Trail Running
Mountain Biking

Princes Risborough Adventure Race

Laura & Adam’s weekend of adventure!

We are both new runners who (foolishly) signed up to do the Great North Run in September, but quickly decided we prefer woods and trails to pounding the pavements. I can usually be found on a road bike and Laura is often found on horseback, however we’ve been enjoying getting into running and exploring, going off the beaten track. We like the idea of more “adventurous” trail running events and both thought an adventure race sounded like a fun (i.e. less boring) way of training for the half marathon. However, I had no idea how to use a compass and we were both pretty rusty on map reading… We decided to get some training before our lack of navigation skills turned a short trail run into an accidental ultra marathon.

Early (for us) on Saturday 27th June, we headed out from SW London to the Chiltern Hills, near Princes Risborough where we had arranged to meet Adam of Tri-Adventure to take one of his new navigation training courses. We found him sitting in the morning sunshine outside a lovely little tea room, and after grabbing some coffee our weekend of adventure racing began!

I had a compass but I could not remember how to use it or much about reading maps. Laura was better at all of this but the pace of the course was such that I was able to keep up and interrupt with extra questions. We learnt the theory behind everything we might need the next day to compete in the trail race without getting too lost. This included: how a compass works, different types of maps, taking grid references and locating places on the map, taking and applying bearings, understanding and reading contours, reading the map, rights of way and different types of paths and geography.

After an intense morning session, we had a sandwich and cake break. Straight after we headed out into the woods to put try out our new navigation skills. Mine were still pretty shaky and as soon as I looked away from the map and looked back I was completely lost. I’d like to blame Google Maps and GPS devices that most of us have become reliant on but I suppose I was just not used to reading and following maps. As throughout the morning, Laura was getting the hang of it much more quickly than me. After a number of “err, sorry guys, can you just show me where we are, again” moments it started to become clearer and the ideas of “thumbing the map” and orientating it were beginning to make sense and more importantly, working.

We stopped a few times to take some bearings, learn about pacing to measure distances and trying to locate ourselves based on the lay of the land and any landmarks. We then tried a map thumbing, orientation and pacing exercise. This seemed to be a bit too abstract for my brain but I muddled through and eventually managed to get from point to point in the correct order.

Following this we put our skills to the test by attempting to find a few of the checkpoints that were already laid out on the course (not the ones we’d need to find the next day!). This went surprisingly well, with Laura confidently leading and I following us on the map.

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Successfully finding a checkpoint with a view!

After navigating successfully back to the car, we had reached the end of the navigation course and we were hopefully prepared for the navigation aspect of the race the next day. We were both mentally exhausted, and physically quite tired from hiking around the hills but it was a great day out and we, I especially, learnt a lot and felt much more comfortable out walking and navigating.

After a night at a nearby pub and hearty breakfast, we returned early the next morning to take part in the trail “taster” event. Initial nerves were soon eased when we arrived to meet the friendly Tri-Adventure team and competitors at the event HQ, and we were thrilled that the Adventure Racing community seemed to be encouraging to “newbies”.  We studied the map as we drank some coffee. It was already drizzling but nothing could dampen our spirits at this point. There were 10 checkpoints, and we had an hour to find as many as possible. Thinking back to what Adam had told us about contours and “running your own race”, we planned a route of about 9 KM, taking in 5 checkpoints. We contemplated trying to squeeze in a few more, but after working out timings as Adam had taught us, we decided they were just too far and to play it safe in order to try and make it back somewhere close to the time limit.

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A touch of nerves at the route planning stage?

Adam briefed all of the competitors before we headed to line up on the start line. Everyone started the event on foot, regardless of race category, and at 10am sharp (just as the heavens opened!) we were off. There were clearly some experienced racers and runners amongst the group and everyone went off at quite a pace. Despite Adam’s warnings not to get carried away by the more experienced competitors, the mass start was fairly infectious and I suspect we set a PB for the first KM before we settled down into our own rhythm and route. It’s a fairly strange sensation to start a race only for everyone to scatter in different directions, and a little unnerving, but we stuck to the route we had chosen and ploughed on.

We had no problem following the course we had set, a testament to Adam’s great training the day previously, and had great fun running through fields, along roads, up hills and scavenging around woods looking for the checkpoints. Our distances and timings worked out perfectly and we were thrilled to realise we were on the home straight somewhere close to the time limit.

Actually the HQ was tauntingly further than it appeared (no running across the golf course sadly!) so we returned just over an hour after we started (4.5 mins late), tired and soaked through, but total exhilarated. We were greeted by smiles, cake and tea and we realised that no one else had returned from our race. Perhaps our route planning had been a success? We both scored 41 points, achieving 50 points for reaching the 5 checkpoints and sadly losing 9 points for our late arrival, but not bad for a first attempt. In the end we did win our respective categories as the other racers had gone for a more substantial and ambitious run. I’d like to say it’s the taking part that counts, which is what I had planned to tell myself, but I must admit to being rather proud of both of us.

Since then, we have already entered the next Trail event, in Peaslake this Sunday, to try 2hrs of navigation and I’m longing to add a mountain bike to my bike collection so I can give the Sprint category a go. All in all, we had a great time and couldn’t recommend it enough. If we – relatively fit but certainly not fast runners, with no experience of adventure racing or proper navigation – could do it, anyone can!

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All smiles at the end of the race.

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Effingham Event – 31st May 2015

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Sunday 31st May, saw the exciting return of Tri-Adventure events under new ownership with the Effingham Adventure Race in the Surrey Hills.

The full results with splits are available on the Tri-Adventure website here as well as the link to the  Race Report.
Photos taken at the event can be found and tagged in our Facebook album here.

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30th Marathon Des Sables 2015

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April 3rd-13th saw the 30th edition of the Marathon Des Sables (MDS).  Setup to be the toughest to date, the Race Director Patrick Bauer threw in an epic 91km stage on day 4.  MDS is a Staged 250k self sufficient run across the Sahara Desert in Temperatures as high as 51 degree centigrade.  The event is becoming ever popular with 1360 starters this year.

After months of preparation and planning I headed off to the Maroccan Sahara. We are not told the route until we are issued with our Route Book on the coach journey to the first camp.  On arrival we form ourselves into tent groups, 8 person teams that we would share the restful evenings with and share stories of the days action.  I was lucky enough to share a tent with ‘Walking with the wounded’ fundraisers.

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This years event saw a stage structure of:
Stage 1, 36.2k
Stage 2, 31.1k
Stage 3, 36.7k
Stage 4, 91.7k
Stage 5, 42.2k
Stage 6, 11.5k
Total,     249.4k

Ranaulf Feinnes embarked on this years challenge as well as 50 countries being represented on the Start line

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The conditions were tough going once the heat of the day came round.  The Strategy was to run as fast as I could to get to the end of each stage.  The first 3 stages were taking me about 4 hours which saw me finishing just as it was getting ridiculously hot.

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Stage 4 was different, my placing was in the top 50 which meant that I was to start in the Elite Chasing Start some 3 hours after the masses.  This meant an 11am start to the 91k stage, straight into the hottest part of the day.  I struggled in the heat, mainly not being able to eat to get the all important calories in.

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It was a welcome sight to see the finish line each day.  It meant time to relax and recover from the day.  This involved eating and drinking to restock salt levels, raise the feet to reduce the swelling and keep out of the sun.

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Some of the kit required for this event is Venom pump in case of snake bites, Sand-gaiters, used to stop sand getting into our trainers and food, we were required to carry at least 2000 calories of food per day, 14,000 calories  in total.  This was a truly amazing event, one that has been in the back of my mind for a while and can’t believe that I am standing here having done it.

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It was a pleasure to see Sir Ranulf Fiennes, one of the oldest to complete the course at 71.  I was really pleased to have finished 82nd overall in what is called ‘the toughest footrace in the world’.  I learnt a lot from my experience in the desert and would like to think one day that I can have another crack at this challenge.

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The British Contingent did a great job at getting booked in to a lovely hotel at the end to rest and recouporate and take full advantage of the Eat all you can buffet.

If you would like to know more information about the MDS, the link to their website is here:

Adam Marcinowicz

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Whiteley Village 5k & 10k Run and Alms Obstacle Challenge 2015

This will be on 7th June 2015

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Enter button Whiteley Village 5k & 10k Run and Alms Obstacle Challenge 2015

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2, 5 and 10k trail run with Whiteley Village and Tri-Adventure!

Tri-Adventure is very proud to be working with WhiteleyVillage to create awareness and raise money for their beautiful village in Walton on Thames, Surrey.

Plans have been announced for two competitive events to be held in June and October 2014. The first event, the Whiteley Village Run Day will be held on Sunday 8th June 2014, comprising of a 2km child’s/family run, a 5km and 10Km trail run all within the 200 acre grounds of Whiteley Village.

The 2Km event will start at 10.00am and the more experienced runners will depart at 10.30am. The cost for the event will be £8.00 for the 5Km race and £16.00 for the £10Km – both races are ideal for weekend or club runners. There will be prizes for the winners of each event as well as a memento for each competitor. There is something for everyone, come and support this fantastic community event.

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A second event is to be run on Sunday 5 October 2014, entitled The Alms Race; this will be an obstacle race through the woods and grounds of WhiteleyVillage. Entry can be solo or in teams of 4, it is hoped competitors will actively seek sponsorship in support of their efforts. Teams can be formed from friends, workplace, colleagues, community groups, schools and sports clubs. There will be prizes for the winners as well as the best fancy dress, most sponsorship raised etc. Entry for The Alms Race will open in mid June.


Enter the run events online today –

Top prizes up for grabs, a great community and plenty of team spirit!

 Join our Tri-Adventure!

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Tri-Adventure Experience – a review


Last weekend I headed off up the M3 to Princes Risborough Golf Club in Buckinghamshire for the last Tri-Adventure race of 2013: for me, the 4-hour Experience race, and I brought along a friend completely new to the sport who did the 1-hour Trail version. I’ve done 2-hour Tri-Adventure Sprints before and always really enjoyed the atmosphere, and I’ve done longer races with other organisers, but this was my first race of this length with Tri-Adventure.

Before the race started, registration was in a big room with plenty of seats and tables to have a look at the maps. The friendly course planner was wandering around helping out beginners and answering questions, which was very handy. And free tea, coffee and biscuits, which as a studenty-type is always going to go down very well with me.

The weather was overcast and misty with a tiny bit of very fine drizzle here and there, chilly but not cold, pretty good conditions overall. Plenty of mud and big puddles on the ground to test out the grip (and lacing…) on your running shoes!

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The 15 run checkpoints were spread out to the northeast of the Start/Transition/Finish and routes between them included lots of generally well-signposted footpaths and bridleways including part of the Chiltern Way with the odd tarmac section (unavoidable in this part of the world). Unhappily, my run was cut short by a twisted ankle after only about 40 minutes from the start,  but I managed to hobble back to the transition collecting a couple of new checkpoints en route. There were a couple of other competitors who stopped for a few minutes to make sure I was okay for which I am very thankful, really shows the brilliant spirit and community sense of adventure racers. After this I didn’t make it to any of the northern half of the course unfortunately, which looked like it had the more challenging navigation in the woods and hillier terrain.

Back at the transition I had a bit of an unpleasant incident. I pulled my muddy run shoes off, which got my hands dirty, so I wiped my hands off a bit, then wiped my face with my hands. Then, I noticed a manure-y smell following me around. Turns out it wasn’t only mud on my shoes, and I hadn’t wiped my hands off as well as I should have before touching my face…

Next, the mountain bike section. I got back to transition at about 90 minutes into the race. My ankle seemed happy enough on the bike so I went out with the aim of clearing the bike course, which was all off to the south and east of the transition. There were plenty of muddy trails and plenty of short sharp hills to test the whole body and quite a bit of good riding on the Bledlow Circular Ride bridleway. Someone had nicked one of the checkpoints in Chinnor so a frustrating 10 minutes was spent there checking I had the right junction, but the race organisers had no problems giving out the points to those who went there. A few too many out-and-back checkpoints for my liking but this was partly due to my route choices. Also I cleared the 15-checkpoint course fairly comfortably in dead-on 2 hours so wasn’t able to make up for my shortened run with extra time on the bike. With this, and the race winner collecting all-but-one checkpoints (run and bike) and finishing with 20 minutes to spare, I feel that perhaps the bike could have done with a bit of a bigger range. But in fairness, judging how fast people are going to complete the course is more of an art than a science from the course planner’s perspective, so I won’t hold this against the race. There’s some great countryside in this area and it was showcased very well.

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My friend doing the 1-hour Trail run version had a great time and is keen to come back for more. She unfortunately got on the wrong end of some penalty points for a late return, but managed the unlikely achievement of scoring in the end precisely 1 point, in a race where each checkpoint is worth 10 and there’s a 1 point per 30 seconds penalty for being late… what are the odds!?

I tried out a few new bits of kit in this race which I will go into more detail about in the future in their own posts. But, they were: (1) a Montane Minimus waterproof smock, which I wore for the entire race over a long-sleeve technical top [quick verdict: crazy lightweight, quiet, well-fitting, comfortable, cool = very happy customer]; (2) Diadora X-Country 2 MTB shoes [qv: a little better in every way than what I was using before, but that’s not saying much]; (3) MTB tyre combo of rear Smart Sam – front Racing Ralph (both Schwalbe) [qv: nice fast rolling on the road/tarmac sections, no issues with grip on the steepest, muddiest hills and descents].

All in all, a very good race (if a little short on the bike), excellent organisation as always from Tri-Adventure, and one new adventure racer. Can’t wait for the next one in January – details on the Tri-Adventure website!

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Go an extra mile or two with Tri-Adventure!

Fancy a new experience, something challenging, exhilarating and fun? 

Well, Tri-Adventure has just the answer! 

For 2014, we’re mixing things up for the 4 hr Experience adventure race!  Now running alongside the Sprint for 2014 the Experience race is perfect for seasoned adventure racers and those who’ve been taking part in our 2hr Sprint and are ready for the next step up!

We’re going to make things interesting for the Experience.  The key elements of our adventure races (trail running, mountain biking and navigation) will remain core but strategic elements will be introduced into each event, you can expect to see weighted checkpoints, staggered starts, compulsory check points, maybe some single track mountain biking or micro navigation and a different location for each event around the South of England.

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4hr Experience – £40.00 online

Sunday 19th January, 9th March & 11th May 

Test your stamina with this off road adventure. Navigate trails and hills on foot and bike

collecting as many check points as you can in 4 hours. You can enter as a solo or a pair!

Time: Registration opens at 08:30am, start anytime from 9:30 – 10am


Enter online today –

 Top prizes up for grabs, a great community and plenty of team spirit!

 Join our Tri-Adventure!

For more information and to book visit and find as at Facebook/Triadventure and Twitter – @Tri-adventure

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Tri-Adventure team up with Moore’s cycles

Fancy trying adventure racing but don’t have a mountain bike?  Our new bike partner Moore’s Cycles are on hand to offer fantastic value bike hire, over a time period to suit you!

            moores cycle Tri Adventure team up with Moores cycles            Tri-Adventure strive to encourage newcomers to Adventure Racing, we understand purchasing a mountain bike can be a big financial commitment so we want to ensure newcomers have a cost effective way to try the sport using bike hire before committing to buying a mountain bike.  We’ve chosen Moore’s Cycles as our partner as not only can they offer fantastic hire rates, they can also help our competitors with expert advice on which bike to buy through to accessories and servicing.

Moore’s Cycles Hire Rates:

24hrs – £20

48hrs – £30

For more information and to arrange hire please contact Moore’s direct quoting

TRI-ADVENTURE on 020 8977 2925 &


Enter online today –

 Join our Tri-Adventure!


For more information and to book visit and find as at Facebook/Triadventure and Twitter – @Tri-adventure

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Tri-Adventure – yes you do need a sports bra!


The prospect of irreversible breast sag faces over 9 million women in the UK, exercising without an appropriate sports bra according to research at Portsmouth University*.  The study found that breasts move in a three dimensional figure of eight, going up and down, in and out and side to side.  With the average 36C breast weighing between 200-300 grams, this uncontrolled movement puts great strain on the breast’s support structure, which comprises only the outer skin and Cooper’s Ligaments.

The research found that each breast moves independently of the body by an average of nine centimetres during each step taken on a treadmill.  So while your legs run a metric mile, your breasts bounce up to 135 metres!  G cup breasts bounced 14 centimetres per stride or 210 metres per mile and even an A cup moved 4cm with every step!

There are two direct results of this breast movement:

– pain and discomfort which although temporary affects 56%** of women

– stretching of the Coopers’ ligaments which is permanent and can lead to an irreversible droop

So for running, be it on road, or trail, a sports bra is as important for ladies as their running shoes to help avoid injury and run in comfort.   Mountain biking over rougher terrain is also a high impact sport making a sports bra essential for all Tri-Adventure events.

So how do you find a well fitting sports bra and be confident it will reduce the bounce?

1. Don’t buy the first one you find!  There are far more sports bras available from specialist retailers than on the High Street so have a good look to make sure you are getting everything you want!  For example, if you want wires, or side fastenings all these variations are now available in virtually all sizes.

2. Your sports bra should be the correct size for you – there should be no bulges and no gaps and the fabric should sit smoothly across the bust.

3. The bra should give you enough so you to run in comfort.  To test this, run on the spot in your bra before taking the labels off.  It should significantly reduce the bounce – if it doesn’t, there will be a better bra out there for you so keep looking!

4. Your sports bra has a limited life, and should be replaced every 30-40 washes as the elasticity of the fabric is damaged through use and laundry.

For events with cycling and running we recommend the Shock Absorber RUN bra, we sold more of these at the London Marathon Expo than any other bra.  Unfortunately it does only go to an F cup, so if you need a fuller cup try the Lynx Sports Bra or the Panache Sports Bra.

So look after your assets whilst exercising!

TRI10 for your 10% discount online with Less Bounce.



Selaine Saxby Founder

LessBounce stock the widest range of sports bras in the world from 28AA-52K

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Stepping up to a 12hr Adventure Race


Making the Step Up to a 12hr race, by Tom Davies

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So, you’ve seen an advert for a 12 hour race, but you’re worried that it’s a big step up from the 2 or 4 hour races you’ve been doing? Scared that it’s too much to take on? Read on…..

Entering your first long race is scary, that’s for sure. When James and I entered the 12 hour Dynamic DARE a few years ago, it was the longest race that either of us had done, by a long way. I think we had both done a 6-hour Questars or two, but that was about it. The thought of going non-stop for 12 hours was terrifying. As it turns out, the reality was quite different!

As nearly all adventure races are run on a “score” concept, it’s perfectly fine to do as much or as little as you want to (or can) do. There will be mandatory sections or checkpoints in every race, but it’s up to you how much extra you do in addition to these mandatory sections. Better at running than biking? Then focus on the running sections and cut the biking sections short to give you time to do this, or vice versa. Play to your strengths!

We had a great day out in the Wye Valley during that first long race. You may think it’s not going to be possible to run and bike all day without getting worn out, but the reality is that you wind the pace back considerably from the frantic sprint-race pace that you’ll be accustomed to seeing at 2 or 4-hour races. It’s ok to walk up hills! Your focus changes from going flat-out to ensuring that you last the distance. Just make sure you eat regularly in order to keep your energy up – my rule is to eat something every half an hour, whether you are hungry or not.

There are several benefits to doing longer races.

  • They are usually better value for money in terms of cost per hour of racing.
  • As said before, you get to eat like a pig with no repercussions!
  • As the race is longer, you get to head further away from civilisation into truly wild areas, often visiting some of the most beautiful parts of the country.
  • Best of all, long races often include special stages, where you’ll get to do something exciting, different or scary (or possibly all three!).

In the past I’ve abseiled off the 70m overhang at Kinsey Crag (Terrex Swift race in the Yorkshire Dales), shot arrows at archery targets (HARZ race in Germany and the DARE race in the Wye Valley), canoed down the rapids at Symonds Yat (DARE race again), jumped off a cliff into a flooded quarry (Open5 in the Lake District), and loads more.

Doing longer races also usually means that you’ll be racing as a pair or a team – the only thing I’ll say here is to make sure you race with people that you like! I’ve discovered that it’s perfectly possible for some people (mentioning no names) to talk non-stop for 12 hours. Dependant on the pain level that you are experiencing at the time, this may be a good thing or a bad thing!

Racing as a pair or team is great as you get to share the good times with your team mates, and when times are bad and you are tired and grumpy, there’s someone there to feed you, carry your pack, tow you up a hill or just provide a word of support. Alternatively, you can just blame them for getting you lost if they are the one doing the navigation at that point!

When we finished the DARE race, we thought we’d done pretty badly, as we’d had a few ups and downs, and had spent the day going so much slower than we were used to racing. When the results came out, it turns out we’d done alright, and had just about sneaked into the top 10, with which we were delighted (and surprised!). It turns out that everyone else had also had a nightmare at some point of the race as well, and my experience since then has been that if you just keep going, you’ll end up doing OK, as everyone else will be experiencing exactly the same problems as you.

In summary then, give it a go!

In the words of the Dr Pepper advert, what’s the worst that can happen?!  (Speaking of which, send us your race disaster stories. The best one wins some free stuff and gets featured in the next newsletter!)

Enter the Tri-Adventure 12hr today!

12hr Night&Day

27th/28th September 

Midnight to Midday – Pairs only (£75pp)

Test your stamina with this 12hour adventure race incorporating day and night navigation. A stunning course of 7 stages, incorporating trail running, mountain biking and night navigation – as well as some surprise stages!

Location: Mickleham, Surrey  Time: Registration opens at 10pm, event starts at midnight

Enter online today –



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