Race Across America is one of the longest and toughest endurance cycling event in the world. In 1982, RAAM began with four solo riders with teams being added in 1994. But make no mistake, RAAM is a race. The course is about 30% longer than the Tour de France and riders must finish in half the time allowed for the Tour. Not only that, this race is open to professional cyclists and to amateurs as well. Cyclists come from all over the world to compete in RAAM making it an extremely competitive field of athletes.
The course for the race covers 3000 miles, crosses 12 states and has a vertical ascent of over 170,000 feet. As you can see by the map below, we will race literally from sea to shining sea starting in Oceanside, California the second week in June and ending in Annapolis, Maryland. Teams such as ours will race non-stop 24 hours a day regardless of weather, illness, darkness, or misdirection with the hopes of finishing in 7 days or less.
No one does this race totally alone. Teams will assemble a top crew of around 12-14 people who will co-ordinate the race. The crew is an essential part of racing strategy. Sometimes functioning as map readers, guides, cooks, coaches, psychologists, errand runners, and sleep deprived zombies, they will refine and direct every aspect of the race ensuring not only our safety but our drive to finish.
You might be wondering how many athletes race RAAM. Not many. The ones who do come away with an achievement to last a lifetime and for us that means not only an athletic achievement but also one for our charitable community. We support charitable giving and demonstrate this through our racing efforts.
To read more about RAAM and the current racers for 2018, visit the RAAM website at www.raceacrossamerica.org
And What About RAW?
Race Across the West (RAW) is the shorter version of RAAM. It is often used as a qualifier for RAAM and has attracted ultracyclists from around the world. This can be a testing ground for first timers or for those interested in a shorter race. RAW shines on its own as one of the crown jewels of ultracycling. The starting line is in Oceanside, CA and follows the first 930 miles of the RAAM route, through four states which offers some of the most challenging terrain early in the race. From the intense climbing over the Sierra Mountains through the scorching heat of the Mojave and Sonoran desert and finishing in the Colorado Rockies near Durango, CO, ultracyclists find themselves challenged to their upper limits.
To learn more about RAW and the current racers for 2018, visit the RAW website at raceacrossthewest.org
Why RAAM or RAW?
We are a group of individuals who thrive on challenge. For 2018, LS&G is entering a 4 person mixed (3 women, 1 man) relay cycling team for RAW. This team consists of seasoned athletes who are relatively new to cycling and RAW is the first foray into ultracycling. We will combine our unique and collective determination, strength and sheer will (this is one CRAZY endeavor!) to race from Oceanside, CA to Durango, CO covering 930 miles, beating strong winds and temperatures of over 115 degrees in the desert with the goal to finish as quickly as humanly possible! We will be fundraising to benefit our partner and great friends at Project Recycle. Project Recycle’s focus is 3-fold, to provide bicycles earned by deserving children who work for an entire school year to improve in three areas: Respect, Attendance and Academic Growth. Learn more about Project ReCycle here (link to PR webpage- projectrecycle.org). Bicycles gifted to the children are donated and repaired with the utmost care by a host of volunteer mechanics.
Our purpose is to seek a personal challenge while inspiring others to take that first step toward an adventure of their own. Whether it is that first bike provided through Project ReCycle, or dusting off your own bike to search for untold beauty, we race for you. The first pedal stroke is the start to unlock an inner potental that can lead to unknown challenges and health benefits begging to be discovered. We strive to help others find a new or, perhaps, existing frontier.