First teams arriving in Primal Quest adventure race |

First teams arriving in Primal Quest adventure race

Chad Sellmer, Tribune staff writer

Six teams have now crossed the “finish line” of the second annual Subaru Primal Quest adventure race, arriving in kayaks at Lakeside Beach behind Harveys to complete the 400-mile extreme endurance event that began Sept. 5 in the South Shore.

The winning coed team of four was Nike ACG/Balance Bar with a time of four days, 17 hours. They arrived at Lakeside Beach at 2:13 a.m. Wednesday to claim a first-place prize purse of $100,000.

More than 70 teams are still navigating the challenging mountain terrain and have until Sunday to complete the race.

“It was a pretty decisive victory for what is considered the best adventure racing team on the planet and they really proved it today,” said Gordon Wright, public relations director for the event. “The lead teams who finished (Wednesday) remarked on how unexpectedly and thoroughly freezing it was. They really suffered up there in the cold.”

The Nike team is made up of three Colorado residents and one from Idaho. It includes Michael Tobin, a former triathlon and duathlon champion and Mike Kloser, a world champion mountain biker and a member of last year’s Primal Quest-winning team.

“Nonstop is usually the format with these races,” Kloser noted in a previous interview. “So once it starts the clock doesn’t stop until you reach the finish line. Being able to go for long periods of time without much rest is definitely a factor.”

Team Tahoe, made up of a Truckee resident and three from the Reno area, is currently in 25th place in the 80-team field. They are expected to arrive sometime this evening to Lakeside Beach.

“Team Tahoe is doing great,” Wright said. “They are tough. To finish in the top 25 of this race is to begin to consider yourself an elite adventure racer.”

Wright said there were no major injuries to report at this juncture of the race.

“Overall, we’ve been darn lucky,” he said. “There have been assorted injuries and a few short hospitalizations (but) otherwise it has been relatively pain-free for this kind of sport.”

Some of the injuries included kidney and gall stones, he added.

“That is fairly unusual,” he said. “Those have been our greatest medical worries. Dehydration can lead to both of those conditions.”

The nonstop, 24-hour endurance event isn’t easy. Teams get no more than 2-3 hours of sleep per night during the entire race, which involves a combination of caving, mountain biking, hiking, rappelling, white-water paddling, flat-water paddling, night navigation, road biking and orienteering.

Primal Quest has risen to the forefront of adventure racing, thanks in large part to a sizable prize. Last year’s event was held in Telluride, Colo.

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