Tahoe team preps for Primal Quest | SierraSun.com

Tahoe team preps for Primal Quest

Dan Savickas

When one sees 10 days worth of activities such activities as: caving, mountain biking, hiking, rappelling, white and flat water kayaking, night navigation, orienteering, road biking and in-line skating, they would probably think it is the sequence for the newest Bond film. But in this case, it is not; it is the list of activities athletes can expect to encounter during the 10 day Subaru Primal Quest in South Lake Tahoe Sept. 5-14.

The team of Tim and Jessica Farrar, Scott Bower and Matt Anderson were picked to represent the Tahoe region, as Team Tahoe.

Sporting the nickname the Bad News Bears, Team Tahoe looks to be the perfect candidate for a Cinderella story come early September.

Bower has 20 years of hockey experience, and he has raced mountain bikes for over 15 years. Matt Anderson has 10 years of mounting biking experience and climbed over 10 14,000-foot peaks. Jessica Farrar was a division one soccer player, marathon runner, and taught rock climbing and mountaineering for NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School). Tim Farrar also taught mountaineering, rock climbing and sea kayaking at NOLS.

“We live our lives for adventure,” Anderson said. “That’s why it’s so fun to be on Team Tahoe.”

“Going out and training is fun,” said Tim Farrar. “It’s just now we do it for harder and longer.”

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The team has trained daily for the event. But since the Farrar’s live in Washoe Valley, Anderson lives in Reno and Bower lives in Truckee, it proves difficult to gather the entire team for training. Especially since the Farrar’s have two young children and Bower and his wife are currently expecting.

The team is working together to mesh their individual goals along with the overall team goals.

“Meshing the two seem quit natural,” Anderson said.

Bower didn’t hesitate to vocalize one goal; “There’s a $100,000 on the line.”

The Subaru Primal Quest Web site lists the prize as $250,000, which should be a stronger reason to set a goal of winning the race. But overall the main team goal seems to be centered on finishing the race injury free while having a good time. In case of injury, the Farrar’s son, Ben,7, seems ready to jump into the race. “My dad’s going to ask if I can race in the Primal Quest,” Ben said.

Team Tahoe is also spending time working with their crew. The crew will be responsible for getting the teams food and equipment ready in the transition stages. Wild Oats has sponsored the team with bulk food. “We’re going to eat out of our pockets while we go,” said Tim Farrar.

The team is picking up hidden tips from studying a DVD of last year’s race. “We’re taking notice of the transition periods. We’re learning the tricks of the trade, the kind of things you wouldn’t think of,” Anderson said.

Jessica Farrar claims, “Voluntary suffering,” is a direct link to the team’s success. Each member of the team also believes being a part of highly competitive sports teams and taking long outdoor trips will help them in the race.

With only a few more weeks before the race, each team member seems to have his or her own body inspired recipe for success. Some plan two more weeks of intense training, one stable week and a taper. Others plan to go strong until the week before the competition. As each member discussed his or her recipe, Anderson simply stated, “Just make sure it works.”

Last weekend Team Tahoe spent their entire Saturday training in an adventure race format the team designed. They started off in Pleasant Valley, south of Reno, on mountain bikes and rode up Mount Rose Highway to the Mount Rose Pass. In this ride the team encounter two flat tires on the same bike. From there the team rode up the Mount Rose Trail for a total of 20 mile and 4,000 feet in elevation gain.

Team Tahoe ran and hiked to the summit and then back down from the Mount Rose Trail. This jaunt took the team up more than 2,500 feet in elevation gain and decent for a total of six miles round-trip.

Jumping back on their bikes, the team rode the Tahoe Rim Trail and the Tunnel Creek Trail down to Hidden Beach on Lake Tahoe. This trail cost both of the Farrars a popped tire.

From Hidden Beach the four person team split up into two-person kayaks. The team paddled across Big Blue in four foot whitecaps.

“It’s great to train in bad weather because you’ll never have perfect weather during the race,” Bower said. Bower also felt a long paddle at the end of a day was a great move for the team. “You need to that stuff to know how your body will react after a long day.”

“The training went well, although we realized we need more work in flat water paddling,” Tim said. “We need to focus on nutrition and hydration and look out for each other,” Tim added.

“We’re working on keeping the group together, and utilizing time,” said Bower. When someone is replacing a flat tire the rest of the group can eat and look at the map. Team dynamics is the number one thing in these races. We’re learning each other’s quarks and sense of humor.”

The team will continue to train and prepare for the big week both mentally and physically.

This weekend the team plans to do rope work in Reno and then ride to Truckee on their mountain bikes via Dog Valley and trails through Stampede and Boca areas.