RAAM Returns to Effingham

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Published on June 14 2013 3:15 pm
Last Updated on July 14 2013 4:07 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The 2013 Race Across America is rapidly approaching Effingham, and your help is sought in making riders welcome.

The Ride Across America, or RAAM, is a bicycle endurance race from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland.  The race has traveled through Effingham via US 40 for at least a decade.

Local representative Karen Cheatum said a local timing station was first located at the Central Fire Station at Fayette and Maple, but soon outgrew the site.  Now, being located at the south entrance to the Effingham High School parking area puts the station right along the route and the parking area gives the crews plenty of room to maneuver the RVs the riders use as support vehicles.

Thanks to the generosity of Unit 40 officials, the shower rooms at the football stadium are available for racers, their crews and race officials.  Cheatum said Effingham is the most popular stop on the route since it has a consistently staffed station and hot showers.

Organizers are looking for volunteers to staff the time station.  Since the race has done away with calling in the times of the racers, the station is more of a hospitality area.  There are plenty of opportunities to mingle with the racers, crews and officials from around the world.

According to official predictions, the first racers should be arriving in Effingham on Sunday and will continue to arrive through Thursday or Friday.  Anyone interested in volunteering can call 821-1766 or email k.cheatum@mchsi.com or MTipton@ameren.com.