The Race Across America [RAAM] is the antithesis to the Grand Tours featured in glossy magazines. Instead of the surging peloton and the high-intensity stages, RAAM is a meditative contest that delves deep into human psyche to push the very limits of the body and mind.
If we dissect the history of sporting it’s evident that behind strategy is an inherent honesty in the physical. Whereas modern sports are consumed by arbitrary limitations ranging from the rather onerous round-by-round judging system of martial arts to the four swim styles competing in the Olympics, there still exists an event that embodies this honesty.
The RAAM’s reason for being is to deliver one answer: how quickly can a person traverse the United States? Participants in the event cannot be described with superficial words like: fast, or good, or even strong. Their vocabulary is of a heavier – more brutal – stock: endurance, fortitude, willpower. These are the words that describe a persons character, because that is the requirement to even compete in the Race Across America. Racers are expected to race around the clock for 3000 miles, winners have slept as little as 1 hour a night and completed the course in as few as 8 days. Compare this to the 2500 mile – 3 week Tour de France and you can see why Christoph Strasser may be the greatest endurance cyclist in the world.