It is unlike any other sporting event, the mother of all endurance races; riding against the clock across America on bicycles.
Its start is in Oceanside. It ends 6-12 days later in Annapolis, Maryland.
The women take off June 16th, the men a day later and the teams get started on the 20th. Riding more than 3,000 miles, the route takes the competitors into 14 states, climbing 100,000 verticle feet along the way.
The Race Across America, known as RAAM, started in 1982. It's a third longer than famous Tour de France but is ridden in once state with no off-days. It features two-person, four-person and eight-person teams but the contest that gets most of the attention is the solo competition; one person riding the entire distance compared to the largest team event where each rider spends 3-hours a day in the saddle.
Members of the teams get at least some type of regular sleep, the solo riders rest when they can, or when exhaustion forces them to take a break. Ages range from 18-70. Many of the riders use the event to raise money for a variety of charities and it has been very successful to that end raising more than $1,000,000 in each of the past four years.