The longest annual endurance event in the world
Race Across America is an ultramarathon bicycle race that spans the entire United Sates, just over 3,000 miles. Traveling from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland this time trial pushes the envelope of physical and mental limits. Ascending over 175k feet from coast to the coast, riders will traverse three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky, and Appalachian), cross over four of America's longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio), and pass through the extreme environments such as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts during the hottest times of the year.
There is no other race in the world like this one
Over the years, this event has risen to be a global icon with riders from over 35 countries, allowing both amateurs and professionals to compete. More over, RAAM has become a platform for teams to raise awareness and money for charities of their choice. Over the last 5 years, the event has raised over $2 million per year.
Crossing the finish line awards more than just ultra-racing's most coveted jersey and medal... but it also stands as a testament of truth and authority for what each and every racer rides for. Whether one rides to rally the call for what they believe in or for the demolishment of what holds them back, there is no greater stage to make that known.
From sea to shining sea
The map below highlights some of the beautiful but harsh environments that test the will and determination of every rider.
Map courtesy of Andy Welch
Glass Elevator Descent
Racers drop more than 3,000 feet over a nine-mile descent at an 8 percent grade, fighting between not breaking too often that they burn off their break pads versus not braking enough and easily exceeding 50 mph.
Located on the Arizona-Utah state line, Monument Valley is one of America's greatest scenic treasures. It is known for wide vistas, huge red sandstone buttes and spires, as well as scorching hot deserts where temperatures reach well over desired levels.
Wolf Creek Pass
At an elevation of 10,857 feet, Wolf Creek Pass is on the Continental Divide, in the San Juan Mountains of Colorado. It is steep on both sides (6.8% grade) and riders are forced to adjust to incredibly thin air.
Riders are fatigued from the mountains of Colorado but must combat their tiredness for they are met with strong winds that can reach 20 to 30 miles per hour and not in the direction that provides any sort of relief.
The Rockies are known for its high elevations into rapid steep descents, while the Appalachians are known for relentless climbs one after another - leaving riders with no recovery time.
For the elite few that have yet to throw in the towel, reaching this point of the race greats riders with the fresh smell of salt in the air for the finish line rests at the foot of the city's docks signaling the end of their Race Across America.