Primal Quest Adventure Race: The World’s Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition

Riders on Horseback during Primal Quest adventure race

Where: Bozeman Montana, USA

When: June 21- July 2, 2008

racers hiking across the desert in the Primal Quest Adventure Race
man getting his blisters bandaged during Primal Quest Adventure Race
competitor on a river board braving the rapids in teh Primal Quest Adventure Race

Imagine 10 days of pure hell. During the day you trek, non-stop, thru rugged desert terrain. It’s 110 degrees and the shredded blisters on your blood soaked feet make every step feel like walking on hot coals.

At night temperatures plummet near freezing and you’re lucky to get 2 hours sleep; you still have to navigate your way up and over a mountain pass to reach the kayak that will whisk you thru 20 miles of treacherous class-five rapids. The next day is pretty much the same thing – only worse!

If this sounds like fun to you:

  • A) Go see a shrink.
  • B) Consider entering the 2008 Primal Quest Adventure Race.

In only six years, Primal Quest has become North America’s premier expedition-length adventure race. After skipping the 2007 season, Primal Quest is back in full force for 2008. The 2008 race will be held in the Gallatin National Forest, near Bozeman Montana.

Similar to past races, the 2008 event will involve teams of four racers (at least one female), last up to 10 days and cover approximately 450 miles of non-stop, day-and-night trekking, rope climbing, kayaking, rafting, mountaineering, mountain biking and white water swimming to cross the finish line.

a horse rearing up as a racer in the Primal Quest Adventure Race tries to hang on

Often called The Super Bowl of Adventure Racing this grueling event attracts the most physically fit athletes on Earth. Top competitors are sponsored by corporations like Nike or Seagate and train year round in preparation for the race so unless you’re an ex Navy Seal or champion marathon runner, your chances of winning Primal Quest are pretty slim.

But don’t let the stiff competition dissuade your from jumping in – merely finishing a race like PQ is a major accomplishment – a once in a lifetime adventure you’d never forget.

So, If you’re looking for an opportunity to push your body to the limits of human endurance; to test your outdoor skills and personal character then Primal Quest is the race for you.

How to Enter Primal Quest 2008

Registration is limited to 90 teams, and openings fill up fast. The non-refundable entrance fee is US $12,500 per team, which must be payed in full upon submission of application. The fee covers four team members and two support crew members.

The $25,000 cash prize for first place also comes with a free entrance into the 2009 Primal Quest. For more information, please visit Primal Quest’s website.

High-Tech Spectator

This year participants in Primal Quest will wear GPS satellite messengers. These high-tech devices will transmit the racers positions to your home computer via the internet. So, if you can’t make it to Montana to watch in person you can still follow your favorite team from the comfort of your living room with the real-time leader board tracking available on

Primal Quest Sprint Series

Don’t have the time, money or stamina for the Primal Quest? Try a race designed with mere mortals in mind.

New to Primal Quest this year is a spinoff: the Primal Quest Sprint Series. The Sprint Series is a 4-to-6 hour jaunt for two-member teams. The courses cover around 40-50 miles and the transition points will all be in one central spot to make the races more spectator friendly – something not very common in adventure racing.

In the series, participants will rack up individual points, so they don’t have to worry about racing with the same partner in every race. And as a bonus, the series winner will get a free entry into the Primal Quest main event, saving the hefty $12,500 entry fee.


External links

racers trecking across the Utah desert in the Primal Quest Adventure Race
racers riding mountain bikes in the 2006 Primal Quest Adventure Race
teammates kayaking during the Primal Quest Adventure Race

Primal Quest Team Websites

Past Race Locations/Results

2002 – Telluride

  • 1st SoBe/SmartWool – became Nike ACG/Balance Bar in 2003
  • 2nd Team Montrail
  • 3rd Team GoLite

2003 – Lake Tahoe

  • 1st Nike ACG/Balance Bar
  • 2nd AROC
  • 3rd Team Seagate

2004 – San Juan Island

  • 1st Seagate
  • 1st (tie) Nike ACG/Balance Bar
  • 3rd Holofiber

2005 – Race Not Held

2006 – Moab Utah

  • 1st Nike PowerBlast
  • 2nd GoLite/Timberland
  • 3rd Merrell/Wigwam Adventure

2007 – Race Not Held

About the Author

CM Burns
CM Burns
CM Burns has been a music video director, a cameraman for Nat Geo, has recorded ancient Tibetan chants in India and swum with whales in Baja, California. Currently living in the Philippines you will find him anywhere Adventure happens.
CM Burns
CM Burns
CM Burns has been a music video director, a cameraman for Nat Geo, has recorded ancient Tibetan chants in India and swum with whales in Baja, California. Currently living in the Philippines you will find him anywhere Adventure happens.
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