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RAAM diarists log experiences

Team Donate Life Diary

Team Donate Life (TDL) is a group of six teams, totaling 32 cyclists, which are participating in the 26th RAAM. Their mission is to use cycling as a platform to promote organ donation education and outreach. Jason Weckworth of El Dorado Hills, California is the founder of this non-profit foundation, having donated one of his kidneys to his father in 2003. This is TDL's third year of participation in RAAM and Weckworth's second year. He is team captain of TDL's four man team called 'Race 4 Life'.

TDL Race 4 Life left Sacramento bright and early on Sunday, June 10 to caravan down to the RAAM start line in Oceanside, California. We have four riders: Lorenzo Rossaro MD (transplant hepatologist), Dave Stoker (computer analyst), Chris Strutz (Agricultural Pest Control Advisor and triathlete) and me, Jason Weckworth, owner of an electrical contracting firm.

Our crew numbers eight, with "real job" titles that range from massage therapist to pharmaceutical rep to med student. What a great start! We have some terrific chemistry within our team already (we'll need that in about 3 days!). For me, the most amazing sight was Sunday evening at our TDL reception with about 200 people… a sea of TDL jerseys and windbreakers. This reception was held in Oceanside (the start line location of RAAM) and its purpose was to recruit interested riders for future TDL teams, as our goal is to have multiple teams nationwide.

To read the complete Team Donate Life diary, click here.

Team Strong Heart Diary

Greetings from the race course of the 2007 Race Across America. Team Strong Heart, with our rookie crew and racers are out on the course as I sit down in the RV for a bit of recovery time. We left Oceanside, California earlier today to a cheering crowd, media and random people who happened upon the race along the Pacific Ocean boardwalk.

After the 13 mile 'parade' rollout, our first rider, Bernie Kaeferlein was sent out onto the race course for the first shift of the day. Our strategy for the RAAM has been to break our four person team into two two-person sub-teams, working approximately half hour shifts for four hour blocks of time. Our expectation is that this will keep the pace high and allow our racers more time for recovery. Time will tell how this strategy will play out.

After breaking free of the suburban sprawl of San Diego County, my sub-team partner, Greg Kostik, was treated to a 4,000 foot descent into the desert valley where the air was terribly dry and the pace was terribly fast. As I write, the desert continues to roll by and the sun is setting on the painted hills of California.

Read the pre-race and first race entry diaries from Team Strong Heart's Tim Case.

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