Black crowned night heron © Robert Sommers 2023

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Race Across America

This year the Race Across America left from Oceanside, California. It is a 9 day race to Annapolis, Md. I was so intrigued with the Bicycle Dreams movie that I drove down and took lots of pictures of the race start yesterday. Many legends of biking, ultra-marathons and Iron Man competitions were competing in both this race and it's sister race, the 1000 mile Race Across the West. These men and women get by on next to no sleep under the most extraordinary pressure. Crack support crews make it all possible. Unfortunately a high percentage of the racers will not finish the race.

I got there just as the U.S. Navy Seal Team was parachuting in. There were every manner of bicyclists competing, from an over seventies team to a team of watermen/surfers. Uberseal David Goggins, who was expected to compete until he recently discovered that he had a heart defect, was announcing the start with Bob Babbit from Competitor Magazine. Tons of people showed up to watch the cyclists depart on 20 second intervals.

There were riders from all over the globe competing, the fittest of the fit. A contingent of wheelchair athletes were there at the start. Bikers had looks of apprehension, joy and dread. The swiss contingent sent their rider off to a wave of ringing cowbells. Nervous first timers fought butterflies next to grizzled seasoned pros.

Got shots of just about every starter including the great Jure Robic from Slovenia. If you get a chance order the Bicycle Dreams movie from Bicycledreamsmovie.com to get a taste of what these people go through. Here is a link to the RAAM website that will be blogging and podcasting. As always, click to zoom on my photos.

We at the blast wish everyone of these riders best of luck and good health throughout the race.

1 comment:

grumpy said...

i wish them all the best as well, as one who in a previous life completed 5 marathons; i wish i had it in me to do the Death Valley ultramarathon, but i don't think i have it in me at this stage...