While I was in South Dakota a few weeks back for Primal Quest there was a lot of chatter about the future of the event, and whether or not we’d see another race. Many held a grim view of the topic, thinking that the Badlands event would be the last of its kind, while others speculated that a year off might allow the PQ to return to form. Some chose to remain optimistic and talk about “next year”.
Once the race ended, and we all returned home, the rumors about the future of Primal Quest spread to the larger adventure racing community as a whole. Fans of the sport wanted to know if and when they might see another 10-day epic race from the Primal Quest crew headed up by Don Mann, the mastermind behind the event the past few years. Today, on the Primal Quest website, we responded to the rumors and speculation from the community.
In a nutshell, the plan is for PQ to return, possibly as soon as 2010, but more likely not until 2011. The economic downturn has been brutal on just about every aspect of society, and adventure racing in particular. A number of races had to be canceled this year, and some may never return. Sponsorship dollars have been tough to come by, and many teams have scaled back their racing seasons in an effort to save money as well. Hopefully, as the economy begins to turn around, the sport will bounce back to life as well.
I do know that Don is already planning for a 2011 race, discussing possible locations and funding. He hasn’t ruled out a race in 2010, but it would require funding from the host site and a solid number of teams to commit to racing before we could move forward with the race. But, he is strongly committed to having the race return in 2011, and is working to make that happen.
So, for those who have been wondering, there you go. Primal Quest is one of the biggest, toughest races in the world, and it will be back. And you can bet that when it returns, there will be as challenging as ever.
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