Quest Wales

Running. I love it. When someone asks me if I want to do a race my first instinct, even before I read about it, is to check my calender to see if I’m free. My history of triathlons is not quite so positive though. Cycling I can take or leave, but I’m not going to jump at the chance to do it. Swimming. Well, let’s just say I didn’t know what it’s like to be last in a race until I did a few.

When the guys over at the Quest Adventure Series asked if I wanted to take part in their multi-stage Wales event my first thought was ‘here we go again’ as images of outdoor swimming in a choppy lake floated back into my mind. I opened the website and looked through the details. Thank heavens, no swimming. Instead, the race features a kayak section across a Snowdonian lake, in summer. That’ll do me.

With my swimming trunks still firmly stowed at the bottom of my drawer, I emailed back with a firm ‘ hell yes’. Later realising that I’m also pretty bad at kayaking – at least you don’t have to actually get in the water though, unless you’re really unlucky.

Starting and finishing in the Welsh village of Betws-y-Coed, a place that any UK outdoorsy types will be more than familiar with, the race series includes trail running, road cycling and the previously (excitedly) mentioned kayaking, as participants make their way across some of the toughest and beautiful landscape in the UK. As locations go, you’d struggle to find a better place for an event.

There are also three routes to the race, a 53km expert course, a 42km sport course and a 25km challenge. Disregarding the name of it I obviously opted for the expert course, something I’m probably going to be regretting come June now I’ve seen the six stage breakdown:

Stage 1: Trail Run (6km)
Stage 2: Road Bike (13km)
Stage 3: Kayak (1km)
Stage 4: Run (11km)
Stage 5: Road Bike (15km)
Stage 6: Run (7km)

… yeah a bit more than your average triathlon stage format.

So with two months left until I head over to the Welsh mountains, preparation has, albeit slightly late, started. Now I just need to find somewhere to practice my kayaking.

You can still sign up to the event by heading here. You need to hire or rent a bike but the kayaks are supplied as part of the entry fee. Participants also get a medal, a piece of kit, an after party and a pretty sweet chance to enjoy some mountains, lakes, and waterfalls. Oh, and have a look at the video for a bit more info on the sport and expert route.

Note: We’ve received a complimentary review place in the Quest Wales adventure race