Friday, 27 May 2011

DID YOU KNOW? ~ Facts about "The Race Across America"

What is the ... Race Across America (RAAM)?

Until Alisdair and I read "Geronimo Stilton:  The Race Across America," we were unaware this grueling race even existed!  On Page 14 of the novel, this event is described as follows:

"The Race Across America is the longest and most strenuous bicycle race in the world.  It's an ultra-marathon race that's more than 3,000 miles long.  Cyclists pedal for nine to twelve consecutive days, some resting only one to three hours every day.  The race starts on the West Coast, near San Diego, California, and ends on the East Coast.  The exact finish line changes from year to year, but was most recently in Annapolis, Maryland."

"The race requires an incredible amount of physical energy, but mental concentration is also absolutely essential.  In fact, some people believe that mental concentration is the most important factor in the race."

"Cyclists climb more than 100,000 feet along the racecourse.  Participants must pedal across the California and Arizona deserts, enduring brutal temperatures that can reach as high as 105 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then racers must face the Rocky Mountains, the plains of Kansas, and the Appalachian Mountains on their way to the East Coast.  It's easy to see why the Race Across America is considered one of the most difficult racing challenges in the world."  

In just a few days, the 2011 version of the "Race Across America" will play out along the highways designated as the official route.  Very detailed information for each leg, of the race, can be found at 2011 Race Across America .  This website also provides information on the racers who will be competing, the sponsors, interesting historical information and a listing of the records held by riders who have completed the Race Across America.

There are three different "starts" to the race!  The Solo Women start 12:00pm (PDT) Tuesday June 14, 2011;  The Solo Men start 12:00pm (PDT) Wednesday June 15, 2011; and the Teams start 2:00pm (PDT) Saturday June 18, 2011.

Now that we know about this race, it will be interesting to follow the event (via the website), and to keep track of the amazing athletes who are part of this difficult challenge.

After all, even Geronimo Stilton found the course difficult to complete! I have nothing but respect, and best wishes, for the racers planning to race next month.  Good luck to all!

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