Race Across AMerica Team Division

By Chris Kostman, Race Director

Originally published in 1993 in ULTRA Cycling and later in Sports Focus, Oregon Cycling, and elsewhere.

AKA: RAAM for the Real World, The Do-able RAAM, The RAAM With Sleep, The Six Day RAAM, The Affordable RAAM, etc.

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Now that four relay teams have tested the waters and proved it can be done in the '92 race, interest is growing rapidly in the TEAM RAAM planned for 1993. Teams froms across the U.S., Europe, and beyond are planning to compete, bring diverse backgrounds and strategies to what is sure to be one of the most hotly contested bicycle races in recent history.

Six Reasons why YOU participate in America's biggest and most prestigious bicycle race:

  1. The Team RAAM starts on a Sunday (August 1) and is definitely do-able in seven days. That means you and your support crew could take as little as one week off from work to do the whole race!
  2. Because you start two to four days behind the other RAAM divisions, you'll get to see the whole race as your team moves its way up through the pack. Chances are, you'll make it all the way to the front of the pack before reaching the finish line in Savannah. Along the way, you'll have the luxury of sleeping plenty and getting to blow past solo racer standouts like Kish and Fourney!
  3. With four riders involved, the organizational and fundraising workload is cut into fourths! Why mount an entire RAAM campaign when you can split up the work? If each rider brought, say, $2,500, two or three crew members, and a vehicle to the table, then you'd have your entire RAAM race organized in one fell swoop! The RAAM Team Race is totally do-able!
  4. If you hope to compete in the solo RAAM someday, there's absolutely no better way to prepare for it than to compete in the Team RAAM. You'll be a full-fledged part of the entire event. You'll get to hang out in Irvine and see all of the solo and tandem riders off. You'll see the whole race from back to front (as you ride past everyone, well rested and with a grin on your face). And you'll bask in the glory of riding across the RAAM finish line in Savannah! Plus you're essentially guaranteed to finish the Team RAAM (while less than half of the solo riders make it across!), and will come away from the experience a better, stronger, wiser cyclist. In short, you'll be a perfect candidate for an official finish in the solo race on your rookie attempt!
  5. Plus, you don't have to qualify! Just pay the entry fee and you're in!
  6. Finally, you don't have to put in the mega miles to train for the Team RAAM! Your stints on the bike will probably be only one or two hours in length, so you can train for the race on your lunch hour. You can concentrate on speed and strength, not on mind and muscle numbing endurace rides. Train for RAAM and have a real life, too!

A few words on strategy

The beauty of the RAAM Team Race is the variety of approaches which can be taken. There are innumerable combinations of relaying and drafting which four riders can take: ride one at a time, two at a time, or do a four rider team trial across the continent. Ride in one hour shifts, six hour shifts, however long works best for the riders on any particular team. Alternate stints on the bike in any schedule: A - B - C - D, or A - B - A - B - C - D - C - D, again, whatever works best. Perhaps the best part of the RAAM Team Race strategy is that it can be modified at any time, depending on terrain, the competition, and the desires of the individual team members.

Now, don't just think about it! Do it! Take the bull by the horns, commit yourself to doing the Team RAAM, and proceed. Within a few phone calls, you can have a team and crew ready, and your own personal RAAM dream will be underway. I'm waiting to hear from you

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