I was about to title this post ‘the season kicks off for 2011’, but then I realised that Tough Guy, while seeming like a whole life time ago was actually less than two months in the past. However just as we seem to regard Tough Guy as the culmination of the adventure racing season in Team Iceds, then the Questars New Forest race always seemed to mark the beginning of the year’s outdoor activities.
This was our third Questar race and it followed the same format as the previous two in 2010 and 2008 (not sure what happened in 2009). Basically you have five hours to hit as many running and cycling check points around the New Forest as possible. Each checkpoint is worth a different amount of points the team that gets the most wins – simples.
To be honest, and to no great shock to anyone, we’re never in contention for the medals and this year was no different. The weather was glorious, more like May than March, and the location was slightly different with the race home being Fordingham and not Brockenhurst as per the previous races. This proved handy for two reasons. One if meant no camping in March (hurrah!), instead we stayed at Sandy Balls (I know). Its onsite bike shop was a godsend when I punctured my tyre on the way down and required a new inner tube in the morning. It was also incredibly handy when, between checkpoints two and three and my chain snapped, that we were only a mile or so and could get a new one fitted. We lost about 40 minutes on the repair, which was a bugger, but it would’ve meant the end of the race without it.
We were also slowed by the newest member of the team having his seat too way too low and iddy biddy cleat pedals. This meant that the unfittest member was even more hampered and slowed us down a fair bit. He’s promised to do better in future and let Sean resume his place as the weak link in the team, though admittedly it was nice for me not to be the slowest on the team for a change. It seems the health kick post-Tough Guy has paid off a little.
We hit around 13 checkpoints, missing only one or two of the biking check points but only hitting one of the running ones. We got 345 points and came in 28th, the same as our first year in 2008, although that was good enough for 26th then, In 2010 we hit a peak of 375 and came 26th. I predict that 2011, we’ll get over 400 and still be 26th.
Fiona calculated that we cycled around 45 kms and we’ll draw a discret veil over how far we didn’t run. It was a thoroughly enjoyable day out and a great weekend. We’ve, sort of, plotted out the rest of the year and made a crucial decision on how we should rate events. After Tough Guy we had a hearty meal and all devoured many, large, deserts. Three in some cases. This year Questars was more of a half a pudding effort.