The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

 

2013 Questars Adventure Race Series - Race 5

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 the split times in conjunction with your map to see which checkpoints other teams visited and the order in which they visited them.

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 have been added to the Questars gallery.

Look at the album to see photos of adventure racers kayaking on a scenic stretch of the River Severn along with all the other photos taken on the day.

Race Report

Several hundred adventure racers from all over the country descended on the Wyre Forest on Saturday to take part in the fifth event in the 2013 Questars Adventure Race Series. Going into this race, Kevin Stephens was top of the 2013 series leader board and had laid down the target to beat. But with this and one more adventure race in the series still to come, there was still time for this to all change.

Questars had not held an adventure race in this part of the UK before so regular participants could look forward to the challenge of racing in a new area. The Severn Valley ran through the heart of the course area, so those who didn’t know this part of the UK could be forgiven for thinking that there wouldn’t be any big hills. But the high undulating terrain on both sides of the River Severn meant this course on the north Worcestershire – south Shropshire border had almost as much up and down as the course for last year’s race in the Brecon Beacons, which is well known for its big hills unlike the Wyre Forest!

Conditions were near perfect for adventure racing. The air temperature was quite cool and the cloud broke up throughout the day to give some sunny spells. And the showers that had been forecast stayed away right up until the end of the day, when those still out on the course had an early welcome light shower.

Participants started in Bewdley and had up to a maximum of six hours in which to visit as many checkpoints as possible on foot, by bike and in a kayak. Everyone began on bikes and cycled to the remote transition point, visiting some of the mountain bike checkpoints on the way. There were a number of different route options; the most direct route to the transition point was on the east side of the River Severn, whilst on the west side of the river participants could choose to stick to the relatively easy-going national cycle route through one of the largest areas of semi-natural woodland remaining in the UK or take on the network of bridleways which provided more of a technical challenge. Whichever route they took there was no escaping a considerable climb up over higher ground. But on the plus side, this did mean there was a nice long descent down to the transition point for all to enjoy.

The kayaking took place on a lovely stretch of the River Severn where the water moved quite fast in some places. Regular Questars participants noticed the difference as the water was flowing considerably quicker than the parts of the River Thames and the River Avon used for previous Questars adventure races earlier this year. However, the river was wide and participants could save a lot of time and energy by sticking to the slower moving water near the sides of the river when paddling upstream. Those visiting the furthest kayak checkpoints had to get out and walk over some pebbles around a small rapid.

The paddle up river against the flow was hard work but this was soon forgotten as participants turned around and headed back down river with the flow, getting back to transition in two-thirds the time it had taken them to kayak up river. Some walked back round the rapid whilst others choose to kayak down it. Although small, care was needed to avoid getting stuck on rocks and being taken with the flow into a jumbled assortment of flood debris that had collected around tree trunks and large branches in the water. Seven teams managed to visit all the kayak checkpoints within the 60 minute time limit, and in doing so score 200 points – the maximum for this discipline. A special mention goes to Iain Porter for doing this the quickest in 52.47, the only female to do so - Nicki Barron and also to Simon Bevis & William Riley who were the only Novice team that achieved this.

Participants were advised at the race briefing before the start that there were two very different parts to the trail run; a comparatively easy run, in terms of navigation and terrain, along the picturesque banks of the River Severn and a much more challenging run amongst the myriad of trails in the forested slopes above the River Severn. Participants could choose which they did or do a bit of both. Those preferring running over navigation enjoyed some splendid trail running alongside the River Severn and the Severn Valley Railway where every so often the passenger steam train would chug past in this otherwise tranquil environment. Theoretically those who ventured into the forest shouldn’t have had to cover so much ground to earn points. But this depended on how good their navigation was and how easily they located the checkpoints for it was easy to get confused by all the different trails - and many did from the sounds of things as people emerged from the woods to pick up their bike from transition.

With the time limit fast approaching everyone made their way back to Bewdley on bikes to finish. After crossing the finish line, there was hot food, drink and showers waiting for participants. Prizes, kindly provided by Likeys and MuleBar, were awarded to the occupants of the winning team in each of the eleven classes at the prize giving.

The top two participants both scored 890 points but it was Kevin Stephens (Team Endurancelife) who emerged as the overall race winner, finishing just over a minute ahead of Nick Gracie (Team adidas TERREX Prunesco). Carol Yarrow won the Ladies class with an impressive 725 points, whilst top spot in the mixed class went to Joanna Wilson & Alisdair Mason who scored 710 points. And 680 points was enough for Bruce Caldwell & John Peters to take the top spot in the men’s teams’ class.

The novice category was won by men’s soloist David Carr who scored 675 points. Veteran David Hughes collected 590 points to finish top of his class and second overall in the novice category whilst 565 points was just enough to see Mike & Hilary Gibson finish top of the novice mixed class. The highest score in novice men’s teams’ class was 500 points by Peter Shipp & Rob Jordan. And the novice ladies team of Rebecca Topham, Laura Price & Kate Browning finished with 495 points to win their class. The Duo race which involves just the trail running and mountain biking was won by Sid Hardy with a score of 600 points.

Well done to everyone that took part. The next race in the 2013 Questars Adventure Race Series takes place on the 5 & 6 October in the South Downs. Like all Questars adventure races, it is suitable for both novice and experienced teams of 1, 2, 3 or 4 people. There are only a few places left - enter online now before it’s sells out!

 

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