Race Across America (RAAM): "The World's Toughest Bike Race!" This race starts on the west coast and continues around the clock non-stop until the finish line on the east coast.
Created in 1982, RAAM is now the longest running ultra-distance bicycle endurance competition in the world. This is not a stage race like the Tour de France, where each day a set distance is covered. In RAAM the gun fires somewhere on the West Coast (Oceanside, CA in 2008) and the finishing line is over 3000 miles away, in Annapolis, MD., on the other side of the continent.
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.
In 1993 Outside magazine, the biggest and most popular magazine on outdoor sports, commissioned a panel of experts to rank the world’s toughest events. Using such criteria as the “Mule Factor”—the distances involved; the “Forum”—how tough the course is; the “Anguish Index”—how hard the competitors “have to work to convince themselves that what they’re doing is only mildly inane and self-destructive;” and the “O Factor”—a combination of the cost to do the event and the drop out rate. Given these criteria, as judged by a number of multi-sport athletes and observers, the ranking came out as follows:
1. Race Across America 676.2 points
2. Vendee Globe Around-the-World Sailing Race 675.0 points
3. Iditarod Sled Dog Race 417.5 points
4. U.S. Army’s Best Ranger Competition 402.5 points
5. Raid Gauloises Wilderness Competition 399.0 points
6. La Traversee Internationale (25-mile swim) 301.4 points
7. Badwater 146-Mile Cross Country Run 113.4 points
8. Hawaii Ironman Triathlon 67.2 points
We have a 4-person relay, and often are asked how we’re splitting up the mileage. We’re planning on splitting the team into two groups, each of which will take about a six hour shift. While group A rides for six hours, group X will rest and recharge. During the six hour shift, the ON group will alternate 30 minutes on and 30 minutes off… This is our plan—but like all good plans made in advance, we’ll see what happens when the rubber hits the road. Things may need to shift...
FULL ROUTE Details (Time Stations) »
ELEVATION Chart »
Start location: Oceanside, CA.
Finish location: Annapolis, MD.
Start dates & times (pdt):
Solo: Sunday, June 9, 2010, 12:00PM
Team: Wednesday June 12, 2010, 2:00PM
Time Cutoff: Teams: 216 hours (9 days)
Enlarge Route Image »
Austrian adventurer Wolfgang Fasching has won solo RAAM and climbed Mt.
Everest. “Everest is more dangerous, but RAAM is much harder,” said Fasching.
Oct 15, 2007
RAAM Has a New Finish
We are excited to announce that Annapolis, MD, will host the Finish for the 2008 race. RAAM will be racing into history as Annapolis celebrates its 300th anniversary in 2008.
Oct 15, 2007
Over 1200 Miles of New Route for RAAM 2008
For the past 5 years the RAAM route has remained largely the same with only minor changes. With the help of lots of maps, local knowledge, and already a first drive of the 2008 route by Route Designer, Peter Moffett, we have over 1200 miles of new roads in 2008!