Primal Quest is an extreme scavenger hunt that combines extreme sports in an expedition long adventure race. The Primal Quest race can last up to ten days though most teams complete the race in about six. Teams of four race for a prize of a quarter of a million dollars through dangerous terrain and pre-planned adventures. The race is becoming more popular and is drawing extreme sports fans that are fans of Survivor and other adventure type entertainment. Reality sports are the new wave as contestants pit their skill at survival type tasks that have and element of danger and at the same time race for a goal or objective.
The contestants of Primal Quest wear global positioning satellite device locators so that each team can be tracked using the internet or GPS tracking system. Locations of the races are picked to be extreme in nature and have dangerous consequences for those who do not have a survival instinct. For example the Primal Quest race in 2006 was held in the Utah desert. If you have ever driven across Utah you will know that this high plains desert is not for the weak of heart. The soaring temperatures and bleak landscape added the hardships that these extreme sports enthusiasts had to endure. The contestants have to carry everything with them and are allowed only three days worth of food. After that they have to live off the land and find food were ever they can.
The extreme sports that the contestants had to compete in included technical rope skills, mountain biking, mountain climbing, hiking, kayaking, and horse back riding. The athletes had to be very versatile and be able to demonstrate team work and tenacity to get through the course. Not only did the athletes have to survive without much gear, they had to deal with the danger of rattlesnakes and exposure from the desert. The nights in the Utah desert drops temperature quickly and is just as dangerous as the soaring temperatures during the day. Averaging around 110 degrees during the day, the temperature can plunge into the forties at night. This would cause the contestants to have to carry extra clothes so that they can adjust from day to night.
The Utah Primal Quest race can be seen on the Primal Quest web site and on ESPN 2. The 2008 race will not be in Utah, but was stated to be in the western United States. The producer is reducing the prize for this event to $100,000 but he promises that Primal Quest will be better with more extreme sports and more challenges for the contestants to go through.
With the popularity of Primal Quest, it is assured that more expedition type adventure races will be coming to television. The producer has even stated that there may be a channel developed to air just this kind of extreme sports events. Amateur adventure racers are starting to start their own adventure racing clubs because most of the competitors on Primal Quest has the backing of some pretty high ranking marketers like Nike and Red Bull.