2019 RAAM Participants Raise Over $3M for Charitable Organizations
Boulder, CO – Race Across America (RAAM), the World’s Toughest Bicycle Race, concluded its 38th consecutive year of racing with exciting competition across all categories. Christoph Strasser (AUT) captured his sixth win. Daniela Genovesi (BRA) led the women while capturing her second win. Six-time winner Seana Hogan (USA) established a new age group record. It was a great year in so many ways.
RAAM attracts racers from all over the world – the event has a global audience. As a result, RAAM has established its reputation as a major platform for athletes to raise funds and awareness for charitable organizations. In 2007 RAAM created the Lon Haldeman Award. Every year the Award is given to the racer/team that raises the most funds for charity.
“We noticed an increasing number of athletes were racing for charities. We thought it was important to encourage that trend. This was a way to make racing more important. We decided to let the racers/teams choose something important to them. Our hope is that racing for a cause will increase their passion for the organization, the race and the sport,” explained Rick Boethling, RAAM Executive Director.
Since 2007, the funds raised collectively each year are in the $1.5-$2.5 million range. The Lon Haldeman Award winners usually raise $500,000 or more. In 2014 and 2015, Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes (USA) raised close to $750,000 each year for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. Athletes Without Frontiers (DEN) raised close to $500,000 in 2016. In 2017, Len Forkas (USA) raised over $900,000 for Hopecam.
This year the amount raised exceeded $3,000,000. The 2019 winner of the Lon Haldeman Award was Team FSHD Skyland Trail. They Raised $1,329,000 this year. Rotary RAAMs Polio (USA) raised $1,263,000, surpassing their 2018 total of $1,025,000. Team ZOE International (USA), Team Prevent Breast Cancer (GBR), The Opportunists (USA), raising money for Opportunity Early Childhood Education & Family Centers and solo racer, and John Tarlton (USA), raising funds for the Stanford Cancer Institute, each raised over $100,000. There were several racers/teams that raised over $50,000. Over 50 different charities were supported by racers/teams this year.
RAAM has opened its registration for 2020 and teams representing cancer research, bicycle donations and military veterans have already joined the roster. Race management expects to see the trend of charitable work continue in the coming years.
About RAAM: RAAM and SOUL EVENTS are world leaders in the sport of ultra bicycle racing. The team is responsible for the Race Across America (RAAM), the world’s premier ultra bicycle race, a 3000-mile coast-to-coast race across the USA, as well as the Race Across the West (RAW), a 925-mile race across the Western US, the RAAM Challenge Series, and the 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trail Championships. In addition, they offer seminars on ultra bicycle racing and sanction ultra bicycle races worldwide. Visit www.raceacrossamerica.org. Facebook, Instagram (@raceacrossamerica) and Twitter (@RAAMRaces).