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RAAM cancels amid continuing uncertainty over public health and safety

RAAM and Race Across the West cancel, to return in 2021.

Photo: Vic Armijo

One of cycling’s most challenging endurance events — Race Across America — is canceled for 2020.

Organizers told participants and crews overnight that RAAM, set to begin June 16, and the Race Across the West would be put off until 2021 due to the coronavirus health crisis.

“There is only one rational decision that is consistent with the facts, the science, the public health realities, and our overarching desire to keep the ‘family’ safe,” a note said. “The 2020 Race Across America and Race Across the West must be canceled.”

Without knowing when conditions might improve, organizers decided the best decision was to cancel this year’s edition, and regroup for 2021. Registration fees will not be refunded, but participants can apply them to the 2021 or 2022 races, officials said.

Of the many cycling events across the globe that have been impacted by COVID-19, RAAM is perhaps the most complex. The race route crosses 12 states and passes through 350 cities and towns, making it logistically challenging as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders sweep across the United States. This year’s 3,000-mile route was scheduled to start in Oceanside, California, and conclude in Annapolis, Maryland. The winning time along this route is between seven and nine days.