Primal Quest Tahoe – 2015

Primal Quest Finish of Kayak Leg

In 2015 the fabled Primal Quest race returned onto the Adventure Racing scene after many years in hiding.  I decided I needed to give it a go, especially as it was to take place in Tahoe, part of my “greater” backyard.  I joined up with a more experience team, NorCal Adventure Racing, with Tim Kuenster, Bill Schwaab and Wendy Welling.  I’d done one race with them before, a 30h in 2014.  We had a great race together, so I was confident we’d have another great race…though this time it could be up to 8.5 days of it!

The race was epic in every way possible…long legs on foot and bike, many navigation challenges with huge distances off trail, 1000ft aided ascent up a cliff-face, 2 different river rafting legs, and a long night paddle across Lake Tahoe (North to South) to finish things off.  I was the primary navigator on the team, taking the lead on most foot legs, with Tim and Bill doing their fair share on bike legs.  We had many challenges, including nasty sleep monsters (I had about a 12h deja-vu section where I kept remembering having been in exact locations with a friend), some bumps (Wendy fell of her bike, and out of a raft a few times), and many bonks (food is always a challenge).  We once again worked well as a team, and battled for the last podium spot with two other teams for many days.  In the end, we were one of 5 teams to complete the whole course (roughly 400mi), coming in 4th place after 8 days of racing…with only about 18h of sleep.

Outside Television filmed the race, and made a 90min show that aired a few times on their channel…I never saw it, though am fairly certain I was in it.  Here’s an awesome teaser clip they made for it: