World’s Toughest Race Starting in Oceanside


snc00341What’s harder than climbing Mount Everest and covers more ground than the Tour de France? It’s the 27th Race Across America starting this week in Oceanside.

If you thought the world’s toughest athletes who have climbed the world’s highest summits or finished multiple Ironman races call it quits after accomplishing those impressive feats, you thought wrong. They go on to compete in the toughest challenge of them all … riding bikes 3,016 miles from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD for a torturing elevation gain of over 100,000 feet in 8 – 12 days.

For a point of comparison, the 2009 Tour de France only covers 2,174 miles in 21 days. As for Mount Everest, it is 29,029 feet high.

Ultimate Ironman Athletes

So, who are these crazy blokes who sleep only a couple hours a day for over a week while pushing their Mount Everest climbing, Ironman racing bodies through the ultimate test?

They include among others:

  • Four time winner Jure Robic, a Special Forces soldier from Slovenia
  • Three time winner Wolfgang Fasching from Austria who personally vouches that completing the Race Across America is harder climbing to the summit of Mount Everest.
  • South African Michele Santilhano, who has climbed to the highest summit on all seven continents.
  • Twelve-time Ironman Florence Debout and her teammate Robyn Benincasa, a San Diego firefighter and two time World Champion with TV Producer Mark Burnett’s Eco-Challenge in Borneo and Gerald Fusil’s Raid Gauloises in Costa Rica.

snc00340As you may have noticed with the last profile, some racers do compete on teams of 2, 4, or 8. It will be interesting to  follow one of the two-person teams led by Christina Domecq. She will be broadcasting live on from her cell phone throughout the race using voice recognition technology developed by a company she cofounded. Along the way, she will be attempting to raise $500,000 to help fellow entrepreneurs with micro loans.

Another interesting team to follow will be the 4-man Team Surfing U.S.A. with professional surfer Laird Hamilton, Rage Against The Machine’s bassist Tim Commerford, and 76-year old health club pioneer Don Wildman.

Watching the Race

The solo woman competitors started on their journey today at noon. You can catch the men’s solo competitors tomorrow (Wednesday) at noon when they kick-off from Oceanside Pier. (The Navy Seals will be parachuting in at 11:30AM.) If you can’t make it for tomorrow’s lunch time start, dust off your bikes and bring them to watch the Teams Start on Saturday at 2PM.

Saturday is the big event day when The Strand next to Oceanside Pier is shut down to vehicles allowing cyclists of all talents to enjoy a leisurely ride along the beach. An Expo starts at 9AM while event-related speeches followed by team introductions start at noon.

So, go to Oceanside Pier to give a loud send-off to these brave adventurers as they head off to compete in the ultimate physical challenge. While you are there, make time to visit some great Oceanside Attractions.

Tour Map, Details & Coverage

Race Across America Map from

Race Across America Map from


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One Response to “World’s Toughest Race Starting in Oceanside”

  1. The Best Places in San Diego says:

    I went to the start for the solo men on Thursday. Quite an event with riders and their teams from so many different countries. I was able to mingle in the staging area just south of the pier. Enjoyed listening to the different languages and chatting with the team members as they enjoyed their final views of the Pacific before embarking on their cross country trip.

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