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 decided to find out how quickly a bicycle could be ridden across the U.S.A. that the modern movement of trans-national cycling competition began. Other riders started challenging the marks made by Marino, and by 1982 a group of these riders decided they were ready for a head-to-head race. 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 City. The winner was Lon Haldeman. Since then the race has been run every year, always west to east. The race now begins in Oceanside, California and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. With its mid-June start dates, RAAM starts close to the summer solstice to provide competitors the maximum daylight hours.
Every RAAM finisher – solo and team – will receive a Finisher’s Medallion and Finisher’s Jersey. Solo and Team age group and gender division winners will receive Plaques.
Most Finishes Men - Rob Kish (19)
Most Solo Wins Men - Christoph Strasser (6)
Youngest Solo Male Finisher - Ben Couturier (18)
Oldest Solo Male Finisher - Herve Talabardon (69)
Most Finishes Women - Seana Hogan (9)
Most Solo Wins Women - Seana Hogan (6)
Youngest Solo Female Finisher - Shelby Hayden-Clifton (24)
Oldest Solo Female Finisher - Seana Hogan (60)
*Note: The 8-Person Division has no Age or Gender classifications for deciding winners of that division.
Youngest Team Male Finisher - Connor Ellison / Connonr's Hope-Team Donate Life / 2010 (13)
Oldest Team Male Finisher - Ronald Bell / Forever Young PACMasters / 2012 (80)
Youngest Team Female Finisher - Elizabeth Eaton / Team Life Changers / 2011 (15)
Oldest Team Female Finisher - Nancy Guth / Team Baeu, Babe & Boys / 2018 (66)
Joel Sothern - 2-Person Male 50-59, 2-Person Male 60-69, 2-Person Mixed Under 50, 2-Person Mixed 50-59, 4-Person Male 60-69
Tim Skipper - 4-Tandem Team Male, 4-Tandem Team Mixed 50-59, 2-Tandem Team Mixed, 8-Tandem Team