Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Update on RAAM Cyclist Diego Ballesteros

Spanish RAAM team Coanfi Desafio Aspanoa has maintained a blog updating the status of Diego Ballesteros, who was struck by a car outside of Wichita, Kansas during the race.

Yesterday's post stated that Ballesteros' girlfriend, Ana, had flown in to be with him and that his condition is improving day by day.

You can read the Spanish blog translated by Google here.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Michele Santilhano gets a RAAM finish line surprise!

When 3rd-place female RAAM solo racer, Michele Santilhano, crossed the finish line at City Dock in Annapolis, MD on Monday, she might've been expecting a little celebration. Maybe George Thomas would announce her finish, get her up on stage and ask some questions. Maybe her crew would hug her. Bystanders would take photos and the finish line crew would cheer her through the chute.

But she wasn't expecting to see her sister, Wendy Santilhano, who flew in from South Africa to surprise Michele.

When Michele saw her sister, tears welled up in her eyes. She had her sister and her crew join her on stage to share the glory of her accomplishment. "It's an awesome nation," Michele said.

Crew member, Pia Christensen, said the crew laughed so much on this trip. Then she did what she dubbed the "Michele dance," showing the hand movements Michele would do on the bike to alert crew members to her needs and mental status.

As an added plus, Christensen and another of Michele's crew members, Chris States, are getting married on Saturday in the San Francisco area.

There was lots of love going around on the Santilhano team!
Michele at the finish line.

Michele and sister Wendy.
Pia, Michele and Wendy
Pia and Chris States

Sunday, June 20, 2010

RAAM's Leading Lady: Barbara Buatois est Magnifique!

And the women's solo winner is...Barbara Buatois!

Hailing from just outside of Paris, the bicycle world speed record holder added two new records to her name this morning. When Buatois rolled across the RAAM finish line in Annapolis, she became the first French woman and the first woman riding a recumbent to finish RAAM.

Buatois, 33, returned to the finish line early in the afternoon to peruse the RAAM store. She had a ready smile despite a red-hot, flaky sunburn.

She said yesterday was the hardest part of the race for her. The mountains coming in toward the finish were the most difficult with the heat and the ups and downs. And yesterday she got tendoinitis in her left ankle, but that was her only real injury.

"There's a great ambiance within my team," she said in French. Her team included her husband, and her mother-in-law. "We laugh a lot," she said, and her team is always there for her.

Next up for the ultra star? The 600 kilometer Bordeaux-Paris race is on her calendar in six days! (That's another 372 miles.)


(Buatois at the finish.)



Saturday, June 19, 2010

RAAM Road Rules Episode 1: McLovin

Is a McDonald's by any other name just as bad for you?
What happens when you put 4 perfect strangers in a minivan for 12 days straight and tell them to chase after cyclists?

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Team's Rockstar Ride

Team may be RAAM rookies, but they know a thing or two about traveling in style. "Three attorneys and a business guy" make up the team, said crewmember Lora Payne. They weren't taking any chances with their safety--or their comfort.'s bus came with two professional drivers and a whole lot of leopard print! Check it out:

(Please excuse my extreme on-camera dorkiness.)

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

How Not to Buy a Car on eBay: The Dexmobile

Figuring out RAAM transportation is a huge undertaking for riders and crew. Will they have an RV? How many support vehicles? Who will drive? Team hired a tour bus that looks like it was made over on "Pimp My Ride" with cheetah-print accents on the interior walls.

Dex Tooke took a different approach. Gearing up for RAAM last november, Tooke searched eBay for an official race RV. When he found one (for a rumored $9,500), it seemed like a smokin' deal. Turns out it was...literally.

Welcome to the Dexmobile!

RAAM Racer Diego Ballesteros Struck by Car

Diego Ballesteros of Spanish team Coanfi Desafio Aspanoa was struck by a car this morning near Maize, Kansas and is in critical condition, local news station KAKE reports. The 36-year old Spaniard is a part of a 4-man team. When he's not racing, he is a lawyer and teacher.

Teammate Cesar Velilla said in his racer bio that he found out about Race Across America four years ago and was excited to race as a team. "The reason that definitely pushed us to take part in this was the possibility to help other people and "give" our effort in the name of ASPANOA," wrote Velilla, "a local organization where parents of children with cancer join together and try to give them a solution and a better quality of life during the treatment."


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

A Stanford Graduation in Kansas

My grad school graduation was on Sunday, so the men of RAAM's Media 2 van (who kidnapped me from the Media HQ van) held a ceremony for me in Ulysses, Kansas. It might have been as awesome as the real thing...
I'm still blogging for RAAM here. The race ends on Monday!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

I'm Covering Race Across America!

Hi hot endurance athletes! It's been way too long.
I am currently a part of the media team at Race Across America. I'll be updating the RAAM website regularly on both the main page and the Headquarters blog. And you can follow me on RAAM's facebook/twitter updates.

It was a little bit of a rough start--my boss thought I was drunk on the first night (last night) because I was being me. Apparently I give off a drunken vibe.

It'll only get worse as the sleep deprivation goes on, so buckle up and get ready for some rad (drunken...not!) posts on the RAAM site.

I take off from Oceanside on Thursday to chase the cyclists to Annapolis, MD.

My grad school graduation is on Sunday. I brought a tassel and will pin it to my head for the day.

Rock on party people.