By LINDA MESSMER
The Race Across America continues and has passed the half-way point. According to RAAM media contact Wendy Booher, as of early morning, Friday, racers were expected to be traveling through Brazil on U.S. 40 throughout the day Friday and/or today.
Shortly before 6:30 a.m. EST on Thursday, RAAM's only recumbent team, ALS Lightning, became the first team to cruise over the half-way mark in this year's race in El Dorado, Kan.
Booher reported that, "The four-man team riding recumbent bikes outfitted with lightweight composite shells seeks to break the record held since 1989 for crossing the country in five days, one hour, eight minutes with an average speed of 24.02 mph. They are currently traveling at a pace of 24.47 mph."
The solo field, which started the race with 19 riders, has dropped to 15. Two more cyclists had to withdraw. Pius Achermann of Switzerland dropped out of the race in Dalhart, Texas, after being taken to the hospital with saddle sores.
Tracy McKay, from Alabama, withdrew from the race in Vaughn, N.M. McKay experienced a lot of pain in his leg. He consulted with his doctor for a strained quadriceps and felt that it was too painful to continue.
Fort Dodge native Mike Trevino is a good candidate to receive Rookie of the Year honors. The athletic Trevino, who currently resides in Pacific Beach, Calif., has been a marathon runner since 1998 and won seven of his last eight events.
He decided he had accomplished most of what he wanted to do in running so made the switch to biking. Trevino is making his cycling debut in the San Diego to Atlantic City Race Across America.
He thinks the primary difference between the two activities is that running is a weight-bearing sport and is harder on the body. Trevino says to achieve the same amount of fitness, you have to spend more time in training with cycling.
"If you run for two hours, you have to cycle seven to eight hours to compare," Trevino said.
To prepare for the RAAM, a typical week had Trevino spending 40 to 45 hours on the bike. He rode 700 to 900 miles a week. But there is a lot involved in planning for the event.
"The required planning is amazing," Trevino said. "We have an RV, a pace vehicle and a crew of six people. The six-member crew has to stay fresh to help take care of me."
The planning includes getting hotels and getting the bike ready. Trevino takes several bikes in case anything happens. The 29-year-old said there is a lot more to being in RAAM than just going out and riding.
Trevino is currently in second place behind Jure Robic, but held first place for a short time Thursday.