RAAM is the toughest endurance event in the world; a non-stop, continuous race in which cyclists ride as fast as they can, 3,000 miles, from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.
RAAM participants face challenges beyond the bike riding that include scorching heat, violent winds, thunderstorms, and even tornadoes, altitude, the dark of night, sleep deprivation, muscle injuries, organized crew coordination, navigation, and mental acuity.
Over 250 courageous athletes will race in June, supported by an entourage of over 1000 people, and representing 13 countries and 26 US states.
Competitors dedicate their race to over 30 charities around the world, benefiting organizations fighting cancer, leukemia, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and Hutchinson’s Disease, and others, foundations that assist families of the American military, children’s associations and community groups.
When asked their motivation for racing, many RAAM participants mention the desire to demonstrate the champion in us all, to show the power of believing in yourself--and sometimes in a higher power, regardless of obstacles.
Each year, a number of solo racers and teams set incredible speed records for their category (based on number of teammates, sex and age range). In general, the 1st place solo rider will cross the finish line in 8-9 days, with an overall average speed of 11-12 mph. Four- or eight-person teams will normally finish in 5 – 8 days, and two-person teams in 7 – 10 days.
Over 1500 cyclists have raced RAAM in the 26 years since its inception. Previous competitors have included Tour de France racers, Olympians and Paralympians, World IronMan champions, cycling Hall of Famers, and other accomplished ultra-endurance cyclists of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities.
RAAM has inspired hundreds of athletes already facing personal challenges. Among those who have finished solo RAAM are a one-legged cyclist with a prosthesis and a one-armed cyclist. RAAM teams have included blind cyclists competing on tandems, athletes with diabetes and donated organs, cyclists recovering from cancer and serious accidents and handcyclists.