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RAAM, RAW Canceled

6-12-24 Hour WTTC Rides On


Last updated 7/6/2020 at 1:58pm

Amid the uncertainty over public health and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping across the country, Race Across America and Race Across the West has been canceled this year, according to a statement. Both events will be put off until 2021. The annual race, which is dubbed as one of the most challenging endurance events, will not be taking place for the first time since its inception in 1982. RAAM was set to begin June 16.

“We are disappointed that RAAM will not take place this year, but are more hopeful that everyone stays healthy during this distressing time, and the decision to cancel was a difficult one,” Fred Boethling, RAAM President/CEO, said. “But we simply could not risk the health and safety of our racers, crew, staff, contractors, volunteers and those in the communities touched by RAAM.”

However, the 6-12-24 hour world time trial championships are set to begin right on schedule from October 9 to October 11 at Christmas Circle. The time trials are qualifying events for the Race Across America event when riders come through the first timing station in Borrego Springs.

RAAM has taken place for 38 consecutive years, where over 35 countries are represented. Ultracyclists from around the globe are challenged to push their physical and mental limits to the farthest reaches. The race begins in Oceanside, California and spans 3,000 miles, climbing 175,000 feet, crossing 12 states and finishes at City Dock in Annapolis, Maryland. The route crosses 12 states, passing through 350 cities and towns.

Due to the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders varying by county and states sweeping across the United States made it difficult and challenging to get around. The orders in California and Maryland would prohibit the running of the races, and it was recognized that lockdown orders would extend past critical decision points and past their anticipated start date for the races.

The following is an excerpt of the letter sent to racers:

“As you are well aware, these are extraordinary times. We have all been forced to make adjustments and sacrifices in our daily activities to reflect the seriousness of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We at RAAM must now make an important decision that we fully understand will affect thousands. On an intellectual basis that decision involves a complex blend of public health policy and risk management. On a more personal basis that decision is driven by our desire to protect the “RAAM family.”

Accordingly, there is only one rational decision that is consistent with the facts, the science, the public health realities, and our overarching desire to keep RAAM and RAW participants safe – the 2020 Race Across America and Race Across the West must be canceled,” the statement said.

As COVID-19 rapidly spread around the globe in recent months, tournaments, games and other sporting events have been substantially modified, postponed or canceled. The postponement of the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games to 2021 was an eye opener for every event organizer. The decision to cancel was further reinforced after the recent cancelation by both Ironman and the UCI.

Registration fees will not be refunded, but participants can apply them to the 2021 or 2022 races, officials said.

“We are already looking forward to next year and expect RAAM and RAW in 2021 to be better than ever,” Boethling said.

The start dates for the 2021 race will be:

Solo RAAM and all Race Across the West racers: June 15, 2021

Team RAAM: June 19, 2021

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