The news is out on Primal Quest 2008. I.e., it’s going to take place. But the information on Primal Quest’s web site is a bit vague, and as an intrepid journalist—as well as a racer in the 2006 event—I wanted more. Thus I went to the source, Mr. Don Mann, the new CEO of the PQ for this exclusive interview. . .
Stephen Regenold: What’s your role now with Primal Quest?
Don Mann: I was race director for the 2006 event, and now I’m CEO.
Stephen Regenold: When will PQ 2008 be held?
Don Mann: The race is scheduled for about a year from now, May or June of 2008.
Stephen Regenold: What can you tell me about the course?
Don Mann: It will be domestic, not international, and it’ll be in the Western mountain states again. It’s currently being designed by some world-class athletes.
Stephen Regenold: How long? Ten days again?
Don Mann: It will be a 10-day race again.
Stephen Regenold: Who’s designing the course?
Don Mann: I can’t tell you that right now. World-class athletes.
Stephen Regenold: What’s going to be different with the 2008 event?
Don Mann: A lot. We’re scaling back in some areas. Making it less of a production in areas, more like the original Raid or some of the Eco Challenges. Last year, we spent $100,000 on the ropes sections. We spent $100,000 on the horse start. We spent $2 million on the web site. All of these things will be pared back some. But the course is going to be even more epic than Utah.
Stephen Regenold: Supported or not next year?
Don Mann: The 2008 event will be a supported race, meaning teams need to have their own support crew.
Stephen Regenold: What about the prize money? Still a $250,000 prize purse?
Don Mann: The prize money will not be $250,000, but it’ll still be the biggest purse in the sport, likely around $100,000.
Stephen Regenold: What about TV coverage?
Don Mann: Things have changed. TV is not as big a concern as it was with the original races back 10 years ago. There are so many channels and outlets now. That said, we have the BBC on board to be there for the European broadcast, and for the U.S. we have Mark Wolper working with Warner Brothers looking for a domestic deal.
Stephen Regenold: Any big sponsorship deals for 2008? Title sponsors, etc.?
Don Mann: For sponsors, we’re going to launch more of a grass-roots effort. Teams that secure sponsors on their own will essentially be able to guarantee exposure through this new program, which is called Primal Gold/Silver/Platinum. We’re also working with adventure racing organizations around the country and around the world. We want to unite things some. Hope to offer free Primal Quest entries, for example, with teams that win local AR series. That kind of thing.
Stephen Regenold: Thanks, Don. Will see you at the start line next year!
MORE ON PRIMAL QUEST FROM THE GEAR JUNKIE. . .
1. Stephen Regenold’s feature story on his experience in Primal Quest Utah (2006)
2. Primal Quest Video
3. Primal Quest 2007: Where Art Thou?
4. Photo essay/slideshow on Primal Quest Utah (click on image)
5. Gear Review: Primal Quest Gear, part I: Trekking
6. Gear Review: Primal Quest Gear, part II: Biking
7. Gear Review: Primal Quest Gear, part III: Water Segment
MORE ON ADVENTURE RACING FROM THE GEAR JUNKIE. . .
1. Harvard studies Adventure Racing
2. The Adventure Easting Diet
3. Update on AR (Stephen Regenold writes on AR in the New York Times)
4. Gear Review: Mandatory Gear’s Adventure Racing line
5. Gear Review: Salomon S-Lab XA Pro 3 shoes