After the grand ceremonial start at the Oceanside, CA pier, Race Across America solo racer Mike Wilson maintained good speed to Time Station 1(TS1), not the first, nor the last to arrive. He covered the first 57 miles to Lake Henshaw, elevation 2,800 ft in 4hrs 21 mins, and 35th overall out of the 38 man 59 and under field. Comfortable temperatures in this section would be the last for a good time to come.
Twenty miles on the back side of Lake Henshaw is the renowned “Glass Elevator,” A steep curving descent to Borrego Springs and the Sanora Desert. Living and training in San Diego, Mike’s familiarity for the first two sections is probably better than anybody else. In fact, much of his heat training was done in this area and had recently completed a 3 x 300 mile block of training on this very route. He negotiates the descent with ease and rides off into the 100+ degree oven that is the desert floor. This is the beginning of a long , long stretch of intense desert heat that will test mettle of the riders until they get some relief in the higher elevations of Flagstaff, AZ, mile 536.
Mike settles in well through this section in route to TS2, Brawley, CA land he and his crew do a great job managing hydration and at this point, sickness from a combination of over hydration and the extreme heat is avoided. It’s still not easy and Mike has some trouble dealing with the heat, but not unlike the others. Heat is one of the Great Equalizers. He passes riders from time to time who are off the bikes dealing with heat related issues and then it is his turn to get passed back. Even so, still on plan and all was expected. The good news is that around mid evening a nice cross tail wind picked up offering some pretty good assistance. Mike rolls into TS2, Brawley, CA at right around midnight and averages over 19 mph this section and raises his overall race position to 29th. Mike and crew still have big picture in sight, ride conservative and get through the heat…
Beyond midnight now and Mike is getting sleepy. Pushing on to TS3, Blythe, CA. it’s another long section of nearly 90 miles and even though it’s past midnight, it’s still HOT. Mike takes a 2hr sleep at 3am which drops his average for this section down to the 10mph range. He arrives into Blythe around 9:30 AM dropping to a race position of 35th. Early in the race riders are all bunched within an hour or two and time off the bike results in large swings in the standings. Not a concern at all, Mike is very close to plan and has 235 miles in the books.
On to TS4, Parker Arizona which will be the last TS Mike will visit during the first 24 hrs. He puts more than 300 miles behind him in the first 24hrs with nearly 2700 left to go.
Filed Under: * RAAM Special Coverage * - Solo Mike Wilson
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