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What is Adventure Racing?

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What is Adventure Racing?
PIERRE, S.D.Primal Quest Badlands is an expedition level adventure race taking place in South Dakota next summer. Endurance athletes from around the world will compete with one another and against each other on a 600-mile wilderness course. So, what exactly is adventure racing?
Adventure racing is a multi-discipline competition where co-ed teams navigate by map and compass using only manual means of transportation. Adventure racing can include everything from mountain biking to orienteering and hiking through forests and other landscapes, as well as paddling through rough rapids and rappelling off rocks or other mountainous terrain. New this year to Primal Quest Badlands is spelunking through local caves systems. All in all, adventure racing is unique, hard core and growing at a fast pace!
“The sport of adventure racing is becoming vastly popular across the country at a phenomenal rate,” said Don Mann, Director of Primal Quest. “Adventure races vary across the world; teams range from 2-5 person teams and disciplines also vary depending upon the race. With Primal Quest, the race caps out at 10 days and with the race in 2009, we will cover 600 miles of rough and rugged terrain in South Dakota, the most mileage ever in Primal Quest history.”
According to the United States Adventure Racing Association (USARA), the new challenges presented to adventure racers have caused the sport to grow in popularity on a daily basis. Adventure racing is one of the few sports where just completing a race is often considered a victory.
The USARA lists these six items as their Code of Ethics:
  1. I will practice minimum impact traveling.
  2. I will respect the land and inhabitants in which I travel.
  3. I will not litter.
  4. I will practice good sportsmanship.
  5. I will lend aid to those in need during competition.
  6. I will abide by the rules and regulations of the event.
“All racers who compete in Primal Quest can certainly attest to the above Code of Ethics,” said Mann. “We take pride in our organization and the racers who compete have a strong and passionate drive in what they do and how they do it when it comes to this sport.”
Another factor in adventure racing is the emphasis placed on teamwork, rather than individual achievement. Each teammate completes all activities and teammates must stay within 100 meters of each other. Pushing that hard in a sleep deprived state wears on the best of friends and team dynamics become a big factor in success.
“Competing in adventure races such as Primal Quest requires highly motivated, focused and determined individuals,” said Mike Kloser, Captain of Team Nike – the 5-time Primal Quest Champion Team. “The four of us continue to have a great team dynamic and look forward to competing in the 2009 race in South Dakota.”
South Dakotans will be able to participate in the 2009 Primal Quest by following the race on the Primal Quest website, by volunteering for the event, or by even competing since the race organization will sponsor one South Dakota team of four athletes.
Additional contact information:
The Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) is a Million Dollar Challenge partner and has partnered with the South Dakota Office of Tourism to bring Primal Quest to the state through unique events and innovative marketing strategies. The Million Dollar Challenge program is part of the 2010 Initiative to double visitor spending in South Dakota. The Office of Tourism serves under the direction of Richard Benda, Secretary of the Department of Tourism and State Development. Program requirements, applications and additional information on the Million Dollar Challenge program are available at