June 16, 2020
Virtual Race Across the West (VRAW)
The widespread effect of COVID-19 meant RAAM and RAW was canceled for 2020. But, in place of the actual race is a virtual race that takes place over the same timeframe. VRAAM and VRAW started today at 9 a.m. EST with over 80 participants for VRAW and over 20 participants for VRAAM.
Chris setup his bike, trainer, computer, nutrition on the front porch and began the 925 mile virtual VRAW at 9 a.m. His goal is to finish VRAW within 93 hours, which is the cutoff time for the actual RAW race.
Here is the link for the Leaderboard: http://www.revolve24.com/VRAW-LEADERBOARD Chris is listed as cpyles.
You can also checkout Racing for Christ Facebook page for updates and videos: https://www.facebook.com/Racing-For-Christ-474666463032645/?modal=admin_todo_tour
October 30, 2019
DELICIOUS FRUIT FOR SALE!!
Racing For Christ is selling delicious Florida Indian River Groves fruit to help raise funds for our RAAM 2020 effort. Our sale will continue through November 10th with the scheduled delivery date to be between Dec. 2 and the 14th in time for the holidays. You can order on line for yourself or have fruit sent directly to friends and family anywhere in the US. Check out the website www.floridaindianrivergroves.com/ecommerce/1018869 to see the selections and to order. Please feel free to share this with anyone who may be interested in ordering some tasty fruit and supporting our team!! If you have never had their fruit before you are in for a treat because it is awesome!! If you have any questions please contact us. Thank you for supporting Racing For Christ's ministry!
October 28, 2019
GOING TO SCHOOL AT NCOM!
The team which included myself and 4 crew members arrived in Alpine, TX eager to take part in our first RAAM-style, multi-day ultra event. Vehicle and bike inspections went great and the mandatory event meeting was a great opportunity to get some last minute tips and to meet other ultra cyclists face to face. The early morning start brought cold temps but a lot of excitement as we rolled out. With the cyclists and crews still close together it was cool to cheer on other riders and have other teams cheer you on even though we were all competing against each other. While we were trying to get our rhythm as a team we had some excessive stop time but when we were rolling the pace was good with us running as high as 4th overall. We planned for our first rest stop after reaching the first time cutoff at 378 miles. After 21,000' of climbing and over 27 hours of riding we were there. While I showered, ate and rested the crew did some maintenance on the bikes and came up with a plan for the next riding stint. Only 2 hours of sleep proved to not be enough so we stopped for another 2 hours and after waking up I felt well rested and ready to go. The first day I was able to eat and drink enough on the bike to keep my energy but a couple hours into the second day I was unable to continue drinking my usual electrolyte drink and unable to stomach any food. As much as I tried I just could not fuel my body and after more than 9 hours and 140 additional miles we decided to pull the plug as I had absolutely no energy left. On the first day after 27 hours I only lost 2 pounds of body weight which was great. On the second day after just 9 hours of riding, without being able to fuel my body, I lost 8.5 pounds. The call to stop racing ended up being a good idea. The race was definitely not a failure though. I had ridden 518 miles, the most I had ridden in one stretch. On the first day I rode over 27 hours straight which was also a personal best and my on bike fitness and strength was the best it had been since starting my RAAM training. The crew of Eric Leppert, Pat McFarland, Jeff Shaffer and Bill Perdew did an AWESOME job. We were all rookies and at times it showed but we learned a bunch of valuable information that we wouldn't have otherwise learned had we not done this epic race (BIG thanks to event organizer Dex Tooke!). We have some select things to work on over the winter and we're confident we will be much better prepared once RAAM 2020 rolls around! Stay tuned!
August 26, 2019
BIG TEST COMING UP!!!
Our next event will happen October 12, 2019 in Alpine,TX at the No Country For Old Men 1000 mile race. Unlike the 12 and 24 hour races we have done up until now, this race will be a true test of not only the rider but also the crew and team strategy. It is a RAAM style race that requires riders to have a support crew and support vehicles that follow the rider during the entire race. The 1000 mile race has 49,000 feet of climbing and must be completed in 96 hours (4 days)! This race will definitely tell us where we stand as rider and team in preparation for RAAM 2020. If you are interested in being a crew member for this West Texas adventure be sure to contact us! It will definitely be a memorable event for all involved!
August 20, 2019
MID-ATLANTIC 24HR RACE, WASHINGTON
Unfortunately Racing For Christ suffered its first DNF at this race. The course was fast and flat. This combined with the fact that Chris would be using his System 6 aero bike with aero bars for the first time in a race meant that a new personal best mileage tally was a good possibility. An added bonus was that Chris's best friend from high school Dave Greene and Dave's son Aiden were along for the trip and would be handling the crewing duties. The race started at 7am with temperatures in the low 70s but with humidity around 80%! The first 25.6 mile lap went great with Chris averaging 21.7 mph while keeping his power numbers in the proper range. Hydration was going to be key as the rider's shoes and socks were alrerady soaked from sweat only an hour into the race. On the second lap the sun started to come out of the clouds and added to the heat. All of a sudden mid-way through the second lap Chris started to feel bad and power numbers started to drop. He radioed ahead and Dave prepared to give Chris an ice vest to help lower his core temp. The vest gave some relief that quickly wore off after about 20 minutes. Even though Chris's power numbers continued to drop rapidly he tried other methods to recover and lower his body temperature. This included drinking nearly 48oz. of fluids every hour compared to the normal 20-24oz of consumption. Something was definitely not right. It took a couple laps and was a difficlult decision but after only 128 miles and 7 hours Chris decided to pull the plug. Even though it was disappointing we are walking away from this race knowing a specific area that we need to work on and we will improve that in time for our next race. Dave and Aiden did an amazing job crewing and taking care of the rider and other than the DNF, we all had a great time during the weekend. Next up will be our first true test of how we will handle RAAM 2020!
*June 25, 2019
LESS THAN A YEAR TO GO BEFORE RAAM 2020!
RAAM 2019 just ended so training has been ramping up! The Maryland Endurance Challenge 12 hour race went well for us. The course was much more difficult than it looked on paper so our goal to win the race was out of the question. However, instead of winning we set new goals during the race. We wanted to meet our power output goal set by my coach Jane and wanted to ride the entire 12 hours without stopping. It was tough but our power average was at the high end of the range Jane gave us which was 10% higher than we averaged at our 24 hour qualifying race in Sebring in February! Since regular crew chief Eric couldn't make it, Pat McFarland stepped up to do support duties. For the first time we implemented rolling handoffs for bottles, food and equipment since we didn't want to stop. Pat did an excellent job and we completed 100% of our handoffs with no drops! This helped me to just keep turning the pedals and when all was said and done we completed 200.75 miles in the 12 hours with only one 65 second stop!!
Included in the training schedule was riding the Diabolical Double course at the 10th annual Garrett County Gran Fondo. A 125 mile loop near the Deep Creek Lake area of Maryland with 16,000 feet of climbing. The ride is described as one of the hardest one day rides around and the hills didn't disappoint! But the increased hill training paid off and we enjoyed the perfect weather and completed the 10 and a half hour ride feeling great!
Next up is a lot more training and the Mid-Atlantic 24 hour race in North Carolina!
*May 13, 2019
OUR FIRST 12 HOUR RACE IS NEXT UP
We will be heading to Emmitsburg, MD for the Maryland Endurance Challenge 12 hour race on Saturday May 18. The World UltraCycling Association has selected this event as their 12 hour National Championship race so National Championships will be awarded to the winners in each gender, age group and bike type category. We're looking forward to a fun training race with some extra motivation to go for the win!!
*February 9, 2019
WE ARE OFFICIALLY RAAM QUALIFIED!!
We were in Sebring, FL for the Bike Sebring 24 Hour RAAM Qualifier. After training mostly indoors for the last 2 1/2 months the sunny 80 degree weather and being able to ride outside was greatly appreciated and we were all ready to get that elusive 400 miles needed to qualify for solo RAAM. Chris and crew chief Eric were joined by fellow cyclist and snowbird Pat McFarland who helped with crewing duties. The race started at 6:30am with 3 laps of Sebring International Raceway and then on to the road with an 89 mile out and back. During this time we were able to use a rolling support vehicle out on course. This was a first for all of us but Eric and Pat handled it like veterans and it went off without a hitch. Next was an 11 mile loop which Chris was on until around 5:30pm when the racing returned to the race track for the remainder of the race. Riding on a race track for hours only gaining 3.7 miles at a time is a hard way to get to 400 but in the end our persistence paid off and we were able to pass the 400 mile mark with about an hour to go in the race. Our final tally was 417.04 miles with only 58 minutes of stop time and as a bonus we were able to finish 2nd in our age group! HUUUGE thanks to Eric and Pat who took care of every detail so I could just concentrate on turning the pedals. Thanks to Fat Jimmy's Outfitters for their continued support...our FJO tuned Cannondale was flawless during the entire 24 hours. Thank you to everyone's prayers and support, it means so much. And last but not least, thank you to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. For those that don't know, our inexperience at Borrego led to me having a heart attack during our first qualifying attempt. However, after only 3 1/2 months, only 2 1/2 months of that spent training (mostly indoors) I was able to come back and qualify for RAAM!! Tell me there isn't a God!!
*November 15, 2018
RAAM 2019 IS OUT, RAAM 2020 IS IN!
The 24 Hour Worlds in Borrego Springs, CA was an incredible event to be a part of and a big learning experience. We were able to complete 370 miles in 24 hours despite some problems due to inexperience. After careful consideration we have decided to push back our RAAM effort to 2020. This will give us the opportunity to train more and gain more experience by doing 3 ultra races in 2019. This will help assure us that we can be succesful in carrying out our mission of spreading the hope, love and peace of Jesus Christ across the the country. This also will raise our competetive goal from finishing RAAM to finishing RAAM in the top 3 of our age group! The next race for us will be the 24 hour race in Sebring, FL February 9-10, 2019. Check out the new photos from Borrego Springs and thanks for everyone's continued prayers and support!!
*August 23, 2018
We are looking for an RV to use for RAAM 2020. We are looking for a Class C, 30 ft, gas RV.
*August 19, 2018
We are looking for additional crew members to join our team for RAAM 2020. Not only will you get to travel across this great land of ours coast to coast, more importantly you will be helping to make a difference in people's lives by helping us fulfill our mission by sharing the hope, love and peace that only a relationship with Jesus Christ can offer. We need help with: Driving (both van and RV), Navigating, Equipment/Bicycle Maintenance, Gear Prep, Food Prep, Shopping, Organizing, Dejaying, Photography, Encouraging (both rider and crew) and more. If you want to help and don't think you have the right skills, no problem -- we will teach you if you are willing. The perfect crew member will: be able to stick to a schedule but also be flexible when that schedule gets blown apart, work well and get along with other crew members and rider, will appreciate every triumph along the way and will look at every obstacle or stumbling block as an opportunity to achieve another triumph and will make their best effort to treat everyone we come in contact with along the way with love and kindness -- therefore being a reflection of Jesus Himself. We will provide you with meals, lodging, transportation and a ticket to the awards dinner in Annapolis. Please contact us if you are interested or have questions.
*August 17, 2018
We're In! It came down to a lottery selection but Chris is invited to race in the World Time Trial Championships in Borrego Springs, CA on October 26, 2018! This is a RAAM Qualifying Race and in order to qualify for RAAM 2019 Chris needs to ride 400 miles in 24 hours.
To share the hope, love and peace of Jesus Christ with others through our words and actions.