First. (under age 50) LEAH GOLDSTEIN (Israel): 1,582.50 miles, 5 days, 16 hours, 5 minutes, average speed 11.63mph
While she’s essentially racing against only the clock — the only other rider in her category dropped out back at Kayenta, Arizona), Goldstein continues to put in a stunning ride. While her current overall speed average of 11.63mph is short of the records of six-time female solo Seana Hogan — her best was 13.23mph —Goldstein’s pace is the fastest in years, possibly since the reign of Hogan. On Monday Goldstein was east of El Dorado, Kansas, on her way to the 1,646 mile mark at Yates Center, Kansas.
First (age 50+) KATHY ROCHE-WALLACE (USA): 1,200.9 miles 5 days, 11 hours, 6 minutes, average speed 9.16 mph
Like Goldstein, Roch-Wallace is the sole survivor of her category — Janet Christiansen and Debbie Tirrito each pulled out back in Arizona. While this is her first involvement with RAAM, she’s an experienced endurance athlete, having done the 24 National Challenge in Michigan, Primal Quest, some 10-Day Adventure Races and a Triple Ironman. She even did a personal challenge of doing five Ironmans in five days. There’s an organized 10 Ironmans if 10 days in Mexico called “La Decca,” but since she wasn’t able to do that she decided to do it all on her own. “I really wanted to do ten successive days of full Ironman distances,” she said, “But I only made it to five. The hard part was being by myself. Without the other athletes out there it’s really hard to stay mentally focused.”
2011 Race Across America. Christoph Strasser continues to hold the lead and an incredible pace of 15.94 mph. No one in years (if ever) has kept this close to the long-standing completed RAAM speed record of 15.4mph set by Pete Penseyres back in 1986. Photo: Vic Armijo
"Back with a vengeance"
2011 Race Across America. Fifth place rider Mark Pattinson is approaching Missouri, where his 2010 RAAM effort came to an end, a victim of the dreaded “Shermer’s neck.” He’s confident that that fate won’t befall him again this year. Photo: Vic Armijo
"If you can't fix it with duct tape ..."
2011 Race Across America. While his neck muscles have given out, the rest of Alberto Blanco is obviously fine as he continues on in third place. His head is being supported by a cobbled together device made out of a back-pack frame, some straps and liberal amounts of duct tape. Photo: Vic Armijo