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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583

    RAO training camp.

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    I had the distinct pleasure of being one of 3 crew members to help run the Race Across Oregon (RAO) training cam this last weekend. Well really it was more than a weekend, it ran from Thursday through Sunday and it was one of the best experiences of my life.

    RAO is a qualifier for RAAM. In the actual race the riders have to complete 534 mile with over 40 000 feet of climbing in 48 hours!! The camp broke the course up into 4 days. We (the crew) got up at about 5 AM every morning to get the vans ready. I was in charge of the 3rd SAG of the day and was serving lunch. The riders usually took off at about 6 to 6:30 AM and we had a different hotel each night along the course.

    I was able to get a ride or run in every morning and I even got a chance to ride with the boys periodically. It was a blast. I was amazed at their endurance. On the second day they rode 148 miles with what had to be about 12000 feet of climbing in 95 deg temps when when haven't had weather like that since last summer!! Some of the riders had problems with hydration and overheating on that day and many ended up SAGging at least for part of the course.

    Every night I did massage and body work. It's a tough job but somebody's got to do it.

    I got to see parts of OR state that I would likely never have visited and I met people that are truly inspirational.

    Now I've had 2 of the guys ask me if I'd help crew for them on the actual race day. I'm clearing out that weekend so I can do it. I am so pumped about this race.

    Here are a few choice stories.

    Toughest rider: Bruce wins this award hands down. He hit the pavement at about mile 80 on the second day. This was a very hot day with tons of climbing. He rolled into lunch bleeding from 3 limbs and with huge bruises and some swelling. He got cleaned up and rode every mile of the camp. He even asked if he could repeat the last 6 miles at the very end - 6 miles of 10 to 15% grade after he had already ridden over 500 miles in the last 4 days.

    Eating habits: this went from PB and J at every SAG for one rider to ensure mixed with coke for another. One of the riders thrived on fruit smoothies mixed with water and ice.

    Funniest moment: rider is on my massage table and answers his cell phone. As he is talking to his wife I hit a sore spot and he flinches. I laugh a little because I'm a sadist by nature and then I here him explaining to the missus that it's just the massage therapist. Which then throws me in to giggle fits that apparently got him into some trouble.

    Coolest scene: seeing a very large garter snake eat a mouse at my SAG on day 2.

    Most beautiful scenery: early AM seeing the caves in the Warm Springs reservation close to the Ka-Nee-Ta Casino. The caves were filled with bats and I got to see a herd of wild horses with 6 foals on my ride that morning.

    I would strongly recommend this camp to anyone thinking about ultra endurance racing. It is very well organized and goes far beyond expectations.

    I'm sure I'll think of more later but that's all for now. I need to get some sleep to recover from the weekend.
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    239

    RAO race support

    I know how you feel about this race. I have been part of a support crew for the past 3 years (never the training camps tho). First 2 years were the 4-person team "RAO Speedwagon" and last year for soloist Michael Wolfe. It is amazing to watch these athletes ride and so fulfilling to be their support. My van (and me) stayed with the rider all 3 times. The course is tough but gorgeous and Terry & George put on a well run race. I've been asked to crew for 2 different teams as well this year, but don't think I can make that weekend.

    You are going to have an amazing experience. Please let us know how it goes
    Edna

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    p-town
    Posts
    50
    Wow, that sounds awesome. What a great way to spend the weekend. (Well for you anyway--I'm not sure I approve of that much climbing in such ridiculous heat ). Thanks for the report!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Columbia River Gorge
    Posts
    3,583
    Quote Originally Posted by evangundy View Post
    The course is tough but gorgeous and Terry & George put on a well run race.

    You are going to have an amazing experience. Please let us know how it goes
    Edna
    Terri and George are the best. I love them. I'm planning on doing the 12 hour Ring of Firein September as a 2 person (female) team. They put on a great races.

    I have no doubt that the experience will be amazing. I'm lucky enough to be backing someone with a good chance at placing in the top 3 for the soloists and I just found out one of the other crew members is a race car driver. That should make some of the descents fun!!
    Living life like there's no tomorrow.

    http://gorgebikefitter.com/


    2007 Look Dura Ace
    2010 Custom Tonic cross with discs, SRAM
    2012 Moots YBB 2 x 10 Shimano XTR
    2014 Soma B-Side SS

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    TE HQ, Hillsboro, OR
    Posts
    1,899
    I was the crew chief for a 4 person team in 2005 & 2006. I wrote about the experience here: http://www.teamestrogen.com/adventures/rao2005.asp

    This year I will be crew chief for a 2-person male team. Scott & Richard were a part of the 2005 & 2006 team. Great guys.

    I really enjoy doing this event. The folks who ride it certainly aren't in it for the glory. It's just amazing to watch them tough it out through crappy weather, fatigue, monster hills, etc.

    Wahine, I hope we get a chance to meet this year at the event!

    Susan
    Susan Otcenas
    TeamEstrogen.com
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    1-877-310-4592

 

 

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