Wednesday, June 4, 2014

RAAM Crew: The A Team

Top: Ingrid Hillhouse, Lindsay King, Mike Deitchman
Middle: Dex Tooke, Joni Tooke, Kati Bak
Bottom: Sonya Souza, Jeff Faillers, Tam Cronin

Our RAAM crew is comprised of nine members total -- all coming together from across the U.S. and Canada. Our crew includes two of my fellow VanderkittenVIP teammates, Kati Bak and Lindsay King, (so between Joan, me, Kati and Lindsay, the kittens are well represented.)

Mike Deitchman, (Joan's husband), is our crew chief; Paramedic Jeff Faillers is our medic and bike mechanic; Sonya Souza is our PT/message therapist flying over from Hawaii; and Ingrid Hillhouse is an ultramarathon runner, who crewed the Oregon RAAM Challenge with me. Ultracycling Hall of Fame candidate Dex Tooke, (who has completed RAAM himself and has written the book Unfinished Business about the endeavor), and his wife and former RAAM crew chief Joni Tooke round out our crew, bringing extensive experience and knowledge to the race.

Three is our magic number -- Our crew teams will rotate in three shifts of three people among three vehicles -- Mike/Ingrid/Lindsay, Dex/Joni/Kati, and Jeff/Sonya/Tam. The three shifts are 8 hours long each, and rotate from Follow, to Errand, to Sleep vehicle. Each vehicle/shift has a specific role and challenges, including sleep, (which may only be 4-5 hours, depending on where we are). We will not be traveling with an RV, as some teams do.

We'll be spending 18 days together, beginning Friday, when most of us fly into the San Francisco area to assist in driving vehicles and equipment down to Oceanside. The race doesn't officially begin until June 10th, but there are many pre-race tasks and obligations to fulfill. The countdown is on...