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Barton Health

Primal Quest Endurance Racers and Tahoe Medics Kick into High Gear

In an unsupported race, Barton Health medical staff will be the only support available for participants at Primal Quest Lake Tahoe, a 450 mile, multi-sport adventure race. The event kicks off August 19 or 20 - at least, that’s what participants are told.

South Lake Tahoe, CA – Thrill seekers, endurance athletes, and medical providers are gearing up for this year’s Primal Quest Lake Tahoe. This non-stop, unsupported race attracts adventurers from Truckee to as far as New Zealand. The multi-sport expedition begins on the South Shore at Lake Tahoe August 19 or 20 and spans more than 450 miles of rugged terrain throughout the Sierra Nevada.

 “Part of the thrill is the unknown,” says Maria Burton, the CEO Managing Partner at Primal Quest and course creator. “Teams know what to pack and have a basic schedule, but won’t receive their navigational maps until they start.  Every race is a different adventure and that’s what keeps many coming back.” 

Before the race begins, participants receive a sparse schedule and comprehensive packing list. Course details, including the start time, are selectively released as the event progresses. According to PrimalQuest.org, coed teams of four will have to use advanced navigation skills to determine their route while “trekking, mountain biking, flat water paddling, river paddling, ascending and rappelling, and caving.” 

Barton Health staff and physicians from the Lake Tahoe area also have a hand in preparing for the event. Barton Health has donated all the supplies and will offer medical expertise throughout the course. Approximately 35 doctors, nurses, and medical staff from across the United States are volunteering to provide care twenty-four hours a day.
Stephen Bannar, MD, one of Barton Health’s orthopedic surgeons, is Primal Quest’s co-medical director. “This is one of the most intense multi-sport events out there,” says Dr. Bannar of Tahoe Center for Orthopedics. “Our medical team will have advanced lifesaving medical supplies and equipment throughout the course and is prepared to take care of race participants, staff, and volunteers day and night during the event.”

Participants are self-sufficient and must carry their own food and gear.  At each transition area, teams can seek medical attention and collect personal supply caches and equipment. The racers do not know the number of transitions or where they are located.

Barton Health nurse Khristy Gavigan, RN, is the Primal Quest Medical Coordinator and is responsible for medical staffing and care logistics. “Our responsibility is to do what we can for the racers to treat their injuries so they can continue the race,” says Gavigan. “A team member could experience a finger fracture or a nagging blister and keep going, but if another team member can’t go on, the whole team is disqualified,” says Gavigan.

Eleven teams will be participating in the event.  The first teams are expected to finish in four days and the course closes on the ninth day.  The winning team will receive a free entry to the 2016 GODZone Expedition in New Zealand and assorted prizes.

Don't miss exclusive footage from Primal Quest medical providers and racers – “like” Barton Health on Facebook, follow Barton’s medical providers on Twitter or Instagram or track the race at #PrimalQuest15. To schedule an appointment with Barton Health’s orthopedic, rehabilitation, and sports medicine team at one of their California or Nevada locations, call 530.543.5554.