CYCLISTS AND ENDURANCE ATHLETES generally, might be excited about a documentary film that will be playing in theaters on just one day, May 22, 2018. “Godspeed” The Race Across America; Finding the Strength to Endure, chronicles the efforts of a two-man ultra-cycle team competing in the RAAM race that started on a Pacific Coast pier and ended at the Atlantic Coast.
First-timers Brad Cooper, an Iron Man tri-athlete, and Jerry Schemmel, an author and sportscaster, pedaled non-stop across 12 states over 168 hours to raise charity money for the orphans of Haiti. More than 3000 miles, 24/7.
A podcast that features an interview with the two cyclists is available free from BibRave through iTunes (Ep. 91).
Earned Runs loves the idea of multistate cross-country journeys. Our Summer Challenge, “Run/Walk Across America*,” was adapted from a west-to-east, Portland OR to Portland ME TrekTravel cycle tour. The changing landscape, even if virtual, encourages learning about regional differences in US geography, history, and community. From forests to mountains to prairies, then farmlands to woodlands to rocky coast, the route features waterfalls, lakes, and rivers. There are cities, national parks, monuments, and battlefields on or nearby the route.
Of course, competitors in a grueling, continent-spanning race would not be interested in or concerned with anything other than survival and speed. But for movie-going spectators the film could provide amazing, if sometimes extreme, American scenes and vistas, and possibly inspiration.
The RAAM website has more information on the race, which in 2018 will begin June 12 (solo) and June 16 (team) on the pier in Oceanside CA and end at the City Dock in Annapolis MD. This race is not a staged competition, or restricted to professionals. It is continuous. “Once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line”, declares the organization. “It’s the world longest time trial, the ultimate race of truth.”
The nationally covered event, described as being 30% longer than the Tour de France, began as a solo race in 1982, from Santa Monica CA to New York City. In 1992 relay team racing was introduced and it “quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race”. Adding relay teams of 2, 4, and 8 persons made the event “accessible to any fit cyclist”.
Solo cyclists, who must qualify for the event, have 12 days maximum to finish; most do this in 11 days, the fastest in less than 8 days. Relay teams have 9 days maximum, mostly crossing the finish line in 7.5 days, with the speediest in about 5 days. Anyone may organize a team.
The RAAM provides a unique opportunity for participants to raise money for the charity of their choice, or to opt out and just race! It’s difficult for Earned Runs to not completely copy all the information on the org webpage for this post, it is such a totally awesome experience waiting to happen for any everyday cyclist. Share the link with a someone you love; they won’t be able to resist taking at least a moment to pause and consider entering in 2019. Sure, it’s tough. But it’s a dream competition for endurance freaks.
RUN & MOVE HAPPY!
*Look for information on the RUN/WALK ACROSS AMERICA 2018 in a blog post soon and on the RESOURCES page
BRIDGE TO PHYSICAL SELF
Running, walking, and fitness activities enable us to experience our physical selves in a world mostly accessed through use of fingers on a mobile device.
EARNED RUNS is edited and authored by me, runner and founder. I began participating in road races before 5Ks were common. I've been a dietitian, practiced and taught clinical pathology, and been involved with research that utilized pathology. I am fascinated with understanding the origins of disease as well as health.
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