Brecon Beacons Questars Adventure Race

The Quest team were in the beautiful Brecon Beacons at the weekend to deliver the third event in the 2011 Questars Adventure Race Series. Over 350 competitors took part in this multi-discipline challenge which saw them visit as many checkpoints as possible within the set amount of time available.

Tuesday 24 May 2011

The Brecon Beacons event always promised a big challenge. The hilly terrain is probably one of the toughest areas visited by Questars.

At the pre event Briefing participants were advised that this big country with big hills and big descents provided a big potential course and the biggest available haul of points available in a Questars to date.

A Big Kayaking Stage

After the starts teams split fairly evenly between those that decided to bike first compared to those that embarked upon their trail run stage first.

Others headed straight to the nearby kayaking transition point on the Monmouthshire and Brecon canal. This made for a great kayaking stage with checkpoints suspended from trees on the south side of the canal.

To match the scale of the rest of the course this was a big kayaking stage with 65 minutes available to teams to visit upto six checkpoints whilst paddling the colourful sit on top double kayaks.

Judging by the smiles on most kayaker's faces this stage was one of the highlights of the day.

Look Out for the Daleks!

The bike checkpoints were widely spread over the hills, off road trails and narrow lanes.

The biggest views had been promised from CP35 which was the goal for many teams. This was set on the edge of some quarries used for filming Dr Who. Teams had been advised to keep alert for daleks and other extra-terrestrials.

Seven teams visited all 15 of the available mountain bike checkpoints. In doing so they covered more than 41 kms of varied trails and routes with significant climb and descent. Tom Davies, the event's overall winner, managed this feat in less than three hours - a remarkable achievement. 

Rewarded by Good Views

On the trail run stage there were also many different options and potential circuits to choose.

Some teams concentrated on the flatter terrain with several checkpoints along the canal tow path and the rocky riverside path adjacent to the majestic River Usk.

Others headed out to the higher value CPs atop the nearby mountains to gain some wonderful views.

The high tops of the main Brecon Beacons were clearly visible from much of the course and bluebells were out in profusion, providing a carpet of colour.

One of the Best Yet

After the race, there was a real buzz in the hall in readiness for the prize giving as teams congregated and swapped stories of their routes, the hills and the views.

Congratulations were issued to all participants upon completing their own personal challenge. Prize certificates were presented to the winners in eleven different classes.

Feedback from teams afterwards confirmed the scale of the challenge described as ‘absolutely brilliant’ and ‘the best one yet’. Another team said it was ‘tough’ and that they had ‘really enjoyed it’.

All the kayaking places for this event sold out well before the closing date. So if you are interested in taking part in either the Wiltshire Downs Questars on 16 July or the Cotswold Hills Questars on 3 Sept it's recommended that you do so quickly online here as available places are being snapped up quickly.


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