Here are a couple of pictures from Team Cordura/Osprey, having just finished up the climbing section, heading back out for the long trek to Checkpoint 27 and the TA for the next bike leg, and passing the Merrell/Haglofs team on their way in to the ropes section.
Crossing paths with Merrell/Haglofs
Tom Zidek leading Team Cordura/Osprey out from the climbing leg
Stacy and Kiviok looking strong and confident!!!
The team is looking great in these photos!! Everyone looks strong and happy, with smiles on their
faces, despite being three days into the race. Finishing up the ropes section would be reason
enough for some smiles!!!
Rock on Team Cordura/Osprey. Way to be “Durable People”!!!
Hello Again!!! Wahoooooooo – Team Cordura/Osprey continues to rock along in 3rd place, and at the last checkpoint, we were exactly 2 hours behind 2nd place – Salomon/Crested Butte, and still 4.5 hours behind the leaders. It seems we have been the same 4.5 hours behind OrionHealth for weeks now, but only been three days!!! Looks like Merrell/Zanfel is making a bit of a move to try to bridge up to the three leading teams as they have separated themselves from the cluster of 5 teams that have been together for the past two days. Hopefully our crew can hold them off. As folks may have seen on the PQ website, three checkpoints on the trekking section were eliminated, so now the teams are free to get from Checkpoint 22 all the way to Checkpoint 27 any way they wish, which is about 45 miles, so this should make for some interesting navigational choices and the possibilities for some changes in the standings as teams try to find the best way through Wind Cave National Park and down to the Checkpoint at Elk Mountain, where teams will transition to their bikes once again for a 37 mile dash out of the Black Hills and onwards to the Badlands and Angustora Reservoir for the swimming leg, a lake orienteering section and then the long paddle down the Cheyenne River to the dreaded 64 mile trek through the heart of the Badlands. Gulp!!!
The top eight teams are through the glorious climbing leg and on the long trek to Elk Mountain, with the top three still out front and making their way through Custer State Park this evening and on into Wind Cave NP. Just watch out for the bison!
Stacy Moller and Super Stud Scott Swaney enjoying a rest break at a TA
Team Cordura/Osprey is still rocking along, currently in 3rd place. It seems that Salomon/Crested Butte is having some issues with their Spot tracking device, as they have reappeared in 2nd place after over 12 hours being out of touch, which has us now in 3rd place, probably the place we have been all along!! As of 10:30 this morning, Team OrionHealth (from NZ) continues with healthy lead and have just completed the ropes section. Salomon/CB is on the ropes and Cordura/Osprey has just arrived at the ropes section. These three teams appear to have distanced them selves from a cluster of 4 chasing teams at this point. We went back and forth with Team Bones all night, but it appears they have chosen to take a short break, or………..maybe their GPS is not working right either!! The top eight teams though have really distanced themselves from the rest of the race, as the 8th place team (Team iMoat) has a 30 mile lead on 9th place. Sure looks like the winner will come from this cluster of 8, and actually the top three right now have a healthy lead on the other 5 teams in this lead bunch. Following the ropes section, the teams will continue on a long trekking leg down to the swim and paddle sections, which will take them well towards the east, out in the heart of the Badlands.
We all hope the ropes section is going well. Should be a blast!
WOW!!! Team Cordura/Osprey is rocking!!! It is now almost midnight on Day 2 (over 40 hours into the race) and Team Cordura/Osprey has moved up to 2nd place, and it looks like they have at least a couple mile lead over 3rd place (Team Bones, who finished 3rd last year in PQ Montana) right now. Not sure what has happened with Salomon/Crested Butte as they were in 2nd place 8 hours ago, but appear to have not left the transition from the last orienteeting leg. Our team continues to make up time on bike legs!! The leader is still Team OrionHealth (from New Zealand) as they have managed to build a fairly large lead at this point, now having completed the big bike leg and currently trekking towards the massive climbing circus set up by Jay Smith and Dave Medera, of Moab climbing fame. Jay’s wife, Kitty Calhoun, is one of the volunteers on the climbing section. Wouldn’t that be cool for our females in the race to show up and see Kitty (who is one of America’s most accomplished female mountaineers) as your “volunteer”. Speaking of volunteers, kudos to ALL the volunteers out there on the course. We met a great guy, Richard at the check-in who totally remembered Scott and Tom from their amazing PQ Moab experience where they continued just the two of them after their original teammates all dropped out with injuries. Great story!!!
Saw a great photo today of Stacy taping up here feet and she had a huge smile on her face. Rock on Stacy!!! Hey Josiah, your Mom rocks!!!!
And if anyone gets a chance to watch the video clip playing on the Leaderboard page, watch it to the end. Huge call out from a team leaving the start to Osprey Packs, and I did not pay them to say that. I cannot get over over how overwhelming it was to watch all the teams blast out of the start line yesterday morning and over 50% of the packs were Osprey. Can’t say I had any expectations, but that sure was rewarding!!! Big kudos to everyone at Osprey!!!!!!
I am off to bed and have a radio interview in the morning to update folks on the race! Sure am glad to be reporting some great news. Hope the crew keeps it up through the night!!! At this pace, they should arrive at the daunted rope section sometime during the dark. WOW. Sunrise from a tyrolean traverse in the middle of the Needles would be pretty awesome.
Keep smiling all!!!
Hello again from Primal Quest. Racing continued through the first night. Team Cordura/Osprey arrived at the cave a little before 7pm (35 miles into the long bike leg) in 5th place, having made up three spots already on this first bike section. During the team orientation presentation on Thursday afternoon, when the disciplines and distances were revealed, we were stoked to see that 355 of the total 606 miles were to be on bikes, as we feel like we have a pretty strong biking team. And to see a few pure orientation sections is great too, as Tom is a very strong navigator, and we felt this could be a strength especially with Kiviok on board as our back-up navigator!! Our speculations are coming to fruition, as we have risen up the leader board during these biking and orientation sections. Team Cordura / Osprey arrived at the first transition from the long opening leg run in 8th place and through the first orientation section and onto the bike we have moved up to 5th. Now, it is Saturday morning, the caving section is complete and the team has rocked through the next bike leg. 52 miles from the cave exit to the transition to a bike orienteering section in just under 12 hours, so they must have taken a nap for a while. And Tom’s navigational skills obviously came into play as they found a sweet shortcut to avoid the town of Deadwood and moved up in the overall standings. Coming out of the bike nav section, Team Cordura/Osprey has moved up to 3rd place, only 4.5 hours behind the leaders. Back onto a long biking leg, which will take them to a trekking leg that includes the much anticipated climbing section, with some supposedly spectacular climbs and traverses across the towers of the Needles area, all in the shadow of Mount Rushmore.
More later!!!! Rock on!
Hello all – quick report as I get ready to check out of Rapid City. Almost Noon on day 1, so folks have already been racing for over 6 hours. Looks like we were about 8th place into the first Checkpoint, at about 10:00am this morning. The first leg was a 26 mile run, and now the teams are out on a 17 point orienteering course, that when I spoke with the course director this morning, thought it would take most of the teams about 5+ hours to complete, with maybe one or two possibly approaching 4 hours, if they did it at a dead run. That must put it somewhere in the 10-15 mile range too. At that point they will transition to a LONG mountain bike leg and start the long haul up into the Black Hills. At the 35 mile point on this first bike leg, the teams will encounter a 2 mile long cave system, that according to the street gossip yesterday should take teams 6-8 hours to complete, so Team Cordura/Osprey should emerge from the cave sometime in the middle of the first night, mount the trusty steeds again and continue on the bike leg. This leg will take them on the outskirts of the famous old west gambling town of Deadwood and point south for a total leg somewhere close to 100 miles, by the time they transition into a trekking section and the climbing section, which is reportedly AMAZING!! Long tyrolean traverses across the rock towers of the Needles. They will continue to trek down on through Wind Cave NP (Stacy and I unknowingly passed right next to a checkpoint on the drive up here on Wednesday) and eventually turn east. Somewhere about day 3 or 4, the teams will encounter a 7 mile lake swim and then eventually on to a 38 mile river kayak out towards the Badlands. The later stages of the race will find the teams trekking well out into the Badlands National Park, trying to avoid any direct interfaces with Bison for sure!! The final transition will be to the bikes again, for a 100+ mile dash back to the finish right here in Rapid City. Top teams should complete the course in 6-7 days, so hopefully our crew is amongst them finishing up next Thursday or Friday.
Just wanted to say a special thanks to our sponsors for all the support, some financial, most gear and more importantly, psychologically!!! This is a tough event and the durability of the people and products will be severely tested!! Special thanks to Cordura brand for their kind financial support and for supplying some great fabrics for our race packs, which are of course Osprey’s!! The team will be using a combination of Talon 22’s and 33’s. And thanks to MSR for our water filter and E-wing (manditory sunshade to escape the blazing sun out here). That water filter will get a real test out in the silty waters of the Badlands. Thanks and cheers to all.
Good Morning to all!
A quick breakfast and off in the buses to the start. For the first time, I got to see all the teams and, yes, there are tons of Osprey packs in the race!! Without doubt, the dominant brand for sure, with Salomon and Camelbak a distant second and third, and few Gregory’s and others mixed in.
The drive out to start line took about half an hour in total darkness. As teams milled about and rested, the sun start to paint the eastern sky a light orange and under growing light at 5:38am, the starters pistol blasted off. Team Cordura/Osprey, starting lined up right in front, bolted out of the gate and along with a couple other teams quickly separated themselves from the main pack as the runners all disappeared over a rise in the road. Time to start tracking us on the PQ Leaderboard!! This can easily be accessed through our team website :
or directly on the Primal Quest website:
As of 6:40am, about an hour into the race, we are currently in 5th place!!! Rock on team!
That’s all for now!
Navigator Tom Zidek plotting at 11:30pm
The last real meal for at least 6 days!!
Super Stud Swaney and Rock Star Stacy await the start
Team Cordura / Osprey blasts off the line in the increasing daylight.
2:30am – Friday, August 14th. Off to the start we go.
12:40am and we are off to sleep for an hour and a half. Nothing like starting a major race on sleep deprevation!!!
Happy Birthday to Josiah!!!!! Your Mom is rocking with the boys and can’t wait to hear all sorts of new jokes!
Tom, Scott and Kiv say “I love you” to Anna, Jen and Ann and that they are not gay, but their boyfriends are!!!
Keep smiling all!
Check-in for Primal Quest 2009 started this morning at the Holiday Inn of Rapid City. Good to see some old friends and meet new ones! The team had to get all gear inspected and approved for the trekking, biking, caving (yep, caving!), climbing, swimming and kayaking sections and the medical check. All the check-ins started about 9:00am and we did not get completed until 2:15pm, then off to the race orientation meeting at a local theater. We got introduced to all the organizers and local folks who have put this whole carnival together. This was followed by a mass invasion of a local street music festival and introductions of each team to the festival goers and collecting our passports and maps for the whole event. All the teams then dashed back to the hotel to make final gear preparations and the navigators started the plotting process. It is now 11:00pm and we are just past half way through the plotting process. Stacy has crashed out to get a couple hours of sleep and us guys are trying to figure out which course to take.
I was absolutely blown away today with how many Osprey packs are in this race. I’ll know tomorrow at the start but it seems that well over 50% of the packs in the race are Osprey. Sweet!!!!
More in the wee hours of the morning!!! Sleep tight all!
Stacy, Tom, Scott and Kiviok - Team Cordura / Osprey