Race Schedule and Results

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Two girls, their bikes and a lot of miles...

As many of you know, Tom has completed Race Across America twice.  It was a life changing experience for him, traveling across the country on a two wheeled machined powered by his legs and his heart.  Although we often laugh that it's a funny way to see the USA - head down, often times following a yellow line on the road, feeling like you are sucking air through a coffee stirrer, it has had such an impact on his life.  Three years since the last time he raced it, we still talk about it nonstop.  He created lifelong memories that I can only live with him through pictures and stories.

For those of you that need a refresher, Race Across America (RAAM) is a 3000 mile transcontinental bicycle race that starts in Oceanside, CA and finishes in Annapolis, MD.  It is known as one of the hardest endurance races in the world and cyclists can compete as an eight man team, a four man team, a two man team and a solo.  Tom raced both times as part of an eight man team.  And while even that seems unthinkable to most, the two man teams and solo teams are the ones that truly blow my mind.

Enter Kacie Darden and Dani Grabol. 
I love these girls.  I met them when I moved here to Georgia and they are some kick ass ladies. These girls are pretty very badass.  Both are experienced ultra endurance athletes.  They have completed Ironman races, won 50k running races, set world records biking across Florida, and recently outright won the Heart of the South bike race, a continuous 517 mile race as a twosome.  Both have done a DOUBLE Ironman (um... for those of you keeping track, that's 4.8 miles of swimming, 224 miles of biking and 52.4 miles of running.  In a day.  Continuously). In fact, they finished that race fourth and fifth overall and that's where they really got to know each other.  Last year, Kacie jumped into RAAM on an eight man team (because you know, when a team loses a cyclist prior to the race and you go to Kacie, she can totally just "fit it into her schedule") and after finishing, knew she wanted to do it again.  It didn't take much to convince Dani that the two of them needed to do something epic.

So epic to them is to race RAAM as a TWO WOMAN TEAM.  Did you get that?  Just the two of them (and their amazing crew of course), tackling the 3000 miles on their bikes.  Only two other two (wo)man teams have every finished the race.  Ever.  And Kacie and Dani don't just plan to finish - they want the world record which means they have to cover the miles in less than 8 days, 18 hours and 57 minutes.  I know these girls.  That will be no problem.
And then to add the icing to their enormous cupcakes, these ladies have chosen to make the race about more than just two women riding across the country - they are raising funds through their racing and training for Race Across America for an organization that again is close to the Kingery’s heart – Camp Twin Lakes.  Camp Twin Lakes is a network of camps providing life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges each year. They collaborate with over 50 different organizations, each serving a different population, to create customized programs that teach campers to overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence and capabilities. Camp Twin Lakes is thrilled to provide programs at various state-of-the-art locations throughout the state of Georgia, including camps in Rutledge, Winder, Warm Springs, children's hospitals, and more.  

Tom and I have set up a fundraising page to help Kacie, Dani and Camp Twin Lakes.  I hope that you will consider supporting them.  Please, even the littlest amount will help make a huge difference to so many kids!!!  And it's all tax deductible - can you help?  Click HERE to donate.

Really, what's not to love about these ladies???

I'm super excited for them.  I wish I could crew for them (although the whole "I'm going to have a newborn, I probably shouldn't leave" thing makes being gone with them on their journey a little difficult).  I really wish I could be there at that finish line because it's going to be amazing.

Kacie and Dani... if you are reading this, I just want you to know that my hat goes off to you.  It's been a tough journey and I know that.  If anyone gets it, I kind of do - I know the hours that you have both put in, the sacrifices that you have both made.  I know the ups and downs that come with training and the feelings you have now as the race approaches.  You are incredible women, not only on your bikes but as friends and I wish you nothing but continued success as you go out and CRUSH this race.   Have fun.  Keep smiling.  Take it all in.  Because in the end, the hard work will seem like nothing when you are left with a lifetime of memories that you created together!  So very proud of you and love you both!

If you want to follow their journey, they have a blog and you can find it HERE.

1 comment:

Ms Mae said...

Wow. I am signed up for the grand Teton relay in August, which is 180 miles with a 12 person team and am a bit nervous! This is amazing!! I'll definitely be watching to see how they do.