Race Across America (RAAM) is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well.
RAAM has a rich and storied history. In 1982 four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Teams were added in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Relay team racing made the event accessible to any reasonably fit cyclist. The 2016 race will be the 35nd edition of RAAM.
There is no other race in the world like RAAM. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it – racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and fun! There is no race that matches the distance, terrain and weather, no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end.
Racers must traverse 3000 miles across 12 states and climb over 170,000 vertical feet. 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. 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 or Solo?
There are different divisions in which to race. There are 2-, 4- and 8-Person relay teams. The workload may be split up any way the teammates choose. On an 8-Person team, each racer will ride roughly three hours per day. Solo is just that – one person travels the entire distance. Whether team or solo you will have a support crew following you. The support crew handles all of the logistics – food, fluids, navigation, clothing changes, medical needs, bike repairs, etc. – so that racers can focus on racing.
Who Races RAAM?
Racers come from all over the world and all walks of life. Racers are both amateurs and professionals. But, the majority of racers are ordinary people with a passion for riding their bicycle. Racers range in age from 13 to 75. Every year there are racers from at least 15 countries. Over 25 countries have been represented over the 30-year history of the race. Approximately 40 % of the racers are from outside the US. About 15% of the racers are women.
Why Race RAAM?
Some might echo George Mallory’s sentiment about Mt. Everest, “Because it’s there!”
For most racers it is not that simple. Reasons include raising money for a charitable cause, setting a record, seeing the country, spending time with friends, adding their name to the finishers list, etc. But, overwhelmingly most people race RAAM simply to have fun and challenge themselves.
Whatever the reason, RAAM is an incredible journey across a beautiful country! Not a single racer will walk away unmoved by the achievement.
Racing for Charitable Causes
RAAM is an outstanding platform for raising money for charitable causes. Racers annually raise collectively in excess of $2 million for a wide range of charitable causes.
Fans from all over the world follow RAAM. Fans can follow RAAM on the web, through the bi-weekly RAAM Newsletter, race blogs, the social media (Facebook and Twitter) and traditional mainstream media. There is local, national and international coverage by the traditional media. Additionally, RAAM has at least four of its own media crews on the course providing up-to-date video, photo and text coverage. Race coverage statistics:
· 25+ million page views annually
· 2500+ articles in mainstream media (TV, radio and print)