About RAAM

Note: This is the promo for the 2009 race so ignore the dates.
Also Note: Team FARA will be participating as a team, much of the info below pertains to the solo racers...

The Race Across America is one of the most respected and longest running annual endurance events holding legendary stature the world over. It is one of the pinnacles of sporting accomplishment, globally seen as the highest rung of the endurance sports ladder. Since 1982, RAAM has a rich and storied history standing as a monument to human endeavors.
The Race Across America is an event so staggering that merely to finish is, for most, the accomplishment of a lifetime. RAAM inspires everyone that it touches. A monumental race contested with the utmost of sportsmanship and zeal. Truly, RAAM is larger than life. A breeding ground for champions, a testing ground for elite riders and a shining example of the strength of human spirit.

2010 General Race Information - the 29th Edition

  • Start: Oceanside, CA - The Oceanside Pier. Women June 8th, Men June 9th, Teams June 12th.
  • Finish: Annapolis, MD - The City Dock. June 18th - June 21st.
  • Route: More than 3,000 miles across the United States.
  • Divisions: Solo and Two-Person, Four-Person, and Eight-Person Teams.  Teams are raced in a relay format.

RAAM is a Race of Truth

This is a Race. Unlike other famous races, like the Tour de France, RAAM is not a stage race. The race is one stage, live to the very end. In RAAM, once the clock starts on the west coast, the clock doesn't stop until each racer reaches the finish line on the east coast. RAAM is 30% longer than the Tour de France and solo racers finish in half the time with no rest days. The race format is essentially a time trial, commonly called racing against the clock or the race of truth. Unlike the Tour de France, there is no drafting or taking shelter from the wind. It's an all out solo challenge.

Solo and Team

The heart of the race is the Solo division. That is where the ultimate challenge lies. The race has team categories of 2-Person, 4-Person, and 8-Person teams. With an 8-Person team, each person averages three hours a day on the bike.

3,000 Miles

The route is over 3000 miles, touching 14 states and climbing over 100,000 feet. Teams typically cross the country in 6 to 9 days, averaging 350 to over 500 miles per day. Solo racers finish in 9 to 12 days, averaging 250 to 350 miles per day. Teams have a relay format and race 24 hours a day. Solo racers have the challenge of balancing a few hours of sleep each night against race deadlines.

Olympians, Grandfathers and You

The men and women who compete, as soloists or as team participants, are dedicated and driven athletes. The racers are comprised from an international field of professionals from all walks of life. Among them are Olympians, professional athletes, but, by far, most are just like you. They range in age from 18 to over 70 and each has a story to tell of their life and how they came to the race. That story is enriched during the week-long adventure across the country as each rises and discovers their inner ability.

Is it a Charity?

More than half of the racers use RAAM as a platform and event to raise funds for various charities. In each of the past five years, racers raised more than $1,000,000.


Because it's there was George Mallory's answer, as to why climb Mt. Everest.
RAAM has a similar draw. At the very least, it's the honor of adding their name to the prestigious roll call of RAAM Finishers and Team RAAM Finishers.
RAAM is more than a bike race. It is about ordinary people being great. It's about realizing dreams, a journey of the heart and soul. It's about being the toughest of the tough. It's about camaraderie, teamwork, and the incredible RAAM family. It's about taking the stage for a charity or cause that matters, to raise awareness and funds. It's about the vastness, richness, beauty, and generosity of the United States of America and the people who live here. It's a lifetime experience never to be repeated.
The Race Across America endures due to its amazing effect on the human consciousness and for its incredible feats of willpower, inspiration, and heart.

Who's Behind RAAM?

The RAAM Management Team - Fred Boethling, Rick Boethling and Candace Koska - bring considerable breadth and depth of business and race experience to bear on the race. We are all race veterans. We've been there. We know what's in the hearts and minds of racers and crew.

RAAM Facts and Tidbits

• RAAM is the toughest endurance event in the world; a non-stop, continuous race in which cyclists ride as fast as they can, 3,000 miles, from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.

• 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.

• Over 250 courageous athletes will race in June, supported by an entourage of over 1000 people, and representing 13 countries and 26 US states.

• Competitors dedicate their race to over 30 charities around the world, benefiting organizations fighting cancer, leukemia, diabetes, cystic fibrosis and Hutchinson’s Disease, and others, foundations that assist families of the American military, children’s associations and community groups.

• When asked their motivation for racing, many RAAM participants mention the desire to demonstrate the champion in us all, to show the power of believing in yourself--and sometimes in a higher power, regardless of obstacles.

• Each year, a number of solo racers and teams set incredible speed records for their category (based on number of teammates, sex and age range). In general, the 1st place solo rider will cross the finish line in 8-9 days, with an overall average speed of 11-12 mph. Four- or eight-person teams will normally finish in 5 – 8 days, and two-person teams in 7 – 10 days.

Historically speaking…
• Over 1500 cyclists have raced RAAM in the 26 years since its inception. Previous competitors have included Tour de France racers, Olympians and Paralympians, World IronMan champions, cycling Hall of Famers, and other accomplished ultra-endurance cyclists of all ages, backgrounds, and nationalities.

• RAAM has inspired hundreds of athletes already facing personal challenges. Among those who have finished solo RAAM are a one-legged cyclist with a prosthesis and a one-armed cyclist. RAAM teams have included blind cyclists competing on tandems, athletes with diabetes and donated organs, cyclists recovering from cancer and serious accidents and handcyclists.


What Are Race Categories for RAAM?

Categories of the Race Across America include Solo, 2-Person, 4-Person, 8-Person. Within these categories they are further breakdowns for age, gender and different types of bikes such as tandems and recumbents.

How Much Support Does RAAM Provide?

RAAM oversees functions at the start and the finish and recruits staff for each Time Station. Each Racer must provide their own support crew and support vehicles. A typical crew is 8-12 people and 2-4 vehicles. It’s the responsibility of the crew to care for the racers by providing food, clothing, medical care, bicycle repair, massage, entertainment and directions. Crewing for RAAM Racers is as much of a challenge as riding is. It offers some immense rewards of seeing the country, building some lifelong friendships and the pride of getting your racer safely across the country.

What's a Time Station?

The RAAM route has 53 Time Stations which are approximately 40 to 90 miles apart. At each Time Station, the racer must call into Race Headquarters and report their location and time. This information is posted to the RAAM Race Coverage website which allows fans and officials to track the race. Time Stations are great places to watch racers come through and cheer them on.
Time Station locations vary from someone's home, to bike shops, to city parks, to the Capital Building in Jefferson City, MO. About half of the Time Stations are staffed. This staff is invaluable in building awareness of the race in the local communities along the course. As racers pass through, the Time Station staff is the cheering section and most importantly there to help racers and crews find services in town. Time stations have offered hotel rooms, gas, showers and food.

Do RAAM Racers Really Race Solo?

They do indeed. The Race Across America is the World's Toughest Bike Race. Extraordinary cyclists come to test themselves against the world's best in a long distance race. More than that, it's a competition against nature and against themselves. The solo racers are the stars of RAAM. Very few people  finish within the allotted time of 12 days to earn the distinction of RAAM Finisher.

How Does Team Racing Work?

Teams consist of 2, 4, or 8 racers. Teams generally race in a relay format with one racer always on the road. Teams may put more than one racer on the road at a time if they feel it will be advantageous. The strategy of who races when, and for how long, is constantly changing. It depends on the strengths of the team members and the terrain. Shifts vary from 20 minutes to several hours. With an 8-Person team, each racer spends about three hours a day on the bicycle.

How Much Sleep Do RAAM Racers Get?

Sleep management is one of the biggest challenges of RAAM. This applies to everyone including racers, crew, and race staff. The challenge for racers is balancing the need for sleep, which means time off the bike, against continuing to move down the road. This is critical because the clock doesn’t stop, even for sleeping. The solos at the front of the race sleep as little as 90 minutes a day. Just to finish within the 12 day time limit, racers can't afford to sleep more than about 4 hours a day at the most.
Teams have the advantage here and can continue racing 24 hours a day as racers rotate. While one sleeps, another races on down the road.
Some racers do hallucinate and this can make for some entertaining stories. Racers can be entirely awake and lucid and still hallucinate, or they can be so tired that reality shifts. Officials and crew are constantly paying attention to a racer's condition and to safety. Safety is the top priority and officials and crews will stop a racer or crew for a sleep break if they feel a racer is past the safety margin of sleep.

Why Do So Few Women Compete in RAAM?

Almost all ultra-endurance events have a low percentage of women, typically less than 20%. This includes running, adventure racing, dog sledding, and yachting. RAAM and ultracycling are no different. It’s not that women aren’t strong enough - in fact women’s bodies are built for endurance and women have proved they are truly capable of very strong performances in all ultra-endurance events, including RAAM. RAAM certainly encourages women to participate.

Compare RAAM to the Tour de France or Mt Everest

The Race Across America is almost 50% longer than the Tour de France. Solo racers will finish in about 10 days, which is half the time of the Tour de France, and will have no rest days. RAAM racers are not allowed to draft or ride in packs. Every solo racer will make their way across the country on their own power with no help with teammates.
Mt. Everest and the Race Across America are entirely different. Austrian adventurer Wolfgang Fasching has won solo RAAM three times and climbed Mt. Everest. In his opinion, - Everest is more dangerous, but RAAM is much harder.

How Much Do RAAM Racers Eat During the Race?

Nutrition and fluid intake is critical during the race. It’s at least as important as any piece of equipment or any training. If your body doesn’t have the right fuel or enough fuel, you’re not going anywhere. It’s a tough balance to get the right nutrients, in the right amounts, at the right time, while staying on the bike and riding hard.
Racers need to constantly eat and drink. With racers drinking 20-24 ounces an hour, they will easily drink more than 3 gallons of fluid each day. Racers also need to consume 300-400 calories every hour for the duration of the race. That’s more than 8000 calories each day - a typical diet is about 2000 calories a day.

How Much Does It Cost to Compete in RAAM?

Besides the entry fee, every racer and team has to provide their own support crew and support vehicles. Depending on the number of crew, the number of vehicles, and how deluxe your race is, the costs starts at $20,000. With a Team of racers this costs gets split multiple ways. By contrast, typically it costs over $50,000 to climb Mt. Everest and a year of college can cost over $30,000. For some, this is certainly a lot of expense - and you will never regret spending any of it. The rewards of this race far outweigh any dollar value. As they say in the Visa commercials - Finishing RAAM - Priceless.

Can I Watch RAAM on TV?

Over the history of the race, it has been aired on ABC Wide World of Sports, ESPN, OLN, NBC, BBC, and many other stations around the world.During the race, you can follow the race at our website. We have daily video updates, photos, and ongoing stories about the racers, and of course statistics of where everyone is. If you want to see video of previous years, DVDs are available of past races at the RAAM Store.

Is RAAM Safe?

Yes, it’s very safe. Safety is paramount for RAAM. All racers are required to follow all rules of the road over the entire course - stopping at stop signs and stop lights, staying to the right, etc. RAAM has a lengthy set of rules most of which are aimed at the safety of everyone - racers, crew, and all road users. These rules are built over years of experience. We also have two dozen officials on the course monitoring the racers to ensure Racers are being safe.

History of RAAM

The concept of a bicycle race across America can be traced back to newspaperman George Nellis, who in 1887 crossed the USA on a 45-pound iron high-wheel bicycle with no gears and with pedals attached directly to the front wheel. Following the railroad routes across the country, he made the crossing in just under 80 days.
Every ten years or so, the record would be reduced by a few days, but it was not until the 1970s, when John Marino got serious about finding how quickly a bicycle could be ridden across the US. That marked when the modern movement of trans-national cycling competition began. Other riders began challenging the marks made by Marino. In 1982 a group of these riders decided they were ready for a head-to-head race across the US. In its first year, the Race Across America (RAAM) was called the Great American Bike Race. Four riders lined up on the pier in Santa Monica and raced to New York. The winner was Lon Haldeman. Since then the race has been run every year, always west to east.

RAAM By the Numbers

  • Total distance is more than 3000 Miles.
  • Collectively, the Solo and Team finishers will travel a combined distance equivalent to circling the Earth at the equator seven times.
  • In the 27 year history of the race, Solo finishers have ridden more than one million miles - that’s two round trips to the moon.
  • Lowest elevation is 170 feet below sea level. Highest elevation is more than 10,000 feet high above sea level. This elevation range exceeds two vertical miles.
  • Each Solo and Team will climb more than 100,000 feet. This is roughly the distance from the ground to the edge of space, more than three times the altitude flown by commercial jetliners and almost four times the altitude of Mt. Everest.
  • Less than 200 solo and tandem racers have officially finished solo RAAM earning the title of RAAM Finisher, compared with over 2000 individuals who have summated Mt. Everest and 200 racers every year compete in the Tour de France.
  • Racers have come from 5 continents - North America, South America, Australia, Asia, and Europe. More than 25 countries have been represented in the Race Across America.
  • RAAM crosses the five longest rivers that are entirely in the US: the Mississippi, Missouri, Rio Grande, Arkansas and the Ohio.
  • The RAAM staff during the race is more than 50 people. More than 200 people staff Time Stations. Racers are supported by more than 800 people. More than 200 vehicles are part of the RAAM caravan across the country.
  • In the last four years, RAAM racers have raised more than $4,000,000 for charities.


Team FARA Sponsorship Opportunities

Check out our Promo Pack

Team FARA Sponsorship Opportunities

Total Team Sponsor - $30,000 or six (6) $5,000 contributing Sponsorships

Team FARA sponsorship will cover the entry fee for a 4 person team, travel, lodging, food, rental vehicles and team jerseys.

Benefits of Sponsorship
Team FARA sponsors will benefit from the media coverage of the ride itself as well as specific FARA publicity, including:

Web Exposure:

In 2009, during the month of June, experienced swells of traffic as the page views soared to over 6 million.  Visitors will link to the Team FARA website through the RAAM website. 

Media Exposure:

Sponsors will receive recognition on all FARA press releases and media spots (TV, Radio, Newspaper) where appropriate. 

As an in-house production RAAM will engage 15 professional journalists, photographers, videographers and on-camera personalities to follow the race course coast-to-coast.  

Exposure At Start And Finish Celebrations:

Crowds of thousands attend the starting event in Oceanside where each team is announced along with its sponsors before they parade through the town to the official start line.  The race ends in Annapolis, MD where the entire town and thousands of visitors gather to congratulate the finishers. 

Exposure From Team FARA:

  • Prominent Logo placements:
    • SAG vehicles(3 vehicles total)
    • Rider jerseys and crew clothing
  • Logo, Company name and tag line on all promotional materials
  • Logo and link to company website on,, and the FARA Facebook Fan Page


The RAAM Route

The route is over 3000 miles, touching 14 states and climbing over 100,000 feet. Team FARA will cross the country in 6 to 9 days, averaging 350 to over 500 miles per day.  The team will split into subteams of two.  One subteam will ride leap frog relay style for approximately 8 hours and then the subteams will switch so each racer will have some downtime each day to attempt sleeping.

Below is a list of the time stations, the cities where they are located, the distance from the start, and the approximate date we will be at each location.  The dates are subject to change but if you are located near any of these cities and would like to help out with PR support and/or a food drop please contact

How YOU Can Help

Team FARA is looking for 6 additional crew members including at least one physical therapist or massage therapist and at least one bike mechanic.

Crew members will be expected to drive long hours, obey driving laws, sleep in uncomfortable locations, operate at a high level on very little sleep, navigate a map, serve food, go on food runs, apply sunscreen, provide words of encouragement, keep a level head in stressful situations and do whatever it takes to get the team to the finish safely.  Crew members will need make their way to Oceanside on June 9, 2010 and we will wrap up operations in Annapolis on June 20, 2010.  Airfare will be provided for the trip home.  If you would like to participate in this crazy adventure and support the cause by being part of the crew please call Kyle Bryant at 916-203-3238.

In Kind donations:

Media Outreach
The main reason for Team FARA's participation in RAAM is to raise awareness for the cause.  Few people have heard of Friedreich's ataxia so media support is very valuable to us.  If you are located near the route and would like to spread the word to our local media for potential newspaper/radio/TV appearances as we are traveling through your town we will provide materials and support for you.

If you would like to pitch this story to any connections you may have in the Media please contact us and we will get that going.

Film Crew
When the race is over, it's over.  We would like this experience to live on in support of the cause long after we cross the finish line in Annapolis.  If you or someone you know is an aspiring film student or a seasoned professional looking for a project, please contact us.

Food can be donated up front before the race or if you are located near the route we would like to organize several food drops along the way.

Bike Parts
Team FARA will bring enough bike parts to rebuild 4 bikes (one for each rider) and is looking for suppliers or shops to help fill that need.

Cycling Clothing
Spandex is expensive!  We are looking for a company(s) or individual(s) to supply our team with Cycling Clothing.

The team is seeking vouchers or frequent flyer miles to cover 12 airline tickets back from Annapolis.

Rental Vehicles
Team FARA will be renting an RV, two minivans, and one other vehicle for the journey.  This will be a significant cost, any assistance would be huge!

Hotel Rooms
Team FARA will be renting rooms at the start in Oceanside and at the finish in Annapolis.  The team is seeking vouchers or discounted rates to fill this need.

If you think you may be able to assist with any of these requests, please email Kyle Bryant at