Saturday, July 01, 2006

Neck and neck

After five days of racing across desert, rock, mountains, forests, and sheer cliffs, less than 45 minutes separated the top two teams in Primal Quest, the 417-mile race, set this year near Moab, Utah.

Nike PowerBlast crossed the finish line at 5:45 a.m., race organizers said. Team Nike slept a total of 13 hours in their 143 hours of competition.

67 teams are still racing, with a handful expected to finish within hours.

An edited version of the finish-line update from the Primal Quest site,

“It was more like adventure torture," Michael Tobin said, as Team GoLite/Timberland dogged Nike until the finish line, arriving less than 45 minutes behind.

“We had to persevere and push like no other,” said team captain, Michael Kloser, teammate Ian Adamson noted that it was an “amazing, amazing course.”

This year’s Primal Quest took athletes through many of Utah’s majestic landmarks including, Gemini Bridges, the slickrock of Moab and the towering rock spires of Castle Rock, the Rectory, and the Priest and Nuns. Teams ascended and rappelled over eight miles of rope during the race, a massive and record-breaking undertaking by race directors. Due to the harsh climate, 15,000 gallons of water and over 1,800 cases of Gatorade (more than the inventory supplied to the major college Bowl Games & Super Bowl combined) were placed at strategic water stations throughout the course.

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