Known as “the world’s toughest bicycle race,” Race Across America (RAAM) is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. Cyclists brave enough to take on this feat will race 3,000 miles (with 170,000 feet of climbing) through 12 states, 88 counties and 350 communities. Racers start in Oceanside, California, and will end in Annapolis, Maryland. Riders may compete solo or in a 2, 4 or 8 person relay team. This year, solo racers took of on June 16, and teams started on June 20.
Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race, with the fastest finishing in just over eight days. Solo racers will ride 250-350 miles a day, balancing speed and the need for sleep. Team racers have a maximum of nine days and most finish in about seven and a half days. Teams will ride 350-500 miles a day, racing non-stop.
RAAM is one continual stage rage, similar to a time trial. Once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour.
Check out these members of Wick Nation that are killing it in this year’s race!
Photo courtesy of Race Across America
Brian Toone is definitely a cyclist to watch in this year’s RAAM, if you haven’t been already. As of today, Brian has cycled over 2,215 miles (and adding more every minute!) with an average speed of 16.8 mph. Brian is currently riding through southwestern Indiana and is in ninth place among athletes in the men’s solo category!
In addition to racing 3,000 miles across 12 states, the 38-year-old Samford University assistant professor of computer science is raising money for the nonprofit organization Nuevas Esperanzas, which means New Hope in English, on his race. The organization, through which Toone met his wife, Kristine, helps with community development projects for rural areas around its base of operations in León, Nicaragua.
The Veloroos are the first Australian, all female team to take part in the Race Across America. Their team consists of four female athletes from the eastern suburbs of Sydney. The Veloroos include Julie-Anne Hazlett, 41, Sarah Matthews, 40, Natasha Horne, 31, and Nicole Stanners, 42. All of the ‘Roos are endurance specialists with backgrounds in triathlon. Sarah and Julie-Anne are both Coogee Triathlon Club Members, Nicole races for BRATS and Natasha races for Balance UTS. All four team members have represented Australia in the Triathlon World Championships in the last two years over distances ranging from sprint to full Ironman.
The Veloroos took off from Oceanside on June 20 with the team riders and currently hold first place in the 4-person female team category! They are currently riding through eastern Missouri with 1,887 miles under their belts and an average speed of 21.8 mph. The Veloroos will be racing in the ASPIRE FOUR Crave Pink or the ASPIRE FOUR Black to keep their feet dry and blister-free. You can keep up with the Veloroos on their Facebook or through Tractalis live tracking.
Check out this video straight from the course of day four for the Veloroos.