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Primal Quest Adventure Racing: Team South Dakota

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PIERRE, S.D.Only 74 more days left until the World’s Most Challenging Human Endurance Competition, also known as Primal Quest, begins in South Dakota. South Dakota’s home team will be competing against 37 other teams from around the world when the race starts August 14.
Team South Dakota is a group of friends who are endurance athletes, mountain bikers, runners, climbers, kayakers and cavers. This is the group’s first experience with Primal Quest.  “This group has one goal in 2009 and it is to get all four of us to the Primal Quest Badlands finish line,” said Paulette Kirby, team leader. “No home team has ever finished a Primal Quest race and we certainly hope to do just that.”
Training has been intense, says Gary Haven, team member. He also states that the distance is going to be the most difficult at 600 miles and with little time left before the big day they are really trying to squeeze all of the skills training in on the weekends and train for multiple days at a time. Team South Dakota has been to a different location each weekend for training. Some of these locations include: Needles and Cathedral Spires, Sylvan Road, Centennial Trail, Alkali Creek, Ft.Meade, Bear Butte, Mount Rushmore and the Railroad Buttes. The team also attended the Primal Quest Climbing training in Moab, Utah, which provided training in traversing, ascending and descending.
More on Team South Dakota:
  • Paulette Kirby of Rapid City has been doing endurance races for 19 years. She also competes in many mountain bike and trail running races and is working on getting a WhitewaterPark built in the Rapid City area.
  • Lisa Gustin of Rapid City and has competed in multiple marathons, mountain bike and endurance races. She has also been on many climbing expeditions and is the Founder of the Dirty Girls Mountain Bike club. 
  • Jason Kingsbury of Rapid City replaced Dan Jensen of Sioux Falls a few months back. He is a mountain biker and runner. He has kayaking and climbing experience. 
  • Gary Haven of Rapid City has 29 years of running and riding and has also competed in multiple endurance races. He currently spends his free time doing trail work in the Black Hills.
To learn even more about Team South Dakota, please visit:
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

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