From June 17-20, some of the worlds most extreme endurance bicyclists will be passing through Cortez in what is known as The worlds toughest bicycle race.
Cyclists will race from Oceanside, Calif., to Annapolis, Md., in the nonstop, cross-country 30th annual Race Across America. The June 14-27 race route is 3,000 miles, with 170,000 feet of climbing, goes through 12 states, 88 counties and 350 communities with 53 time stations.
Three teams in particular are embarking on their journey across the U.S. to raise money for safe drinking water projects around the world for the Mill Valley, Calif., nonprofit organization, Blue Planet Network, which formed in Telluride in 2002.
The three teams are Samim Rizvi from India, male solo-category, Katie Spotz and Sam Williams, a two-person mixed team, and Team Hope, a four-person team of Cleveland, Ohios, Andre Husain, Larry Smith and Sara Harper, and Alex Galindo of Los Angeles, Calif.
We really kind of created a buzz about safe drinking water. We have no relationship with Race Across America, we just have three teams inspired to do it and fundraise for us, Blue Planet Network Creative Director Mark Steele said.
Spotz and Williams are sponsored by Levi and Kinetico Inc. The duo hopes to break the two-person mixed team RAAM record.
Rizvi is the first person from India to qualify for RAAM and will ride the entire 3,000 miles alone. He has 12 days to complete the race, but wants to finish it in 10 days.
Husain always wanted to compete in RAAM and his vision will come to fruition after he and crew chief, Kat Espino, formed Team Hope.
RAAM contestants pay their own entrance fee. But with these three teams, the inspiration to compete is greatly attributed to Blue Planet Networks cause.
The added benefit of doing something for humanity is what drives them all, Steele said about the three teams. Were really honored by these teams belief in our cause, so we can get the word out.
RAAM is not a staged race, so cyclists will pass through towns in all hours of the day. There will be a RAAM time station/information booth at the northeast corner of the Cortez Walmart parking lot from Thursday, June 16, through Monday, June 20. Anyone interested in volunteering at the RAAM booth, please contact Mike Francisco at 882-3870.
For more information about Blue Planet Network, log on to http://blueplanetnetwork.org.
Reach Bobby Abplanalp at email@example.com