Subaru Primal Quest coming to Tahoe in September
The Subaru Primal Quest is in search of a few good Tahoe residents.
Race organizers have agreed to wave the $6,500 entry fee for four physically fit residents of the Lake Tahoe area, to be known as the coed Team Tahoe, qualifying for a first-place purse of $100,000 in the Lake Tahoe adventure race.
To be considered for the team, athletes must reside in the Lake Tahoe region and hold certificates of ability in white water and ropes. They must submit to organizers an application with name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, athletic background, goals for the race, hobbies and environmental or philanthropic interests. Applications and related material must be submitted by May 20 – for an individual or a four-person team – to Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org. Teams must have at least one member of the opposite sex.
The approximately 400-mile Subaru Primal Quest is in its second year of existence with what is reportedly the largest prize purse of any eco-adventure race. This year’s race begins on Sept. 5 in the Lake Tahoe area and participants have nine days to complete the event.
Those who apply to compete will enter a smaller qualifying race of 24 hours called the Cal-Eco Adventure Series No. 4 on June 21, to be held in the Sierra, south of Yosemite. The final selection process will be based on time and place in the race, as well as other factors like environmental awareness and philanthropic effort.
The Primal Quest, held on public forest land, is a strict adherent to the Leave No Trace philosophy.
“Fundamentally, we wanted to do this to get the local endurance community involved in the race and to demonstrate our own environmental beliefs,” said race director Dan Barger in a prepared statement.
Not only athletic endurance, but sleep deprivation and team dynamics play a huge part in the competition.
Mike Kloser knows better than anyone. The Colorado resident was part of last year’s winning team in Telluride: Team Sobe/Smartwool.
“I think last year we had 74 hours (of racing) and we slept a total of three and a half hours, and not all of that was necessarily sleep, either. We were pretty much just resting,” Kloser said. “Nonstop is usually the format with these races, 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.”
Kloser said the lure of the grand prize is one driving factor that has helped Primal Quest rise to the forefront of eco-adventure racing in North America.
“It was awesome. Our team has had some successes over the years in various events like Eco-Challenge, but that one, being the biggest prize purse in the history of the sport, was certainly nice to achieve,” he said.
Last year’s race in Telluride included mountain biking, mountain trekking, white-water kayaking and ropes and reached an elevation of 14,000 feet. The race has drawn entries from around the world, from such countries as Columbia, Brazil, Mexico, Costa Rica, Australia, Ireland, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Poland, France, Switzerland, Canada and New Zealand.
Although no local team has yet formed, several individuals in the area have expressed interest in competing, including Marc Rancourt, a financial adviser from Incline Village.
Rancourt said members of his team will be doing another race that weekend, but he would like to find three others who are interested in at least finishing the race.
“I just found out this past weekend that the organizers are doing this Team Tahoe thing,” Rancourt said. “I would like to compete for a top 10 spot. We’ll see how realistic that is closer to the event. The guys who win these things are full-time racers who aren’t doing anything else and are fully sponsored. They are really incredible athletes. I just want to get through the event. That would be pretty big.”
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