The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

 

2013 Questars Adventure Race Series - Race 4

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 here

Race Photos

Photos of this adventure race taken by the Quest Team whilst patrolling the course have been added to the Questars gallery.

Look at the album to see photos of adventure racers running, mountain biking and kayaking out on the course near the transition point.

Race Report

The fourth event in the 2013 Questars Adventure Race Series took place in the Wiltshire Downs on Saturday 13 July amid rather hot and humid conditions. In fact it was the warmest day of the year so far with temperatures hitting the thirty degree centigrade mark. The race attracted some of the top adventure racing teams from across the country hoping to earn UK Adventure Racing Championship points. Alongside them were lots of ordinary folk who were out to have some fun and enjoy the challenge, a considerable number of whom had never done an adventure race before.

Starting and finishing in Pewsey, participants had up to a maximum of six hours during which to visit as many checkpoints as possible on foot, by bike and in a kayak. Everyone began on bikes. Some teams headed directly for the transition point to do the kayaking and/or the trail run first, visiting a few of the mountain bike checkpoints on the way there. Others elected to stay on their bikes to do the bulk of the mountain biking first and went off in search of other bike checkpoints.

There couldn’t have been a better day for cycling along the tops of the Downs, past fields of poppies and through the buttercup meadows. The far reaching views over the Wiltshire countryside were amazing and the mountain biking was fast and free flowing. Although the climb up onto the Downs was hard work for some, especially in the heat, the mountain bike checkpoints were positioned such that once up on the Downs participants could stay up there rather than having to keep going up and down again.

The dry ground provided a good firm surface on which to cycle. Consequently the mountain bike course was a big one with checkpoints spread out over a large area stretching east along the Vale of Pewsey towards Devizes and north over the Wiltshire Downs past Avebury. Anyone who visited all the mountain bike checkpoints would have to cycle at least 50 km and ascend over 675 m in the process. Only six teams achieved this and in doing so they scored 450 points - the maximum available for the mountain biking.

The kayaking took place on a 6 km stretch of the Kennet & Avon canal. There wasn’t much shade on the canal but just being on the water had a welcome cooling effect and the drips that came off the paddles as they turned helped with this.

With three kayak checkpoints to the east of the transition point and another three to the west, teams had to decide which direction to head first. The answer depended on how many kayak checkpoints you intended to visit and involved looking at the relative value and spacing of each. Some clearly didn’t do this and will no doubt be kicking themselves for not visiting the high value kayak checkpoint just to the west of the kayak transition.

No one visited all six kayak checkpoints but a good number of teams did manage to visit all but one of the kayak checkpoints within their fifty minute timeslot, scoring 170 points in the process. Some of these teams could have saved a bit of time and energy by visiting the eastern most kayak checkpoint instead the westernmost one. Both were worth 30 points but the western one involved a slightly longer paddle to get to - and a lie back to get under a low bridge! John and Andrew Wilson got it right though. They clocked the fastest time of the day of 42:43 for visiting five of the six kayak checkpoints.

The trail run checkpoints were positioned such that they offered lots of different route permutations. And the best route didn’t become any more obvious after the dummy checkpoints had been crossed off the map. There were three trail run checkpoints up on the Downs overlooking the rest of the trail run area, in the Vale of Pewsey down below where participants were treated to relatively easy running around flat and low lying fields, through a couple of picturesque rural Wiltshire villages and alongside the tranquil waters of the Kennet & Avon canal.

With few wooded areas, there was very little shade anywhere on the course and this took its toll on participants particularly on the trail run. Team adidas TERREX Prunesco were the only team to visit all the trail run checkpoints. In doing so they covered 24.2 km and climbed just over 300 m in an impressive time of 2:32:10 given the heat.

With time running out everyone made their way back to the finish on bikes. After crossing the finish line, participants sought shade in the large sports hall where food and drink was available to begin the process of replenishing lost fluid and calories. Prizes, kindly supplied by Likeys and MuleBar, were awarded to the occupants of the winning team in each of the eleven classes at the prize giving.

The mixed Endurancelife team of Sabrina Verjee, Ian Grace, Ben Turner & Gary Davies were the overall race winners with a score of 850 points, fifty more than the adidas TERREX Prunesco team of Nick Gracie, Nicola MacLeod, Matt Morris & Ian Furlong in second place. Veteran Matt Unsworth (mightcontainnuts.com) scored 775 points to finish third overall. The men’s solo class was won by Matthew Humphrey’s with 750 points whilst Vytautas Martinaitis & Rokas Ignotas scored 575 points to take top spot in the men’s team class. Carol Yarrow won the ladies class - she actually collected the third most points of anyone but ended up with a score of 665 points after over running and picking up a penalty for exceeding the six hour time limit.

The best novice participant was men’s solo David Carr who scored 670 points. Jon Godfrey & Dan Anson collected an equal number of points but were late back, so they ended up with a score of 596 points which was still good enough for top spot in the novice men’s team class. Gill Harrison and Annie & Warwick Elkins scored 555 points to win the novice veterans class whilst Kate & Ben Sealy won the novice mixed class with 539 points. The winning score in the novice ladies class was 429 points scored by Rachel Mackinney & Rebecca Westall. The Duo race which involves just the trail running and mountain biking was won by Sid Hardy with a score of 605 points.

Well done to everyone that took part – it wasn’t easy in the heat! Hopefully it will be a little bit cooler for the next race in the 2013 Questars Adventure Race Series which takes place on the 7 September in north Worcestershire. Like all Questars adventure races, it is suitable for both novice and experienced teams of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people. Enter online now before it fills up!

 

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