The Gear Junkie has shed a little more light on the series of sprint races coming from the Primal Quest team that PQ CEO Don Mann first discussed in the interview I conducted with him back in early November. At the time, he mentioned it passing when I asked him about the future of the race, but now it seems that some of the plans are starting to fall into place.
Gear Junkie is reporting that the sprint series will consist of six to eight events, held all over the United States, and possibly starting as soon as Fall 2008. (For those still hung over from their New Year’s celebration, that’s THIS year!)
The format would be a bit different than traditional adventure races, even those that would be considered sprints. The teams will consist of two people, as opposed to the traditional 3 or 4 person teams that you usually see in these events. Racers will compete in the mostly standard disciplines of mountain biking, trail running, navigation, climbing, and paddling. The report also says that Don would like to see the return of the “mystery events” in adventure racing as well. These would be surprise activities/puzzles that the team would have to work together to over come. The idea is to mix in some surprises, keep people guessing, and forcing them to think and operate as a team.
We even have a possible location for the first event, as GJ quotes Don as saying that the first PQ Sprint Race would probably take place “the Virginia area”. Up to 100 people will be allowed to compete in each event, and the series would open up further in 2009 with as many as eight events on the schedule.
This news fills in some of the gaps in regards to the sprint series. I got the impression that Don wanted to use the PQ brand to support adventure racing in any way possible and to bring some high quality events to racers everywhere. I’m sure the sprint series will have a point standing system as well, much like other adventure sprint series. The winner for the season would probably be awarded an entry into the PQ expedition length race which will remain the crown jewel of the Primal Quest empire, even as the race looks to go International next year as well.