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It started with a sick horse. Only hours into the race, Team GoLite/Timberland was held up at two mandatory vet checks because their horse was dehydrated, positioning them far behind in 60th place at the beginning of Primal QuestÂ® Utah. Displaying incredible athletic prowess and cool composure, the team miraculously caught up with the race leaders within 12 hours despite having lost more than two hours. After battling their way to front of the pack, they encountered yet another challenge: during a rappel descent, one of their bikes got snagged in the lines, resulting in the rear tire popping off and falling more than100 feet to certain doom. GoLite/Timberland had no choice but to wait and watch as the lead teams once more disappeared into the horizon, while Primal QuestÂ® staff struggled to free their tangled bikes. Thanks to the generosity of Go Far podcast reporter Travis Macy, who removed his own bike rear tire and gave it to the team, they were quickly back on track chasing down the leaders.
After six days of exhausting physical strain over grueling terrain, and under a blazing sun in 100+ degree temperatures, Teams Nike PowerBlast, Merrell/Wigwam Adventure, and GoLite/Timberland were all vying for first place. Nike PowerBlast led the pack, but GoLite/Timberland pushed through numerous obstacles to give them a run for their money.
â€œIt was a very tight race, especially at the end,â€ said Kiwi wonder and Team Captain Aaron Prince. â€œGiven the extenuating circumstances that we faced, we were keen to take second place.â€
â€œPrimal QuestÂ® Utah has been hands down the most grueling adventure race in North America, perhaps ever anywhereâ€ GoLite co-founder and President Demetri Coupounas said. â€œWe are so proud of our team for their amazing show of teamwork, indomitable spirit, and passion for the sport. This was the most exciting expedition race we’ve ever been involved in. The course was incredible, and it was a nail-biter to the end. Primal QuestÂ® Utah was truly what adventure racing is all about.â€
â€œAll eight of the top athletes competing have, at one time or another, been GoLite athletes, and they are all tremendous performers. These athletes are the embodiment of strength and determination and we are thrilled for every one of them,â€ added GoLite co-founder and CEO Kim Coupounas.
Team GoLite/Timberland is made up of powerhouses Aaron Prince of New Zealand, Sara Wallen of Sweden, Marcel Hagener of Germany, and Chris Forne of New Zealand.
Of 89 teams who began the race, only 55 were able to complete the full course. Other athletes were forced to drop out due to health issues or the unrelenting heat spanning multiple days.
GoLite sparked a lightweight revolution in 1999 when it introduced a full range of ultra-lite equipment and clothing for backpacking and other outdoor adventures that rocked the outdoor sports world. Today the company sponsors more than 50 professional athletes in adventuring racing, trail running, mountain biking, fast-packing and thru-hiking and regularly shares fast + lite techniques in outreach seminars around the world. For more information on GoLite products, athletes, and outreach programs, visit www.GoLite.com or call toll free 888-5-GoLite.