Tag Archives: RAAM

Walsh in Indianapolis, Maintains 4th place

Bryce reached Indianapolis at 5:06 EDT.  He maintained basically the same pace, 12.2 mph, over the last 2 legs, improving his overall average to 11.37.

The plan is to rest for 4 hours, 3 of it sleeping.  This, of course, constitutes a “long” rest during this insane event.

Bryce is still roughly 3 hours behind Attila Kaldy (Traditional) and is now 6h 20m behind Enduro racer David Tinker Juarez.  Tinker Juarez is a very fast rider who has been taking lots of rest (55 hours so far, vs. Bryce’s 28.5 hours), so the lead jumps around alot depending upon whether he is resting or cycling like mad.  That lead will certainly increase again as Bryce rests.  This Tinker Juarez character actually was off the bike for over 7 hours early this morning.

We will hopefully have an update from the crew later this evening, but last night they indicated they expect to reach Atlantic City on Thursday; which gives a whole new meaning to “thank god it’s friday”.

Keep up the great work Bryce!  Here’s to Friday!

Walsh leaves Illinois, makes Putnamville, Indiana

Just minutes ago Bryce made TS39 in Putnamville, IN. His pace slowed some from the previous leg, but he has been steadily closing on the nearest Solo rider, Attila Kaldy of the Traditional Division, and narrowed the lead by 9 more minutes on this leg.
He has 45.3 miles to go to Indianapolis, where he must rest for a minimum of two hours and may well need more. It looks like he will arrive in Indy at about 5:15 EDT.

Go Bryce!

Showing grit, Walsh powers past 2000 mile mark

Sorry: I’ve been unable to update until now, due to travel.

Bryce is now in Illinois, and at 8:19a he passed TS 38 in Marshall IL — meaning Bryce has completed over 2/3 of the race with 900 miles to go.

“Bryce is back to riding hard, and trying to make Indianapolis before resting again,” said crew leader Thomas Bérubé. “Before he took his last rest at Greenville, he was getting a little complacent with his 4th-place position; looking for reasons to stop (note from me: I’ve just biked 2,000 miles seems like a pretty water-tight argument).”

Bryce seems to have slowed off the pace a bit, now 11 hours behind 3rd-place athlete David Tinker Juarez. There’s an interesting strategic note here: Walsh, now with 28.5 hours of rest, has used much less off-bike time compared to Juarez. This is by design for both parties. Juarez obviously has made a decision to rest more, but to put up big numbers while on the bike. Bryce, exactly the opposite: manage your rest; save it for the end of the race; and stay consistent throughout.

It seems at this point, Juarez’s strategy will ultimately be successful. But keep in mind: there’s still 900 miles to go. That’s a lot of distance for things to change dramatically, for either rider.

With low winds and clear weather expected today, let’s see if Walsh can put up some big numbers.

Thanks for all your comments! They are being relayed directly to the crew chief and from there to Bryce. He’s lucky to have all of you to support him. Keep up the good work!

Here’s the updated map:

As always, email carter@pundo.com with questions, comments, or any changes to the race that you know about, that haven’t been captured here.

Walsh strong in 4th place at 35

Just time for a quick update because I’m on the road. The stats speak for themselves, and I’m over a slow connection so I can only do a short one right now.

I did speak with crewmate Jodi Boettner briefly. “We made Illinois not to long ago,” she reports. “Bryce is hurting, but strong. He’s been running at a decent clip today.”

One more note: my calculations show Bryce slowly creeping up on 3rd rider David Tinker Juarez.

Sorry; no time for a map. More to come later.

Walsh reaches 33, holds 4th position

First things first: story in the Grand Forks Herald today.

There has been no communication from the crew today, but it seems the rest Bryce took at TS 32 didn’t impact his place in the race. Also, rest times for both Bryce and Kenny Souza haven’t been updated on the RAAM stats page. It appears Souza rested at TS 31 or TS 30, but it’s hard to tell at this point.

In any case, Bryce got to TS 33 in Jefferson City, MO at 8:15a CDT and remains in 4th place. As previously noted, TS 33 is a mandatory control point, meaning all riders must stop for a minimum of two hours at this station.

UPDATE: Although the times haven’t been updated, crew leader Thomas Bérubé did just call in with a quick update. It appears Bryce stopped for the mandatory 2 hours at Jefferson, and also at the previous stop, although Thomas didn’t know exactly how long Bryce stopped there.

“Bryce is sore, still exhausted, and getting a little punchy,” said Thomas.

Well, I get “a little punchy” when I have to get up to mow the lawn, so it’s probably best if we cut the man some slack here.

At this point, Bryce is back on his bike and nearly at Marthasville MO. Weather-wise, things look good at the moment: no rain and low wind. Bryce needs it: although he’s taken fourth, he’s losing ground on the top three riders.

One more worry begins to slowly take form: almost inconceivably, Bryce is starting to run out of course in which to gain that ground back.

Thanks for all your comments! They are being relayed directly to the crew chief and from there to Bryce. He’s lucky to have all of you to support him. Keep up the good work!

Here’s the updated map:

As always, email carter@pundo.com with questions, comments, or any changes to the race that you know about, that haven’t been captured here.

Walsh reaches station 32, takes 4th from Souza

At 1:30a CDT, Bryce made it to TS 32 in Camdenton, MO. Even more impressive, he has passed rider Kenny Souza to obtain the 4th position.

What this means: First, Bryce was unable to rest when he needed, due to the strategic decision to try beat out the rain. Second, he ended up battling those same rains anyway, because this strategy failed him. And even with all this, Bryce managed to overcome these obstacles, pass a competitor, and remain a force to be reckoned with in this event.

If you want to point to one single feat that underscores exactly what kind of man Bryce is, look no further. Then again, the race is far from over — it won’t surprise anyone if he manages to top this feat by the time he makes New Jersey.

I just received a text message from crew leader Thomas Bérubé:

“Bryce is in Camdenton. He was so sleepy that it became a safety issue. He will sleep there then ride to the MCP [Mandatory Control Point] in Jefferson City for shower & massage.”

What Thomas is talking about is the situation outlined in the previous post: strategically, Thomas would like to push on through Camdenton, since Bryce is not required to rest there, but he is required to rest in Jefferson City for at least two hours.

Keep in mind, though, that Bryce would have loved to stop at the previous time station, except for one thing: only certain time stations are designated as “control points,” or stations where riders are allowed to rest and have this rest count towards their 40-hour required minimum. The previous station is not a control point, and therefore it’s extremely prohibitive to stop at such a station.

Completely exhausted, Bryce was quite literally forced to press on to Camdenton. It’s fair to say, this man has earned his rest.

Thanks for all your comments! They are being relayed directly to the crew chief and from there to Bryce. He’s lucky to have all of you to support him. Keep up the good work!

Here’s the updated map:

As always, email carter@pundo.com with questions, comments, or any changes to the race that you know about, that haven’t been captured here.

Walsh makes Missouri, cuts Souza lead in half

Now done with Kansas, Bryce has reached TS 31 in Collins, MO. Exhausted from constantly battling heavy rains, he nevertheless has cut 4th place rider Kenny Souza‘s lead from 120 minutes at TS 30 to 43 minutes.

“Bryce is really exhausted right now,” said crew member and sister Jodi Boettner, “he says his neck hurts.”

The crew has another tough decision to make: Bryce needs to rest, badly; but Collins is not a time station where a rider can rest and have that rest count towards the race-minimum of 40 hours. They must at least push on to Camdenton, but then they have another manditory control point (where the rider is required to rest for 2 hours) at the following timestation.

No map right now, but stay tuned for another update and more info from the crew later on tonight.

As always, email carter@pundo.com with questions, comments, or any changes to the race that you know about, that haven’t been captured here.

Fighting heavy rain, crew makes tough decision

Bryce just made TS 30 in Fort Scott, KS, nearly at the Missouri border. He’s lost 10 minutes on rider Kenny Souza since TS 29.

Bryce and crew have been fighting heavy rain for around the last hour. The crew called me to ask about the storm system, and the question was, “should we stop at 30 and wait the storm out, or try to break through it?”

I took a look at the weather underground radar for the area and saw this:

At the time this shot was taken, Bryce was about 20 miles west of Nevada.

This isn’t as easy of a decision as you’d think: The storm is moving North to Northeast at about 15-20 miles an hour. Bryce is moving dead east at about 15MPH. If he keeps going east, he should outrun it. If he waits, he’ll have to wait for 2-3 hours (guesstimate) for the storm to move northward and out of range.

Since I wasn’t able to get this map to crew lead Thomas Bérubé so he could make his own decision, the decision fell to me, and I told them to keep moving.

Right now Bryce is clearly in the middle of this storm, and the pangs of guilt are already starting to hit me. Did I make the right call? It may be impossible to ever know the answer to that question, and perhaps that’s just as well.

To make things even more unlucky for Bryce, Souza has been able to make a minor, ten-minute increase in his lead. There’s a good reason for this: at two hours ahead, Souza has missed that storm system entirely, and is pedaling in sunshine with low wind.

Thanks for all your comments! They are being relayed directly to the crew chief and from there to Bryce. He’s lucky to have all of you to support him. Keep up the good work!

Here’s the updated map:

As always, email carter@pundo.com with questions, comments, or any changes to the race that you know about, that haven’t been captured here.

Through 29, Walsh presses the issue

Just a quick update as an addendum to my earlier update from about an hour ago. Minutes ago, Bryce hit TS 29 in Yates Center, CO. He’s also picked up the pace, having cut 4th-place rider Kenny Souza’s lead nearly in half.

Crew leader Thomas Bérubé is expected to call in soon with a field update. Stay tuned.

Walsh falls off pace through halfway mark

At 5:05a CDT, Bryce made TS 28 in El Dorado, KS (“pronounced El Dor-AE-doh in these parts,” adds crew leader Thomas Bérubé), just over the course halfway mark. It seems he’s slowed off the pace, and rider Kenny Souza has now increased his 4th-place lead to 3 hours.

Souza — now a captivating RAAM story after health issues forced an 11-hour rest in Colorado — continues to lay the hammer down; putting distance between himself and Bryce, and gaining on 3rd-place rider, David “Tinker” Juarez.

“We need to get Bryce’s average speed up, if we’re to keep him competitive,” said Thomas. “We’re going over every time station stat since the beginning of the race, to see exactly where we’re falling off pace, and analyze our time off-bike.” Bryce is now close to 29, having already completed his manditory 2-hour rest at El Dorado earlier today.

Weather-wise, the worst seems to be over for now. Yesterday, Walsh and other Kansas riders faced horrendous racing conditions, battling thunderstorms and gusty 35MPH south to south-east crosswinds. Today, while the weather forecast shows a good chance of precipitation, the wind has died down significantly and it appears that as of this writing, Bryce is riding in sunshine.

Thanks for all your comments! They are being relayed directly to the crew chief and from there to Bryce. He’s lucky to have all of you to support him. Keep up the good work!

Here’s the updated map:

As always, email carter@pundo.com with questions, comments, or any changes to the race that you know about, that haven’t been captured here.