RAAM is one of the most respected and longest-running endurance events in existence. Much more than a cycling race, its completion is noted throughout the sporting world as a pinnacle of athletic accomplishment.
Race origins date back to 1982 when four friends raced on bikes from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. The event’s coverage on national TV established the event’s extreme reputation in public minds from the very first day.
A decade later the race opened its doors to team entries, and RAAM’s popularity escalated. Summer 2016 welcomes the 35th edition of this world-famous event; once again people from all parts of the globe will come together to achieve something truly outstanding and infinitely memorable.
The non-stop 3,000-mile race takes competitors across 12 states, from California on the west coast to Maryland in the east.
Competitors are pushed through the pain barrier time and again as they cover extreme terrain and endure hostile climes:
Out of Oceanside, CA, the Nevada Desert awaits where temperatures can top 50C.
After the big skies of Utah, the route ventures into Colorado and the jaw-dropping Rocky Mountains. The road flattens through the great Midwest before taking riders across the mighty Mississippi. The towering Appalachians provide one more test of climbing strength prior to the home straight towards Maryland.
Key RAAM Facts
- Starts in Oceanside, California and ends in Annapolis, Maryland.
- Riders can compete solo or in teams of two, four or eight.
- RAAM is a race, but there are no stops. It’s one continual stage from west to east coast USA.
- RAAM is around 30 per cent longer than the Tour de France, but racers must complete the distance in around half the time allowed for the French Tour.
- Solo racers ride between 250 and 350 miles each day, balancing speed with the need to sleep.
- For teams, work rates may be split any way the team riders choose.
- Support crews accompany all teams and solo riders, providing essentials such as navigation, fluids, food, clothes, medical care, bike maintenance and all other logistical solutions. Riders are able to put all their focus into riding.
- RAAM riders are both amateur and professional; they come from all over the world and from all walks of life. They are unified by their passion for cycling.
- Over the 30-year history of the race, over 25 countries have been represented at RAAM.
- Approximately 40 per cent of the racers are from outside the US. Around 15 per cent of racers are female.
RAAM’s Global Appeal
Social media and huge mainstream media following mean fans around the world can stay in the RAAM conversation throughout the year and experience the adventure in real time.
From individual and team newsletters, to interactive blogs, vlogs, tweets, instagram uploads and Facebook updates, combined with RAAM’s minimum of four media crews providing up-to-the-minute videography and text coverage, it’s easy to see why RAAM has become so popular:
- RAAM-related web pages receive over 25 million hits each year.
- Over 2,500 articles on RAAM have been published in mainstream media (TV, radio and in print).
As such, RAAM is the ideal platform for raising money and awareness of charitable causes.
Leadership Challenges has appointed Asthma UK as its official charity. We use RAAM to enhance Antonia’s legacy, helping raise essential funds for improved education and further research into asthma which studies have shown needs to be taken more seriously by doctors and sufferers alike.
If you are inspired by our incredible challenge, please show your support and donate to Asthma UK here.