Origins of The Race Across Oregon
Race Across Oregon was founded in 1998 when the cancellation of Alaska's Midnight Sun 600k left a gap in my racing calendar. I challenged a 5 rider relay team to race me from Idaho to the coast. The "race" became a fundraiser for the Epilepsy Foundation of Oregon and made the front page of The Oregonian newspaper. When a reporter asked me the name of the event, I fumbled around and said the first thing that came to mind "Race Across Oregon"... We raised a lot of money for the foundation and decided to make RAO an annual event.
With my extensive background competing in Race Across America it is important to me that racers interested in RAAM can participate in an event that provides some of the difficulties one faces during a 12 day coast to coast race.
Race Across Oregon is the best qualifier to prepare you to compete in RAAM. RAO features hot and dry weather and almost 34,000 feet of climbing over the 625 mile course. The RAO route follows roads on which I've escaped Willamette Valley rain and completed many epic training rides. RAO takes place in my favorite part of the country and I hope you find the event challenging and fun.
George Thomas - RAO Founder and RAAM Hall of Fame Inductee.