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Starting 12 June 2012, I will participate in the Race Across America (RAAM), the world’s toughest bicycle race! In the category solo racer 60+ I’m aiming to complete 4,800 kilometres from the west coast to the east coast of the US in only 12 days. Again and again I’m being asked about my motivation to expose myself to these bodily exertions.
For more than two decades I have been fascinated by long distance cycling. To cross diverse landscapes and climatic zones at day and night and to cover 500 km per day using my own strength strongly appeals to me. Long distance cycling is a unique experience of both the beauty and vastness of nature as well as one’s own body, willpower and limits. Facing these limits enables me to recognise and overcome everyday patterns of experience and to develop new perspectives. Furthermore, setting common goals and aiming to achieve them together with my team through the physical effort of all involved, creates strong feelings of team spirit and companionship.
These are some of the reasons for my participation in the RAAM.
However, there is yet another, much more important reason:
We would like to take advantage of the attention created through this venture for a fundraising campaign in support of mentally disabled people.
By donating at least ten euros, you can purchase one kilometre of the distance covered during the race.
The proceeds will be used to support the Heinrich Kimmle Foundation Pirmasens, Germany, and its commitment towards greater integration of disabled people into everyday life. Many of the mentally disabled people from the foundation’s facilities engage in various sporting disciplines. They regularly train for participating at national and international sports events held by the Special Olympics organisation. We would like to set an example for these committed athletes and to bear in mind their Olympic oath:
“Let me win. But if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt!”
Website Special Olympics
Website Heinrich Kimmele Stiftung
2012 RACE INFORMATION
Start: Oceanside, California – Oceanside Pier
Tuesday June 12, Solo Women/60+
Wednesday June 13, Men – Solo Men
Saturday June 16, Relay Teams
Finish: Annapolis, Maryland – City Dock
Route: 3000 miles, 170,000 feet of climbing
Crosses 12 states, passes through 88 counties and 350 communities
Format: Solo, 2-, 4- and 8-Person relay teams
Website Race Across America