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Primal Quest Adventure Racing: Who Does These Kinds of Races?

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PIERRE, S.D.Next summer, South Dakota will host Primal Quest Badlands: the World’s Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition, a 10-day expedition adventure race totaling 600 miles. That leaves many asking, who does these kinds of races?
“Adventure racing is just as much an interpersonal journey as it is a physical one. Every person who strives to race these races must be committed, motivated, positive, persistent, prepared and check their egos at the starting line,” said Robyn Benincasa, captain of Team Merrell Zanfel.
Teams who have entered into the Primal Quest Badlands race will face terrain and challenges like never before. Many of these teams have trained and competed with one another for years and are focused, determined individuals who want to do well together. There is an emphasis placed on teamwork, rather than individual achievement.
Primal Quest agreed to sponsor one “home team” for the race next summer. Interested teams had to submit an essay of goals and qualifications of each team member and were evaluated on different criteria such as: ability, skills, dynamics and desire. The four individuals chosen as the “home team” are: Paulette Kirby, Lisa Gustin, Gary Haven, all of Rapid City and Dan Jensen of Sioux Falls.
This team, Team South Dakota, is a group of friends who are endurance athletes, mountain bikers, runners, orienteers, climbers, kayakers and cavers. This group has one goal in 2009: to be the first “home team” to cross the finish line.
“We are honored to be the team chosen to represent South Dakota in the race next summer,” said Paulette Kirby, captain of Team South Dakota. “I have been doing endurance races for the past 19 years and have never competed in a race of this caliber, but I have faith in our team and we are thrilled to be a part of Primal Quest Badlands.”
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 program are available at
Additional contact information:

Primal Quest:

Team South Dakota:

Team Merrell Zanfel: