Today Patty Riddle is officially listed as DNF on the RAAM website for failing to make time cut-offs. Her race plan was to just make every cut-off. Had she done that she would not only have established a women’s 60+ record, but also shattered the existing women’s 50+ record.
The speed requirement is one thing that makes RAAM so difficult. RAAM sets time cut-offs for various points in the race. One list of requirements for solo riders, another for teams. Everyone races against the same standard. There is no allowance for gender or age. Two-person teams have the same time limits as four- and eight-person teams.
Time limits include any time off the bike; i.e. sleep and medical attention for solo riders. Most two-person teams also occasionally have no rider on the road. The official mileage for 2007 is 3043. Solo time limit is 293 hours which equates to 10.39 mph. Team time limit 240 hours, or 12.68 mph. Compare that to these RAAM records which are below the pace required for 2007.
Division Name Year MPH Men 60+ Fred Boethling 2006 10.31 Women 50+ Bonnie Allison 1992 8.48 2 Person Team Mixed 50+ Dutton & Riddle 2006 10.74
I understand that it is logistically difficult to allow the race to trail out across the country for 3-4 weeks. RAAM officials were lenient with Riddle, allowing her to continue as an official participant until she fell well behind the last teams. I’ve heard that Riddle plans to continue her unofficial ride across America. I hope if she makes it to Atlantic City her time will be listed as the Women 60+ record as a goal for women and men who dream of their own RAAM.
This year solo riders left Oceanside on Sunday, June 10, followed by all teams on Tuesday, June 12. I hope that future events will incorporate a system of staggered starts that allow more women and older men to attempt this challenge with a chance of an official finish; possibly starting solo 50+ women Friday, solo women and 50+ men Saturday, solo men and 2-person women and mixed teams Sunday, 2-person men’s teams Monday, 4- and 8- person teams on Tuesday. That would give 50+ women two additional days, and 50+ men and all other solo women one extra day. Far from a level playing field if historical RAAM data is any indication, but at least a slightly better chance to show themselves and RAAM fans what they can do.
Be sure and check out the Fasching quote below!!