The Rivette QUESTars Adventure Race Series

 

2014 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 the split times in conjunction with your map to see which checkpoints other teams visited, and the order in which they visited them.

The 2014 series leaderboard has been updated with the results from this adventure race. See the series standings at the end of this adventure race here.

Race Photos

Photos of adventure racers in action taken by the Quest Team have been added to the Questars gallery.

Look at the photos in the album to see just how wet it was and how, judging by the size of the smiles on participant's faces, the unrelenting rain only added to people's enjoyment!

Race Report

It was a wet day for the third adventure race in the 2014 Questars series, not just in the Brecon Beacons where this race was held, but across much of the rest of the UK as well. This however didn’t seem to deter those that had already entered from taking part, with a record number actually turning up on the day to start.

Participants began on bikes from the town of Brecon itself. Situated on the floor of Usk Valley and surrounded by hills on either side, it was straight into an uphill climb whichever direction people headed unless they opted to follow the canal towpath along the scenic valley for some 6 km to the transition point. Although this was nice and flat to cycle along, the rain water collected on the surface of the towpath, forming large unavoidable muddy puddles that splattered all those who rode through them.

The kayaking took place on the sediment-rich chocolate coloured waters of the Monmouth & Brecon canal. Everyone had up to a maximum of 70 minutes in which to visit as many of the 6 kayak checkpoints as they wanted. With kayak checkpoints along the canal in both directions from the transition point participants had to decide which way to head first by looking at the relative spread and point’s values of the checkpoints. Of course it made no difference for the 25 teams that paddled 6.4 km to visit all the kayak checkpoints (180 points). The fastest time recorded for doing this was 55:16 which was set by the mixed team of Phil Scarf, Gary Davies, Outi Kamarainen & Ben Turner (Team EnduranceLife). Jon Heissig was the quickest soloist in a time of 58:43.

The trail running was split into two parts: a high level mountain trail run for those who liked a tough challenge and a low level trail run for those who didn’t want to venture too high. The low level trail run started and finished from the same transition point as the kayaking and involved, in equal measures, some nice fast flat running along by the side of the canal and some more technical rocky trails around the lower slopes of the big hills. At 14 km, with just over 300 m of ascent, it wasn’t a long round trip to visit all the trail run checkpoints (210 points) and this was reflected by the fact that some 34 teams achieved this, with the overall race winner doing so in a time of 1:20:54.

The mountain trail run started and finished from a separate transition point, which was located high up on the Brecon Beacons at a place aptly known as ‘The Gap’. At 600 m above sea level, it was the highest transition point ever used for a Questars adventure race. Just cycling up to it was a challenge as the track was steep in places and too rocky to ride in others. And the persistent rain had turned tracks like these into streams, and the streams crossing them into torrents. Nevertheless 33 teams battled uphill through the cloud for over half an hour to reach the transition. Many continued on foot up to the mountain run checkpoints on Fan Y Big (715 m) and Cribyn, which at 795 m set a new record for the highest placed checkpoint in a Questars adventure race. The cloud was down hiding the panoramic views you get on a clear day, but this only added to the remote atmosphere of the ridges and their sense of exposure. Top scorers on the mountain trail run with 135 points each were the Adidas TERREX and Accenture mixed teams, both of whom visited four of the five checkpoints and in doing so covered some 6 km over rough terrain with 400 metres of up and down.

It was hard on the brakes (and the fingers) all the way down from the high transition point for the thrilling bone-shaker of a ride back along the rocky mountain track. Where the track joined the road, the smooth tarmac offered a welcome respite from all the bumps and being knocked around, but it didn’t give the fingers or brakes any relief for there was still another couple of hundred metres to descend before reaching Brecon. Only the mixed Team EnduranceLife and ladies soloist Nicky Griffin visited all the mountain bike checkpoints (450 points), and in doing so they cycled a minimum of 42 km with over 900 m of ascent.

It rained pretty much continuously for the whole time adventure racers were out on the course, but if the smiles on participants’ faces were anything to go by this only added to the challenge and their sense of accomplishment as they crossed the finish line. Veteran Nick Gracie (adidas TERREX) visited all but one run, one bike and one kayak checkpoint to win overall with 920 points, whilst a score of 860 points saw Kris Smith (Team EnduranceLife) finish second. Not much separated the top two mixed teams with the adidas TERREX team of Ian Furlong, Mark Humphrey, Tom Davies & Renee Saxton scoring 850 points, just 10 more than Team EnduranceLife. With a lead of 120 points over their nearest rivals, Matt Unsworth & James Brown were clear winners of the men’s teams’ class with a score of 835 points, whilst Nicki Adams (TriAdventure) scored 745 points to win the ladies class.

Top honours in the Novice category went to the men’s team of Mostyn Jones, Ivan Teed & Richard Carey who, with 650 points, were the only novice team to collect more than 600 points. Victoria Grove & Christopher Hall (Accenture) came first the novice mixed class with 550 points whilst the novice ladies class was won with 490 points scored by Sarah Denness, Bex Smith & Sarah Gillam. Top scorer in the Duo race (which does not involve any kayaking) was Sid Hardy who amassed 610 points. Prizes from event partners Likeys, MuleBar, MapDec & Muc-Off were awarded to all the aforementioned winners of each class.

Well done to everyone that took part. Hopefully it’ll be a bit drier for the next one-day race in the 2014 Questars Adventure Race Series which takes place on Sat 19 July in the Chilterns. 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 all the places go!

 

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