Anderson and squad ready for the quest |

Anderson and squad ready for the quest

Ian Cropp

VAIL ” Sari Anderson and her teammates for this year’s Primal Quest expedition race know the importance of water.

“We have three world-class paddlers,” Anderson said.

Yeah, but team Nike/Beaver Creek is more concerned with another aspect of water.

“I think the hardest thing is staying hydrated,” Anderson said. “It’s going to be so warm.”

For 10 days starting Sunday, Anderson, Richard Ussher, Martin Dreyer and Gordon Blythen will race across more than 500 miles of the Utah desert.

Anderson and Ussher raced together on Team Nike’s victories at the Teva Mountain Games and Raid World Cup events.

“We have a slightly different team,” said Vail’s Anderson. “But we’ve all been living together. We’re really confident and we think we’ll be strong.”

In addition to the paddling sections, the team should excel in the mountain-biking and trekking stages, Anderson said.

Anderson and Ussher will be sharing the responsibilities as captains.

“I think our whole team will lead in different sections depending on how we are feeling,” Anderson said. “That seems to be the case with most teams in this size race. Everyone plays their role.”

Dreyer and Blythen, who are from South Africa and New Zealand, respectively, have spent the past few weeks training in Vail, while acclimating to the altitude.

For the most part, however, the team has tried to stay fresh for the upcoming race.

“We haven’t been killing ourselves,” Anderson said. “I’d go to work, get a bit of a run or a (bike) ride in, and get our gear sorted. I’m very relieved to have the packing done. It’s quite tough, especially for me ” I’m working full time, or trying to.”

The team hopes to get some last-minute bonding on Friday’s car ride to Utah before the competition begins.

“We hope to finish feeling like we couldn’t have done any better,” Anderson said.

Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or

Vail, Colorado

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