Qualifying For the Race Across AMerica

By Chris Kostman

Originally published in California Bicyclist, August 1990 (thus totally out of date now)

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Racers qualify for the annual Race Across America by competing in one of four RAAM Open events and finishing within prescribed time cut-offs and by overall placings. The races are held in three locations:

RAAM Open West is held in April and October in Southern California. The 508 mile event begins immediately north of Los Angeles in Valencia and travels north through Mojave and Trona to Death Valley. The route takes the racers over 5,000 foot Towne Pass, then drops into Death Valley and the lowest point in the Lower 48, Badwater (Elevation -282 feet), then south along the length of the Valley. From here the route passes through Shoshone and Baker and continues across the Mojave Desert to the finish line in Twenty Nine Palms. Both the October 27-29, 1990 and April, 1991 events qualify riders for the 1991 RAAM. The entry fee is $135, but a discount rate of $100 is available for the October race if postmarked by the starting date of this year's RAAM, August 5. All official finishers (those who complete the course within 48 hours for men and 50 hours for women) will receive a plaque and an official finisher's jersey. Additional prizes are being organized for top finishers. To qualify for RAAM 91, racers must finish within 15% of their respective divisional winner's time and within the top twelve placings. (For example, the men's course record is 30:54, an average of 16.44 MPH, set by John Hughes. In that race, male qualifiers had to complete the distance before an elapsed time of 35:32.) Personal support teams are required.

Contact: Kostman Sport Group
P.O. Box 40251
Berkeley, CA 94704-4251
(818) 963-1755

RAAM Open Midwest is being held in Illinois on July 13-14 and is part of series of events held during Ultra Week which includes the Boone Docks Double Century and the Wisill 24 Hour Challenge. The RAAM qualifying event is held in and around Capron on successive loops of a 30 mile figure-eight course and is 604 miles in length. The same 15% qualifying rules apply. Personal support teams are not necessary. The event is presented by RAAM champions Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo.

Contact: Ultra Week
P.O. Box 73
Harvard, Illinois 60033
(815) 943-3171

RAAM Open East will be held in new York on September 14-16 and qualifies racers for the 91 RAAM. The 520 mile event is being held in the Adirondack region and covers a loop from Johnstown to Canada and back. The same 15% rule applies for qualifiers. Personal support teams are required.

Contact: Jack Papa
13 South Market Street
Johnstown, NY 12095
(518) 762-3301

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