The race continues: Our First 400-mile Solo Race
Although this is considered a solo race (meaning only one racer, no relay, no break), it is not a race I’ll be riding alone. In fact, my father – our lead driver – is the instigator this time. In training for RAAM last year, we (my parents and I) raced the Ohio RAAM Challenge, and after a successful race, he mentioned that you know, there is this race in Daytona in November. Would I want to do that in 2014? (A rhetorical question of sorts, to which I answered with my own rhetorical question, would you want to crew for me if I did?)
The idea lay dormant in the back of my mind, as we had bigger races on the horizon, Team RAAM 2014 for starters. And it continued dormant until about 8 weeks after RAAM came the itch to be back on the bike… After forcing myself to take a break, I couldn’t take it anymore. The question was, could I train for this and be ready in oh, say 2 months?
So then came the Couch-to-300km brevet in North Carolina, then back to regular training with my coach, Jim, leading to the RAAM Challenge Ohio 200 mile race (year 2). And now, less than one week away from my first 400-mile solo race. Another threshold. Another test of limits – mental and physical. And, most importantly on November 1, another opportunity to put PH on the map on the first day of Pulmonary Hypertension Awareness Month.
My mom joins my dad, and they’re bringing one of my first and best friends in Pittsburgh into the fold. Misana Vantosky, ICU nurse extraordinaire, and one of those people who seems to be able to do anything. In addition to problem solving, humor and overall awesomeness, she brings her gadget skills as we’ve worked out our communication system, and my folks bring their enthusiasm and experience. And together, we’ll all race across Florida and back. For sure we are a rookie team. Despite having done 200-mile races and Team RAAM, none of us have done this solo 400-mile/24-hour event, so there will be challenges each of us will face and have been anticipating. However, that aspect we are used to from prior race experiences – that need to solve problems and keep going, so we are ready for whatever comes. That unknown, well, that’s part of the excitement, that’s part of the fun, after all.
I am also very excited because this race marks the start of the next phase… You see RAAM 2014 was not the end of Team Phenomenal Hope, but actually the beginning. There is still a need to raise awareness and definitely a need for a cure for PAH, so we humbly strive as a team to help make a difference.
RAAM Challenge Florida is only the first of many events and announcements to come. There will be more on that coming soon, so make sure you stay tuned…
The race continues.