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RAAM Oceanside California
Race Across America (RAAM) 2008 4 Person Team

Meet the Team: Crew and Support
2008 CREW


David Mills
crew Chief / navigator

Hometown: Washington DC
Age: Over the hill (explanation)
Strengths: Form shadows, Sudoku and procrastination
Weaknesses: L5/S1, drop shadows, Rubiks Cube and cheesecake
Favorite read: Touching the Void
Favorite meal: Next

David's dream of crossing the country by bike was crushed by a nagging back injury and personal reasons. He adds positive energy to the team lending his motivational support as well as logistical and tactical aid. He's an excellent driver and can change a flat in under a minute. He's pretty handy with a wrench and a blender and knows his way around a map like it's his job.


Mariana Pargana
crew chief / alternate rider

Hometown: São Paulo, Brazil
Age: 29
Strengths: drive and discipline
Weaknesses: gelato, coffee and redbull
Favorite Things: 30+ hour training weeks, hard runs, long rides, early swims, hanging out with friends and cooking something new every day!
Mantra: Anything is possible if you really want it!

Mariana was a swimmer growing up in Brazil and was introduced to long distance running in 1997 by her mom, who is a strong marathon runner. After fighting cancer and several health issues in 2002, she decided to go after her dream of doing an Ironman and started doing triathlons. She has done several long distance races including a 200 mile running race (Reach the Beach in NH - 2002-2004); a two day ride to and from Boston and Provincetown, MA (130 miles each way); 6 Ironmans around the world (10:31 PR); and several epic rides. It's long been a dream of hers to be able to drive/ride across the country. She is very excited to support Team Xtreme 4 and is looking forward to sleepless nights, laughs, redbulls and lots of cheering!


Paul Contino
Crew / recruiter

Hometown: Flourtown, Pennsylvania
Age: 27
Strengths: Attitude, perseverance, swimming
Weaknesses: Chocolate
Favorite HANG OUT: Tryst Coffee Shop
Mantra: Be true to yourself, follow your heart, go after your dreams.

Paul got into biking about two years ago after deciding to jump head-first into triathlon.  Since then he has come to embrace cycling as both a sport and a way to further his wanderlust.  Whether riding challenging courses along Caribbean shorelines or covering 200 miles in a single day for charity (http://total200.com), it's the camaraderie and travel that he enjoys most.  When asked about his favorite type of excursion one thing comes to mind: leisurely coffee shop rides turned epic.


Kip Pierson
Crew / photographer

Hometown: Originally from Sterling Heights, MI now living in Washington, DC (home is where the acting job is)
Age: 30
Strengths: Hills, Running, Sense of Direction,and making smoothies.
Weaknesses: The swim and great smiles.
Favorite Race: Is the one that doesn't seem possible to others and probable that I will someday attempt it.
Favorite MOVIE: Anything without Nicholas Cage (although he did a nice job in Faceoff)
Favorite OCD THING: The lines in a freshly vacuumed carpet.
Favorite PUNCHLINE: "So the nun said, $4.50, same as in town." (insert your own setup)
Favorite TEAM: Any Detroit sports team--yes, even the crappy Lions, although not TOO bad this year.

A Nintendo National Semi-Finalist @ the NINTENDO CHAMPIONSHIPS at a younger age (might be a reason for no significant other) and now an actor and a photographer, Kip has stumbled into the world of cycling and triathlons after a long burnout with marathon running. His propensity to do all things "asinine" led him to attempt his first marathon back in 1998 having never run more than ten miles at a time during his one month of training (yes, only one month of running twice a week) and then attempting his first Triathlon---an IRONMAN---with no previous experience. Though he barely survived Ironman Arizona, his need for speed, well moderate to low speed is curbed only by his inability to keep up with those around him. Next up for KIP: Any race with a tailwind.


Christal Goetz
crew / Sports psychologist

ChristalHometown: Naples, FL
Age: that's not a polite question
Strengths: convincing others to do what I want them to
Weaknesses: the snooze button, margaritas and patience
Favorite saying: "If you obey all the rules, you miss all the fun." -- Katherine Hepburn
Favorite meal: pretty much anything with carbs

Having been involved in the team planning stages since early 2007 Christal knows the rigors of being on the crew and what it takes to get the job done. She comes to the team with a sense of adventure and hyper sensitive organizational skills which will be key ingredients to navigate Xtreme4 back to Annapolis. Ready to tell you how she feels at any point in time, she's been quoted as saying: "It's not just doing what they need me to do- it's about telling them what they need."


Erik Hamilton

Erik HamiltonHometown: Washington, DC
Age: 23
Strengths: hootin 'n hollerin
Weaknesses: uhhh....huh?

Erik, not to be confused with Eric, has quite a knack for being indescribable. He practiced social deviance in his younger years, and at the age of 18 happened to accidentally stumble into a Marine Corps recruiting office. Despite the excessive complaints and letters to congressmen for help, Erik served his sentence in the Marines, spending lots of time playing in sand. Once the Marine Corps granted Erik a release from his shackles, he returned home to DC. He will be making up for lost time at West Virginia University, double majoring in Exercise Physiology and Debauchery. Erik has no significant experience with bicycles, and isn't quite sure how he got himself into this, but he thinks it'll be fun!


Laurel Brown
crew / Promotions

Laurel BrownHometown: Santa Cruz, CA
Age: 25
Strengths: drafting, asking strangers for directions
Weaknesses: navigating around DC
Favorite time of day: sunrise

Even though she was surrounded by cyclists and bike commuters growing up in California, Laurel refused to ride the short three miles to school every day with her friends. Somewhere along the way (probably when she picked up the triathlon habit) she realized that bikes were actually a way to go fast, and she’s been hooked ever since. Having never driven cross country, Laurel looks forward to crewing for the team to see a bit more of the world and get more practice changing flat tires.


Lee Poole

Lee PooleHometown: Marquette, MI
Age: 20
Strengths: determination and humor
Weaknesses: new bike parts
FavoritES: snow boarding, playing my drums, mountain biking, root beer

What started simply as a youthful desire to keep his own bike rolling has turned into a way of life for Lee. Now a full time professional mechanic, his passion for the bike industry has not faded even as his hobby became his job. Lee is an expert downhill mountain bike racer and competitive free rider, and looks forward to working with the rest of the team to make sure that all parts are spinning smoothly for RAAM.


Raquel Phillips
NCTMB / LMT / Fitness Consultant / Massage Therapist

Raquel PhillipsAge: 39 and Feeling Fine!
Strengths: Love
Weaknesses: Hate
Favorite food: RICE "One grain at a time...my patience grows and grows".
New Mantra: Team Xtreme4 Human Machines

Raquel A. Phillips, NCTMB, LMT, owner of Healing Hanz Alternative Therapy is a certified massage therapist and holistic fitness consultant committed to helping athletes reach their maximum potential. She applies massage techniques, visualization and counseling, that decrease stress and enhance the athletes natural healing ability. "Then they go out and kick a@# !" This specialized treatment reconnects the body, mind and spirit, giving new meaning to the phrase, "Human Machine"

She is a graduate of The Bodyworks Institute and has received advanced training from the Upledger Institute, National Strength and Conditioning Association and is a member of the International Alliance of Health Practitioners (IAHP), and The American Massage Therapy Association (AMTA).

Born in the Midnight Sun in Fairbanks Alaska, she believes that there is great peace in the universe, and is hoping to help change the world "One touch at a time"


Julie Serfass

Julie SerfassHometown: Washington DC
Age: 25
Strengths: trivia; killing house plants; and no-look, inside-out scoobers
Weaknesses: chocolate, excel spreadsheets, and stupid-funny movies
Favorite Band: Guster
Nemesis: totally irascible defractable cheese balls

Julie was born and raised in the District of Columbia, and graduated in 2006 from the George Washington University with a BA in human services. She is an avid (well, obsessive) Ultimate Frisbee player, and helps support the local ultimate community as a board member for the Washington Area Frisbee Club, commissioner of the recreational league for developing players, and captain of local team Huck Norris. If all goes according to plan, she won't have any hair race week after buzzing it with The Buzzing for Change Foundation, for whom Julie also masquerades as the treasurer.


Andrew "Serfie" Serfass

Andrew SerfassHometown: Washington, D.C.
Age: 22
Strengths: Vehicle Electronics/Cage fighting skillz
Weaknesses: “Bullets, my only weakness”
Favorite youtube VIDEO:Squirrel Obstacle Course

Andy has been into biking since he would sprint down the dirt paths in front of the capitol during the summer in high school. This interest developed into being a bike mechanic at Capitol Hill Bikes for two summers, and then trying his first triathlon in New Jersey at the end of 2006 (after encouragement from Patrick Serfass). After taking a few bikes apart, along with countless electronics, he enrolled as an engineering student at Penn State and happily graduated in 2007. He is overly excited to put his degree to work outfitting the chase vehicles with all the electronics we need for the race.


Thomas Arledge

Thomas ArledgeHometown: Home
Age: Not as old as Dave
Strengths: putting up with the young'ens
Weaknesses:biking vacations and a good cup of coffee
Favorite RIDE:California Coast

Bio coming "soon".




Erica Price

Erica PriceHometown: Beavercreek, Ohio
Age: 25
Strengths: logistics and organization, knowledge of the great Midwest, master PB&J chef
Weaknesses: ice cream and Jane Austen novels.  Often at the same time.
Favorite major European capital: Rome

Erica started swimming competitively at a very young age, and quickly became best 6-and-under on her team (according to her mom). After being told that swimming is the hardest part of a triathlon—something she disputes-- Erica recently took up biking, and hopes to one day be strong enough to keep up with the Xtreme4 team.  Having lived in four of the states on the RAAM route (Colorado, Missouri, Illinois, and Ohio), Erica looks forward to using her Midwestern know-how,  can-do spirit, and good old fashioned common sense to safely guide the team back to the east coast.


Pam Rodriguez

Pam RodriguezHometown: Boston, MA
Age: 35
Strengths: Long-Term memory, Cooking, Coffee Drinking
Weaknesses: The Ice Cream and Cheese Food Groups
Favorite PHoto: posted

Pam grew up in the DC area and moved to Boston for college, where she's lived for 18 years. Always having been the non-athlete of her family, 6 years ago she decided to start exercising, was convinced by her brother Jorge to sign up for a triathlon, and has been hooked on the sport ever since. She met Mariana and Andrea while training for her first triathlon and they turned out to be her favorite training partners. Since she doesn't get to see them too often, Pam is very excited to join them and their teammates as a crew member of Team Xtreme 4.


Jennifer Serfass

Jennifer SerfassHometown: HOTlanta, GA
Age: Almost thirty
Strengths: throw pillow organizing and soup competitions
Weaknesses: popping back zits, guys with an overdeveloped sense of adventure, fresh flowers
Favorite Store: Pleasure Place
Mantra: "Patty's always right"
Favorite Song: "Drop It Like It's Hot"

After gaining world-wide fame as a medal presenter in the Atlanta Summer Olympics (complete with hoop skirt), Jen was inspired to save the world. She studied popped collars at Georgetown University, beer distilling at the London School of Economics, and culminated her education by studying calligraphy in Japan for a year. Now an accomplished sushi chef, she has gone on to solve the global hunger crisis, dissolve tension in Gaza, and establish world peace by personally translating "It's a Small World After All" into 245 languages. Next, Jen looks forward to stopping the polar ice caps from melting and liberating Tibet.


Adrianne Kroepsch

Adrianne KroepschHometown: Parker, CO
Age: 26
Strengths: cooking eggs; skiing backwards; taking an inch, taking a mile, and then taking a siesta
Weaknesses: Texas Hold 'Em, technical outerwear, and falconers
Favorite Houseplant: A potted palm named Barbara Boxer; it also has a carbon dioxide agenda.
Favorite Town along the Course: Wait, we are stopping in Telluride, right?

Adrianne swears her Cabbage Patch Kids Big Wheel was the meanest machine on the British streets she and her siblings tore up in their youth. Despite acquiring a more grownup arsenal of cycles in the years since, she still fancies the idea of speeding "The Wheel" down the Queen K in a blur of purple and green – with an aero helmet on. A devoted triathlete, Adrianne finds that the longer the race and the more dire the conditions, the more she seems to enjoy herself. Because she's the journalist of the bunch, Adrianne will be assisting with press, bleeping obscenities with a foghorn, doing the daily crossword puzzle, and making, sure, everybody's, commas, are, in, the, right, places... all at the same time.


Chad Lewis

Chad LewisHometown: San Dieaaaago, CA
Age: Old Enough to know, young enough not to care!
Strengths: X-Ray Vision, Gear, Gadgets, and cracking jokes
Weaknesses: Cookies, Brownies, and short haired blondes
Favorite READ: “Say no to drugs” (In the bottom of a urinal no less!)
Favorite MEAL: Nico’s Breakfast Burritos in Del Mar, CA (Or Los Dos Pedros in La Jolla)

As a professional wrestler in high school Chad’s foray into triathlon and endurance sports came as a natural progression. After learning the infamous Lucha Libre wouldn’t accept a US Citizen as a professional Mexican Style wrestler, he decided to lose some weight and retire from professional wrestling before graduating high school. Only recently has he gotten into multi-day riding and 3 hour long Spinerval DVD’s after 3 seasons of Triathlon. Today, although vacation is a luxury he isn’t afforded, he is managing to experience the ultimate multi day endurance experience of RAAM in all it’s glory, with none of the pain, by helping bring the RAAM team home the last 80 miles.


Tim Cripps
Designer / crew alternate

Hometown: Rochester, NY
Age: 31
Strengths: Dedication, Typography
Weaknesses: Home improvement, Rum
Favorites: Sleeping in, A good meal, and Biking (DUH!)

Even though Tim had a bike growing up, he never really learned what it meant to truly RIDE a bike until he was older. After an eye-opening mountain biking trip in 2000, Tim vowed to never be in bad shape again and to relive the youthful bike riding experiences he missed. Since then, he has participated in several triathlons and long-distance road rides throughout the country. While he loves his road bike, he longs to embark on many epic mountain bike trips in the future.


Bill Goetz
/ crew alternate

Hometown: Kansas City, MO
Age: 60
Strengths: Knowing better and honesty
Weaknesses: Helping my son
Favorites: Camping, building houses and having a Plan B

Plenty of biking and supprt knowledge to think this is a good idea.




Todd Lindeman
crew alternate / Sleep deprivation expert

Hometown: Providence, RI
Age: 35
Strengths: All nighters, supersensitive memory and illustration
Weaknesses: writing a bio

Bio never coming.





Making it Happen: Teamwork
2008 TEAM: RAAM Winners
Meet the 2008 team, all time record holder for 4 person mixed RAAM.
Riders »
Eric GoetzPhilip SchmidtAndrea VasquezPatrick Serfass

Crew & Support »
David MillsMariana ParganaPaul ContinoKip PiersonChristalErik HamiltonLaurel BrownLee PooleRaquel PhillipsJulie SerfassAndrew SerfassThomas ArledgeErica PricePam RodriguezJennifer SerfassAdrianne KroepschChad LewisTim CrippsBill GoetzTodd Lindeman

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