Race Across America
• Climbing over 110,000ft over the Rockies and Appellation mountain ranges.
• Struggling the Mohave desert through scorching heat up to 45 degrees, thunderstorms and even tornados.
• Riding up to 390 miles a day.
• Plus dealing with mental fatigue and sleep deprivation due to riding for 22 hours a day.
Article by Richard Newey
In June 2009 I took part in the Race across America (RAAM) in the solo division coming 8th in a time of 10 days 23 hours and 56 minutes.
RAAM is an infamous non-stop challenge in which cyclists race as fast as they can 3050 miles across the USA stretching from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland – it is the toughest bike race in the world and many believe the toughest sporting event with over 50% of entrants in the solo division not finishing.
During the race I faced considerable challenges as I was pushed to the limit of human endurance:"Working with Amanda at Believe Consulting was invaluable in preparing me for the race."
One of the main attractions to taking on a challenge like RAAM was that the test is part physical and part mental. I knew the race would test to me the limit and most likely beyond. RAAM is about suffering and desire; if that desire starts to crack I would most likely fail. Amanda’s support was invaluable in providing me a ‘tool box’ to help me survive the ordeal. This included:-
• How to deal with pain and suffering.
• The ability to relax when I needed to take rest stops.
• Visualising various stages of the race.
• Assistance in selecting the team given that they would also be facing sleep depravation, this included psychological risk assessments.
• Exploring my emotions and sharing them with the team such that they became aware of how I would cope in different situations, primarily when things go wrong.
• It was likely that when sleep deprived I would question why I was undertaking such an event so I had triggers and tricks to remind me why I was there, how I had prepared and what our goals were.
My aim was to be my strongest in the last 1000 miles and indeed that was the case climbing from 12th position to 8th. I believe my strength was totally down to the preparation that Amanda gave me. I have no doubt that without Amanda’s help I would not have completed the race. – Richard Newey