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Primal Quest Adventure Racing: Not Just for Men

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Primal Quest Adventure Racing: Not Just for Men
PIERRE, S.D.Primal Quest Adventure Racing requires the teams competing in the human endurance race be co-ed. This year’s race is holding strong with 35 women and 93 men (32 teams total) signed up to cover the Badlands of South Dakota; with more teams talking about registering daily.
“The ratio of men to women this year is about average,” says Don Mann, Director of Primal Quest. “Most teams consist of three men and one woman, but there are a handful of teams who are competing with two men and two women. The women of adventure racing are becoming more and more experienced and proven racers; I believe we will see this number continue to grow as the sport gets more exposure.”
There are many themes that have been observed over the years with the women racers of Primal Quest. One theme is that women become the mediators on a team; helping to soften disruptions. They are also the nurturers; ensuring everyone is drinking, eating, taking care of their feet and staying alert. Lastly, many men look to their positive attitudes and reassuring outlooks to help relieve the stress of competing in such a long and strenuous event. 
Kimberly Dunkin of Team Intrepid states, “I have been competing in Primal Quest since 2006 and have seen women do very well with holding their team together and getting them to the finish line. I have seen women carrying their male teammate’s pack or even towing them with a tow-line on their mountain bikes. Sometimes, at the end of the race, the females are more fresh and alert than the males.”
Team South Dakota consists of two men and two women: Paulette Kirby, Lisa Gustin, Jason Kingsbury (who replaced Dan Jensen of Sioux Falls) and Gary Haven, all of Rapid City. Each of them has competed in past endurance races, but this is the first time for an event like Primal Quest.
At approximately 600 miles, the 2009 course is the longest course in Primal Quest history. The race begins August 14, with men and women racing through the Badlands, Black Hills and Buffalo Gap National Grasslands of South Dakota.
The cost for a four-person team is $11,500 USD. Registration is still open and details can be found here:
The Rapid City Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has partnered with the South Dakota Office of Tourism through the Million Dollar Challenge program to bring Primal Quest to the state. 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 are available at