An amazing Help for Heroes fundraiser attempted the Race Across America earlier this year, due to various reasons he was unable to complete the race. He did cycle an astonishing 1843 miles before making the tough decision to leave the race...a distance many of us could only ever dream of cycling!
See Tim's final thoughts on his outstanding achievement below:
RAAM was pretty well everything I expected it to be having completed one RAW attempt, one RAW successful attempt and one RAAM solo crew for Paul Carpenter (DNF'd at El Dorado). I knew it was tough but that I had it in me to complete it. For RAAM though, especially for an over 50 competitor, everything has to go to plan logistically and physically. We got most things right, but two or three things meant that making the second cut off was probable, but making the finish unlikely. By Camdenton, I was physically wrecked, 11 hours behind a 12 day finish, and so for the sake of my by then, very tired crew, and my own health, called it a day and quit the race. If I had made the cut off, and we all believed we could, then I would have maybe made another 500 miles but not made Annapolis-as my legs were very weak and health well below par.
What went wrong? I crashed just before Tuba City due to a strong gust of wind blowing me into the sand dropping me on my left side on the road like a stone. Fortunately no race ending damage and Shelia from Keith Howlett's crew patched me up. But the show stopper for me was catching a chest cold and stomach bug before Wolf Creek Pass which just got worse. I recovered by Trinidad, but had lost a huge amount of time without sleep. All in all, these plus some other minor issues caused me to DNF.
Will I return again? Never say never, but it will not be for a decent amount of time, because I have so many other commitments and RAAM takes a great deal of preparation if it is to be treated with the respect the race deserves. It is a great test of human capacity to push on when everything hurts and mental resources are low. In many ways, I now know I have the ability to complete it, but everything has to come together which is what makes it so difficult.