This was my third attempt at the Race Across America, the longest bike race in the United States (and some say the toughest sporting event on the planet). My first crossing of the U.S. was in 2011 and I was fortunate to have crossed the finish line in the time allotment. By doing so, I set the record for the women’s solo 50+ category, being the first woman in the history of the event to complete the race in this category. The second time I attempted the crossing was in 2013. Unfortunately, I was forced to stop the race due to a combination of upper respiratory issues, caused by forest fires in Colorado, compounded by a demoralizing headwind in Kansas. Yeah, riding into a 20 mph wind when you can’t breathe is no fun.
This year I got further than 2013 and made it just before West Virginia. But with roughly 400 miles to go, I made the decision not to continue for the safety of one of my crew members. Being so close yet having to drop out of the race was not an easy decision, but safety is not something to compromise on, especially with a race like this. While I was not able to cross the finish line this year, it was an honor to again defend my title and retaining the record for yet one more year.
My sincere gratitude to all, since just to be able to stand on the start line is a feeling of accomplishment and not something that can be done without the support of many key people. I would not be able to experience this if it was not for the help of family, friends and a couple of specific people like Eric Cook with WSI, Chip Murdoch of College Chevrolet, James and the crew at Niterider and Alan and Mike from Team Active.
My crew holds a special place in my heart – You are all amazing!
- 2011-Eric (Wallace), Charles, Mark, Amy, Kelvin, Mara
- 2013-Eric, Mark, Chuck, Zandra, Mike
- 2015-Eric, Charles, Deb, Liz, Barb
To check out some photos of the race and updates on RAAM, be sure to visit (and Like!) my GoKathyGo Facebook page. You can also check out my website at www.GoKathyGo.com for even more information about what I’ve got planned form my next “big adventure.”
Stay on Top of Your Pedals,
Kathy Roche-Wallace- #415