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(file photo)

Race Across America, Race Across the West 2019 Begins June 11

Oceanside CA— Competitors from twenty-one countries will begin the Race Across America (RAAM),the world’s toughest endurance bicycle race, from Oceanside on June 11. The event has more close 40 solo racers, who will begin their 3,000 mile coast-to-coast ride at 12 noon from the Oceanside Pier and ending in Annapolis, Md.

Also departing form the Oceanside Pier on June 11 are the solo and team competitors in the Race Across the West. These riders follow the same course through the California and Arizona deserts as the RAAM racers but finish in Durango, Colorado, a distance of 875 miles. In all,  the event will welcome more than 265 registered participants and 1,000 crew.

(file photo)

RAAM Team riders leave the Pier at Noon on Saturday, June 15, 2019.

RAAM is in its 38th year and will start for its 14th year in Oceanside, CA. Race Across the West celebrates its 12th year, all of them starting in Oceanside. Both races are heralded as among the best in the world and draw the top ultra-cyclists from around the globe.

Christoph Strasser (Photo courtesy RAAM)

RAAM is truly a race but unlike the three great European Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, 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. Solo RAAM riders will travel 250- 350 miles per day while teams crank out 300-500 miles per day. Team sizes are 2, 4 and 8 persons. Relay Team racing has made the event accessible to any fit cyclist. Teams have a maximum of nine days to complete the race. Solo rider must complete the course in a maximum of 12 days. The fastest solo riders complete the journey in under eight days. Christoph Strasser, who will be chasing his sixth overall win this year, holds the record for finishing the course in 7 days, 15 hours, 56 minutes, a 16.42 mph average.

At a Glance

  • Athletes are traveling from 23 states and 21 countries.
  • 25-year-old Jakob Olsen from Hedehusene, Denmark is the youngest athlete.
  • 76-year-old Edwina Brocklesby from Kingston Upon Thames, UK is the oldest athlete.
  • Seana Hogan (60, Valley Springs, CA) will be chasing her 7th overall win and to be the first 60-year-old female finisher.
  • Occupations include, among others, lawyer, carpenter, coach, firefighter and doctors.
  • For a full list of athletes, click here.

The event is more than a race, it is a tool for fundraising. Team Rotary RAAMs Polio, a 4-person team made up of Rotary Club Members raised over $1 million for PolioPlus, Rotary International’s program to eradicate the disease. Last year they won the Lon Haldeman Award for most charitable funds raised.

Team Oceanside returns this year with an 8-person team, made up of mostly police officers, will be taking on RAAM for their fourth time. They will be raising money for the Oceanside Police K9 Foundation.

Another team with local ties, Team Life Time a two-person team are veteran ultra-racers and they will be raising money for the Life Time Foundation.

In the Race Across the West, Team San Diego Sports Medicine/ZOCA with  leader Rob Bernhard, a four-time RAW and 2-time RAAM veteran, has assembled an very experienced group of ultra-racers to compete in the 50-59 year old age division.

Team Viasat, a veteran RAAM team for a company based in Carlsbad will be shifting gears to race RAW this year. The Carlsbad office will be challenging the Denver, CO office. Viasat was one of the original 8-person RAAM teams joining the race the year after the division was introduced. This will be their first RAW attempt.

To learn more about RAAM and RAW and view live tracking of the competitors progress visit http://www.raceacrossamerica.org