RAAM Continues to be a Major Fundraising Platform
Boulder, CO – Race Across America (RAAM), the World’s Toughest Bicycle Race, concluded its 36th consecutive year of racing with some exciting competition across all categories. Above and beyond the racing, over the past 11 years RAAM has grown in notoriety as a major platform for racers to raise funds and awareness for a broad array of organizations, 2017 was no different.
Because of the growing interest in raising money for charitable funds, RAAM created the Lon Haldeman Award in 2007. It recognizes the racer/team that raises the most fund for their charity(s) of choice. “We noticed an increasing interest in teams racing for charities, so we thought it was important to encourage that trend. Bicycle racing in general a pretty selfish pursuit and this was a way to make racing more important with a larger vision in mind. RAAM does not choose the charity for the racers, we let them choose something that is important to them, hoping that will increase their passion for the organization and the race”, according to Rick Boethling, RAAM Executive Director.
Since 2007 the funds raised collectively each year are in the $1.5-$2 million range. The Lon Haldeman Award winners are usually raising $500,000 or more. In 2014 & 2015 Team Intrepid Fallen Heroes raised close to $750,000 each year for the Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund. This year several teams surpassed the $250,000 mark. Len Forkas, from Virginia, raised funds for Hope Cam and won the award with the amount raised exceeding $900,000. Other teams of note are Team Rotary RAAMs Polio ($550K), Plantagenets ($440K) and Cycling for Cameron ($300K).
RAAM has opened its registration for 2018 and teams representing cancer research, autism, polio and military veterans have already joined the roster. The race expects to see the trend of charitable work continue, if not increase over 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), an 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.