The prestigious Race Across America (RAAM) is set to embark on its 42nd edition, challenging ultracyclists from around the world to push their limits in a grueling endurance race. Starting in Oceanside, California, under the iconic pier, RAAM spans over 3,000 miles, crossing 12 states, and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland. This year, the race organizers have chosen Lake of the Ozarks as one of the stops along this epic journey.
RAAM is open to both amateur and professional racers, allowing them to compete solo or in teams of 2, 4, or 8 members. It has become a global icon, attracting participants from over 35 countries. Beyond the sheer physical challenge, RAAM serves as a platform for racers to raise awareness and funds for charitable causes, with racers collectively raising over $2 million per year over the past five years.
Lake of the Ozarks, nestled in the heart of Missouri, will play host to the racers as they take on this monumental race. The race route will traverse the stunning natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings, providing racers and spectators alike with breathtaking views. As one of the stops on the race, Lake of the Ozarks offers a unique opportunity for participants to experience the charm and hospitality of the region.
RAAM is widely regarded as one of the most respected and challenging ultra-endurance events in the world. Unlike stage races like the Tour de France, RAAM is one continuous stage, where the clock starts at the beginning and does not stop until the finish line. It tests participants’ speed, endurance, strength, and camaraderie, making it the ultimate race of truth.
Racers must conquer formidable obstacles throughout the course, including climbing a staggering 175,000 feet and crossing major mountain ranges such as the Sierra, Rocky, and Appalachian. They will also navigate four of America’s longest rivers, including the Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio, as they journey from west to east. Along the way, they will pass through iconic landmarks like the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, Monument Valley, Great Plains, and Gettysburg.
The diversity of the racers is one of the defining characteristics of RAAM. Participants come from all walks of life, with ages ranging from 13 to 75. Approximately 50% of the racers hail from outside the United States, representing more than 20 countries. Their motivations for participating vary, from raising funds for charitable causes to setting records or simply challenging themselves physically and mentally.
The Race Across America serves as an outstanding platform for raising money for charitable causes. Participants have the opportunity to leverage the event’s high media coverage to support causes close to their hearts. In recent years, racers have collectively raised over $2 million annually for various charitable organizations.
Fans from around the world eagerly follow the progress of the race through live GPS tracking, the RAAM Newsletter, race blogs, and social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The race garners significant media coverage, with over 25 million page views and 2,500 articles in mainstream media outlets each year. This extensive coverage provides substantial value to both sponsors and the charitable causes supported by the racers.