A Woodbury man begins a race across America for military families back home.
The ride, the Race Across America, is a transcontinental race starting in Oceanside, Calif., and ending in Annapolis, Md. It is over 3,000 miles, 12 states and 170,000 vertical feet of climbing, all in a 12-day time span, nearly half again as long as the Tour de France in half the amount of time.
The race begins Tuesday and will end June 22 for 55-year-old Bob McEnaney, who grew up as a military child. Both his father and grandfather served as Army medics.
His eight-person support crew will include a crew chief, a mechanic, a cook, someone to handle his social media, an EMT and a chiropractor, himself an Iraq veteran.
He hopes to ride about 275 miles a day and sleep an average of three hours.
McEnaney is a cycling, triathlon and running coach with over 35 years’ experience in endurance athletics. He also founded Ride for a Reason, an organization to promote fun and healthy activities while raising funds and awareness for local charities.
The Minnesota Military Family Foundation is a nonprofit that has provided grants and emergency loans to military families since 2004.
“These two weeks of intense physical labor on my part are nothing in comparison to what our soldiers sacrifice,” McEnaney said on a fundraising page. “My pain and sacrifice may go away after the 12 days of cycling, but these families live it every day.”
The first incarnation of the race, the Great American Bike Race, was organized in 1982 with four competitors.
More than 325 bicyclists are readying for the 33rd annual edition. Some cyclists will take on the Race Across the West challenge that finishes in Durango, Colo., after 860 miles.
Those who are interested can follow McEnaney’s progress on Facebook.com/Ride.For.A.Reason.Charities.
Donations to the Minnesota Military Family Foundation can be made online at www.bit.ly/1xzKNq1.
Mark Brunswick • 612-673-4434