains were well worth the effort.

The kayaking took place on a beautifully quiet stretch of the River Avon. Bredon Hill formed the back drop and the large stone tower on its top was nothing more than a distant dot on the skyline giving some indication of just how much ground participants had covered. Each kayak slot was an hour in duration and it was a 6.4 km round trip to the furthest kayak checkpoint and back, so timing was critical if you were going to visit all the kayak checkpoints within the time limit. Only two people did this successfully; Iain Porter in 55:25 and Olympic canoe slalom medallist Campbell Walsh in 54:49.

Campbell and Ian went on to finish first and second overall with both visiting all but the furthest run checkpoint to finish on the same number of points with scores of 960 (out of 1000). However Campbell did so in an amazing time of 5:28:40, some twenty five minutes quicker than Iain, to take the top spot. Ian Grace (Team Endurancelife) won the veterans class having collected 920 points in the six hour time limit to finish third overall. The top mixed team of Katie Roby & Steve Ironside and the top men’s team of Phil Haycock & Scott Richardson both scored 840 points, which was only ten more points than Carol Yarrow who was the highest scoring person in the ladies class.

There was another tie at the top of the five hour Duo race which involves just the trail running and the mountain biking disciplines. Both Stephen Jobson and Sid Hardy finished on 670 points, but Stephen did so a couple of minutes quicker than Sid to clinch first place.

The five hour Novice race was won by Veteran Darren Broadhurst with 725 points. David Carr finished first in the Novice men’s solo class with 640 points whilst the top spot in the Novice men’s team class went to Richard Page & Rob Harwood who collected 630 points. 600 points was enough for Andrew Millar, Robert Millar & Sophie Harrison to finish top of the Novice mixed class, whilst the Novice ladies team of Rebecca Topham, Laura Price, Kate Browning & Denise Evans came first in their class. Prizes, kindly supplied by Likeys and MuleBar, were awarded to the winners in each of the eleven classes at the prize giving.

The next race in the 2013 Questars Adventure Race Series takes place on the 13 July in Wiltshire and is suitable for both novice and experienced teams of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people. Kayak places are going quickly so if you want to take part and haven't got your entry in yet, best to enter online soon.

 

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