"Primal Quest" coming to ESPN2 and ABC

ESPN Inc. will take viewers on a 10-day, 450-mile journey through the Utah desert when "Primal Quest" debuts Oct. 9 at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

A new, one-hour episode of the elite expedition adventure race will be aired for four consecutive nights at 7:30 p.m. ET until the dramatic conclusion is broadcast Oct. 14 at 2 p.m. on ABC.

One of the most grueling multi-sport races in existence, and the only co-ed endurance team sport, the Primal Quest event sports 90 teams of four that will test their physical and mental limits by taking on brutal terrain in an attempt to reach the finish line and earn a piece of the $250,000 prize purse.

Produced by ESPN Original Entertainment in conjunction with Barrett Productions, "Primal Quest" will be aired across a variety of ESPN networks, including ESPN Deportes, ESPN2HD and ESPN International, with additional content on ESPN360.

"'Primal Quest' captures the highest levels of athleticism, stamina and perseverance displayed by some of the world's greatest multi-sport athletes," said Joan Lynch, ESPN Original Entertainment executive producer.

"We believe the adventure racing genre is a natural fit for ESPN and are excited about introducing it to our audience."

Utilizing GPS tracking, viewers will be able to not only watch the teams on TV, but also follow their progress at www.ecoprimalquest.com.

Each episode will follow teams — armed only with a set of topographic maps and a compass — as they race against the clock to each of 40 checkpoints and fight off hunger, fatigue, pain and the unforgiving forces of nature.

During the competition, each team must trek, mountaineer, canyoneer, horseback ride, mountain bike, swim and paddle rapids, and navigate day and night with little to no sleep.

"ESPN provides the perfect worldwide stage for these incredible athletes to be showcased," said Primal Quest CEO Rich Brazeau.

"The competition is fierce and the human drama is riveting.. ESPN's multiple media offerings will let viewers get up close and personal with all the trials and tribulations of the athletes."

Other Primal Quest facts and figures

  • Primal Quest is the equivalent of 17 nonstop New York City Marathons (on unmarked trails)

  • Teams participated from 20 countries, including Japan, Guatemala, Ireland, South Africa, Brazil and Sweden

  • Temperature variances during the race: 25 degrees to 110 degrees Fahrenheit

  • Average elevation gain of 60,000 feet

  • Eight miles of ropes on the course to tackle canyons and mountains

  • 200,000-plus pounds of Gatorade and water consumed during the race

  • Average daily caloric intake athletes need each day: 6,000

  • Average weight lost during race: 5.6 pounds

  • Teams average less than 45 minutes of sleep each day and most competitors suffer waking hallucinations