Originally Published: June 14, 2018 6 a.m.
The Race Across America will be coming through Prescott on Sunday, June 17, according to Cecelia Jernegan, of the Forest Villas Hotel in Prescott.
The bicycle race begins in Oceanside, California, and concludes nine days later in Annapolis, Maryland — a course of more than 3,000 miles.
The event annually raises “collectively in excess of $2 million for a wide range of charitable causes,” according to the group’s website, www.raceacrossamerica.org, where the race is described as an “ultra-endurance event,” “a pinnacle of athletic achievement,” and “the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.”
The website compares the Race Across America to another renowned bicycle race, the Tour de France, except that the Race Across America is about 30 percent longer than the Tour de France, according to the website, and the racers “must complete the distance in roughly half the time, with no rest days.”.
Jernegan describes the racers’ visit in Prescott on Sunday as “a brief time to take a nap” at the hotel at 3645 Lee Circle.
Some of the racers complete the course days before the nine-day time limit. Others who begin the race do not finish.
Racers endure intense heat, cold weather, mountain elevations, dust storms, lightning storms, wind, rain, mechanical problems with their bicycles, but also have the opportunity to be a part of “an amazing group who work together,” the website notes, adding: “Racers range in age from 13 to 75.”
Also according to the website, approximately half of the racers who participate each year are from outside the United States, and just 18 percent of the racers in this contest are women.
The race includes solo racers and teams of racers — two people, four people or eight people. This year, the teams will begin their cross-country race Saturday, June 16; the solo racers begin their race four days earlier.
Registration fees for the race range from around $4,000 for an individual racer to around $15,000 for a team of eight racers. According to the Race Across America website.
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Information provided by Race Across America.