Welcome To Race Across America
For 41 years, Race Across America (RAAM) has been challenging ultracyclists from around the globe to push their physical and mental limits to the farthest reaches. Starting in Oceanside, under one of the longest piers in California, RAAM spans over 3000 miles, climbs 175,000 feet, crosses 12 states, and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland, the east coast sailing mecca.
The route travels west to east, traversing three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian), crosses four of America’s longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio) and the Great Plains. Also, passing through such iconic American landmarks as the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains, and Gettysburg.
Open to amateur and professional racers, in solo, 2-, 4- and 8-person relay teams, there is no other race in the world comparable to RAAM. The Race has become a global icon, having had over 35 countries represented. Not only has RAAM proved to be one of the most challenging races in the world, but has become a huge platform for racers to raise awareness and money for charities of their choice. Racers have raised over $2 million per year over the past 5 years.
Becoming an official RAAM finisher means claiming ultra-racing’s most coveted jersey and medal…and, for the lucky few that win their race division, the prized USA plaque…and being among the elite family who call themselves RAAM Finishers. RAAM will always sit at the pinnacle of ultra-racing accomplishments…don’t miss your opportunity to race to the top!
About the Race
Race Across America is one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well.
In 1982, four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Relay Teams were introduced in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Team sizes are 2, 4 and 8 persons. Relay Team racing made the event accessible to any fit cyclist.
There is no other race in the world like RAAM. There is no race that combines the distance, terrain and weather; no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it - racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.
This Ain't No Tour
RAAM is a race! But, unlike the three great Europeon Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. It is the world’s longest time trial…the ultimate race of truth.
RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time, with no rest days.
RAAM is not limited to professional cyclists. RAAM is open to professional and amateur athletes alike. While solo racers must qualify to compete, anyone may organize a team and race.
Racers must cycle 3000 miles, across 12 states, and climb over 170,000 vertical feet. Team racers have a maximum of nine days but most finish in about seven and a half with the fastest in just over 5 days. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race, most finishing in 11 days with the fastest finishing in under 8 days.
Who and Why?
Racers come from all over the world and all walks of life. Racers are both amateurs and professionals. The majority are ordinary people, with full time jobs and a passion for riding their bicycle. Racers range in age from 13 to 75. Approximately 50 percent of the racers are from outside the US. About 18% of the racers are women.
Every year there are racers from at least 20 countries. Over 35 countries, from six continents, have been represented over the 35-year history of the race. When asked why? Some might echo George Mallory’s sentiment about Mt. Everest, “Because it’s there!”
For most racers the why is not quite so simple. Reasons include raising money for a charitable cause, winning a division, setting a record, seeing the country, sharing an experience with friends, adding their name to the distinguished roster of finishers, etc. But, overwhelmingly most people race RAAM simply to have fun and challenge themselves.
RAAM is an outstanding platform for raising money for charitable causes. It is rare that an event open to all-comers, is so challenging and has such high media coverage year round. It is these unique characteristics combined that allow racers dedicated to their cause can leverage off of. Also, unlike many events, racers have the option of which cause(s) they want to raise money for, or opt not to, it is not required. Racers annually raise collectively in excess of $2 million for a wide range of charitable causes.
Official Charity of RAAM:
Fans from all over the world follow RAAM. They can stay up to date on the web with live GPS tracking, through the bi-monthly RAAM Newsletter, race blogs, social media (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and traditional mainstream media (television, radio and print) . Additionally, RAAM has at least four of its own media crews on the course providing up-to-date video, photo and text coverage. Race coverage statistics: Annually, RAAM receives: 25+ million page views and 2500+ articles in mainstream media. This coverage provides substantial value to both sponsors and charities.
Race Across America Staff
RAAM is run by a dedicated group of professionals, who also happen to race bicycles. RAAM's executive team is led by Fred Boethling, President (2X RAAM finisher), Rick Boethling, Executive Director and RAW founder, and Jeff Magnuson, Director. Together, they bring a strong business and racing background to RAAM and have surrounded themselves with a group of seasoned professionals to make RAAM the premier endurance race in the world.
Fred Boethling - President and CEO
Rick Boethling - VP and Executive Director
Jeff Magnuson - Director