Featured Athlete for July 2018: Joe Lawhorn

Please join me in congratulating an amazing local athlete and bike rider, Joe Lawhorn, on his recent monumental achievement, completing RAAM.

On June 12, Joe rolled out of Oceanside, California on his bike as a solo participant in RAAM (Race Across America). RAAM is one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well. Unlike the three great Europeon Grand Tours such as the Tour de France, RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. It is the world's longest time trial and the ultimate race of truth. RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time, with no rest days. Solo racers must qualify to compete.

Racers must cycle 3070 miles, across 12 states, and climb over 170,000 vertical feet and finish in Annapolis, Maryland in under 12 days!

Joe finished the race in 11 days, 20 hours and 48 minutes! He rode about 260 miles per day, for 11 consecutive days with very little sleep. He was the 7th place male solo finisher and the top military or veteran finisher. He also set a record for a segment of the race through the Rocky Mountains.

Joe is a very active cyclist in the local community. He's also a father and a husband. His wife Heather was his crew chief on his epic jounrey across the country and I am sure his daughter Izzie was his biggest fan, although I know the number of local athletes tracking him and following him throughout his journey was immense. Joe qualified for RAAM in November 2017 when he set the World Record for 24 hours on a fixed gear bike. He rode 415 miles in 24 hours on a bike that has no gears and does not allow you to coast!

If you see Joe be sure to congratulate him on his achievement and being such an inspiration to all of those who followed him as he made his way across the country!