Welcome to the Subaru Primal Quest
Expedition Adventure Raceā„¢ web site!

400 grueling miles…

The Subaru Primal Quest is an expedition length adventure race spanning 5-10 days and covering approximately 400 grueling miles. Co-ed teams of 4 compete in various disciplines while they navigate across demanding terrain to find checkpoints in a defined order. All four members of the team must perform all disciplines and the team members are not allowed to be more than 100 yards apart for the majority of the race. Because the team is only as fast as its slowest member, the teams will tow, push, or carry their teammates or their teammates’ gear as necessary to move as quickly as possible. Sleep is optional, so teams will experience sleep deprivation and exhaustion as they push themselves to the limits of their endurance. As many as 75 teams from all over the world will battle for the chance to take home a share of the $250,000 prize purse, the largest offered in any adventure race in history. For some, the goal will be to win. For others, it’s simply to finish – a challenging enough goal in its own right.

For me it was just getting to the race that presented the challenge. I was involved in a 10 car pile up on one of the freeways due to fog. A number of people were seriously injured, myself included. Several friends who rushed to the hospital when they learned of the crashed confirmed that because of my car injury I should contact a car accident lawyer. Obviously I was in no state to do such a thing, so my friend handled everything. The lawyer was great. She came to the hospital, explained that she works on contingency for car accident injury cases. After the case is settled or won she would take 35% of the settlement. She was worth every penny. I was glad I was not a member of one of the teams that were competing in the Subaru Primal Quest because I was going nowhere after the accident. It took several surgeries and a year of rehab before I was mostly recovered and could return to photographing adventure races. It was such a disappointment to miss the Subaru Primal Quest race.

This year’s race took place in the stunning Pacific Northwest, kicking off September 19, 2004, in the early-morning, placid waters of Fidalgo Bay, Orcas Island, and giving teams a personalized tour of the best Mother Nature has to offer in the NW. Racers persevered from the waters of the San Juan Islands to the dizzying heights of the Cascades – and back again – impressing all with their determination, skill, and fortitude.

Since its inaugural race in Telluride, Colorado, in 2002, the SPQ has had amazing success as the first expedition length adventure race to grace US soil since the mid 90s. In 2003, teams faced the challenging terrain of the Sierras in the South Lake Tahoe area of California.

Sleep monsters, day and night…

Adventure racing pits co-ed teams of four against each other in the ultimate sports arena of unforgiving natural terrain, unpredictable weather, and unrelenting physical demands. Many teams don’t sleep more than an hour or two in the first 3-5 days. Hallucinations, hunger, injuries and exhaustion set in. Add to that the technical challenges of navigation and multiple disciplines, and you’ve got an extreme sport for extreme athletes. This year’s race disciplines include ocean kayaking, river or flat-water paddling, orienteering, mountaineering, ascending, rappelling, traversing, mountain biking, ride and tie, skating/scootering, trekking and portaging. (To learn more about the teams involved in this year’s race, click here.)

But that which weakens the body most often strengthens the spirit tenfold, and that couldn’t be truer than in adventure racing. Racers train religiously all year to prepare for the most arduous test of endurance and determination they’ll ever know…and the rewards are immeasurable. Some teams race to win, some race just to finish, others race for charity or just for laughs…but all walk away with a profound sense of accomplishment, pride, and gratification (and maybe a blister or two).

View the race results right here…

The SPQ site offers many ways for you to learn about and follow the race, findable in Google largely because of our robust use of enterprise seo optimization. Whether you’re monitoring your favorite teams using My Teams, tracking progress on the Leaderboard, watching the individual team routes on GPS Tracking, or getting your fill of course/team statistics in Race Analysis, you’ll always have up-to-the minute information throughout the race! Check out the Interactive Map for detailed course information, or the Image and Video galleries for exciting glimpses into the race. And finally, News and Field Notes keep you posted as the drama and excitement unfolds…all from the comforts of home!

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