Logistics! A huge thank you to our RAAM friends
How do you even start to prepare for RAAM? Like anyone, you start looking at the website. Then you start looking over the resources the RAAM website has provided you. You read and reread the rules, the route book, and the GEAR book. And then you FREAK OUT! Literally, you break out in sweats thinking about how to start or even where to start in your planning. Racer exchanges? Vehicle exchanges? RV? We really need an RV? Leapfrogging? Time stations? So many questions needed to be asked. Except for one crew member, Sara, who actually raced RAAM not once but twice, none of us had any experience. We were newbies; ducks out of water. I needed help.
Fortunately, in the RAAM community, everyone wants to help. Everyone is excited about RAAM. And, above all, they want you to succeed. I talked to a few people but found myself relying on two in particular, Joe Knopinski and Anne Sasso. Joe was the crew chief for the women’s team, Love, Sweat, & Gears. From everything I have read about this team, they killed it in 2012. They were fast! Real fast! Look for them again in 2015. Anne Sasso was co-crew chief for the 8-person team, Xstrata. The logistical planning that went in to getting eight racers plus crew across America was incredible. From all accounts, it was a pretty smooth operation.
These two have gone above and beyond in helping me out. They explained how racer and vehicle exchanges worked. They sent me videos. They let me call. I mean, Joe even let me call while he was on vacation. Anne sent me food schedules. And I’m pretty sure Joe emailed every piece of RAAM-related documentation he had. A lot of what I have used and incorporated into preparing for RAAM came from them. Incorporated? Heck! I’m pretty sure I shamelessly took his documents and worked it to fit my needs.
Without the two of them, I’m sure I would still be floundering. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out. Also, huge thanks to Love, Sweat, & Gears for hosting Peter and Tom. I hope you didn’t scare them. This Montana girl loves the West! So don’t be surprised when I show up in Denver calling. I owe you all a beer; especially Joe.
Anne, I can’t wait to finally meet you in person in a couple weeks. I’m sure I’ll need a hug.