Two teams of cyclists with diabetes will join racers from around the world Saturday in pedaling more than 3,000 miles through heat and rain in this year’s Race Across America. The cross-country trek from California to Maryland passes through 14 states and includes grueling hill climbs totaling over 100,000 feet.
Two eight-person teams of competitors, Team Type 1 and Team Type 2, in this year's race will be managing their diabetes as well as contending with the forces of nature. As team members pedal and sleep in shifts to keep the cycling going 24 hours a day for nearly two weeks, they will also be fueling their bodies, checking their blood glucose, making insulin adjustments, and helping teammates keep their diabetes in check.
Race Across America (RAAM) began in 1982 and is 30 percent longer than the famed Tour de France. This year it kicks off at Oceanside (Calif.) Pier and winds up at the City Dock in downtown Annapolis, Md. Individual cyclists began the race earlier this week, and teams start at 2 p.m. Pacific time Saturday. This will be Team Type 1's fifth year competing and Team Type 2's second. Team Type 1 bills itself as the only professional cycling team in the world that includes riders with type 1 diabetes on its roster, and its members compete in professional events throughout the year. Team Type 2, whose members are not professionals, focuses on RAAM as its major annual event.