Wednesday, June 24, 2009
RAAM has passed by Hermann each of the 3 years I have lived here. This year was no different with the exception the route crossed the new Kit Bond bridge into Hermann then down Hwy 100 to Washington. In past years they just kept heading East on 94.
Tuesday I was out for my AM training ride hoping to come across one of the riders. Sure enough I did, rider Mark Botoh. He is currently running 4th in the solo category. Saw the guy/crew stop for gas, ice and other goodies. When he got off the bike he could barley stand up, looked like a drunken sailor as he staggered to regain balance. Obviously not drunk on booze but I guess you could say he was drunk on miles. At this point in the race he had about 1900 miles in his legs.
It's hard to image riding that many miles, especially in the heat of the past few days, day after day pushing the body to what has to feel like complete exhaustion at all times.
RAAM in the past has not been much to watch or even follow on the net. Seems like 3 time champion Jure Robic will always win and win by a big margin. Not this year. 2408 miles into the race Robic and a guy named Dani Wyss are actually racing! Robic had a 80 min lead when I shut things down for the night yesterday, this AM Robic's leads is a mere 17 min.
With 600 miles to go this should play out to be one close race. For some reason I find myself rooting for the Wyss. I guess it's because he may be the underdog or it may be that by him pursuing Robic there is actually a race to watch. Regardless, it's amazing what these guys are doing.
Check it out for your self here.