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.
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 got serious about finding how quickly a bicycle could be ridden across the US. That marked when the modern movement of trans-national cycling competition began. Other riders began challenging the marks made by Marino. In 1982 a group of these riders decided they were ready for a head-to-head race across the US. 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. The winner was Lon Haldeman. Since then the race has been run every year, always west to east.
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.
Start: Oceanside, California, at the Oceanside Pier
Finish: Annapolis, MD - City Dock
Distance: 3,000 miles
Projected Race Start Dates:
Solo Start: Tuesday, June 13, 2023
Team Start: Saturday, June 17, 2023
ARE YOU QUALIFIED?
All SOLO racers must qualify to race RAAM. Racers who complete RAM600 and RAM1200 within the time limit will receive a certificate and a letter of invitation to race RAAM. Plaques evidencing the achievement of RAAM Qualified status will be made available for purchase at year end.
Racers competing in any of the Team categories are not required to qualify.