RAAM 2019… here we come.
Ben Dodge and Tom Liddell are racing as a two man team in the world’s toughest bicycle race: the Race Across America, a.k.a. RAAM.
About RAAM: “RAAM is a race! But, unlike the three great Europeon Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. It is the world’s longest time trial…the ultimate race of truth.
RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time, with no rest days.
RAAM is not limited to professional cyclists. RAAM is open to professional and amateur athletes alike. While solo racers must qualify to compete, anyone may organize a team and race.
Racers must cycle 3000 miles, across 12 states, and climb over 170,000 vertical feet. Team racers have a maximum of nine days but most finish in about seven and a half with the fastest in just over 5 days. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race, most finishing in 11 days with the fastest finishing in under 8 days.” (http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/about.html)
Who races RAAM and WHY would anyone do this? “Racers come from all over the world and all walks of life. Racers are both amateurs and professionals. The majority are ordinary people, with full time jobs and a passion for riding their bicycle. Racers range in age from 13 to 75. Approximately 50 % of the racers are from outside the US. About 18% of the racers are women.
Every year there are racers from at least 20 countries. Over 35 countries, from six continents, have been represented over the 35-year history of the race.
When asked why? Some might echo George Mallory’s sentiment about Mt. Everest, “Because it’s there!”
For most racers the why is not quite so simple. Reasons include raising money for a charitable cause, winning a division, setting a record, seeing the country, sharing an experience with friends, adding their name to the distinguished roster of finishers, etc. But, overwhelmingly most people race RAAM simply to have fun and challenge themselves.” (http://www.raceacrossamerica.org/about.html)
Simple… they love a challenge and the growth you can experience only by pushing through extremely difficult times. They are drawn to difficult events. Ben has said, “We love racing, we love bicycles and we love a good challenge… so it just makes sense.”
More importantly, Ben and Tom are racing to help raise awareness and funds for a local foundation in honor of their friend and fellow cyclist Rob Dollar who was tragically and senselessly killed when a motor vehicle carelessly crossed a double yellow line and struck him. The Rob Dollar Foundation was created in memory of Rob Dollar and is actively engaged in bring more awareness to cycling safety and advocacy. We proudly support this foundation and it’s mission, and we are honored to race for them.