Primal Quest to return in 2008 |

Primal Quest to return in 2008

DEVON ONEILSummit Daily News
Summit Daily file photo/Kristin Skvorc

Primal Quest, adventure racings richest and arguably most famous event, will return to an undisclosed U.S. location in the spring of 2008, according to a release sent out Saturday by the new race management. Primal Quest was last staged in 2006 in the Utah desert surrounding Moab. Race officials announced in February that the race was on hold and would not take place this year.Organizers had originally been hoping to hold the next installment the fifth since the inaugural event was held in Telluride in 2002 in a foreign country, possibly in South America. However, race founder Denise Watkins has since decided not to invest as much money in the event, which never actually turned a profit during its first four editions. Instead, she entered into a licensing agreement with new CEO Don Mann, last summers course director, agreeing to allow the race to live on with a lower budget than before, under Manns direction.I have no doubt that Don will be able to build upon the Primal Quest legacy and create another unique experience for our athletes in 2008, Watkins said in a statement.In that same press release, Mann said: I am honored to have the opportunity to manage Primal Quest in 2008 and beyond. Were dedicated to producing the same quality event for which Primal Quest is so well known this is the greatest race in the world.Former CEO Rich Brazeau said Saturday in a phone interview from California that the race will likely take place on a much smaller scale than before, primarily because of the budget cuts. Basically, the business model had to change, he said, adding that he is still very happy that it will live on, even though he wont be involved with its organization.Mann is a former Navy SEAL and adventure racing veteran who has staged a wealth of multi-day, multi-sport races in his time, most notably the Beast of the East and Expedition BVI.It was unclear as to whether next springs race will still offer a prize purse of $250,000 with a $100,000 share for the winning team (which included Breckenridge resident Monique Merrill last year, and Dillon resident Danelle Ballengee the three previous installments). Calls to the new race spokesman were not returned by press time Saturday.The first date that registrations will be accepted for next springs race is July 1, 2007.Devon ONeil can be contacted at (970) 668-4633, or at

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