Thursday, September 27, 2012

Official Announcement!

Dani and Kacie are Racing in
Race Across America to Support Camp Twin Lakes in June, 2013!

About Race Across America

Race Across America (RAAM) is one the most respected and longest running endurance sports events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well. RAAM has a rich and storied history. In 1982,  four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Teams were added in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. The 2013 race will be the 32nd edition of RAAM. There is no other race in the world like RAAM. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it--racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and fun! There is no race that matches the distance, terrain and weather, no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end.

RAAM is a race! But unlike the three great Europeon Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, similar to a time trial. Once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. RAAMis about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time allowed for the Tour. More importantly, RAAM is not limited to professional cyclists. RAAM is open to professional and amateur athletes alike. While solo racers must qualify to compete, anyone may organize a team and race. Racers must traverse 3000 miles across 12 states and climb over 170,000 vertical feet.

Team racers have a maximum of nine days and most finish in about seven and a half days. Teams will ride 350-500 miles a day, racing non-stop.

Dani and Kacie will race as a two person relay team for 3000 continuous miles. The clock will start when they leave from Oceanside, California, and it will not stop until the arrive in Annapolis, Maryland.

In 2005, Dani Grabol went to her doctor for a routine physical and was told "if you don't do something about your weight, you will be dead by the time you are 40." Haunted by those words, Dani went home and committed herself to a complete overhaul of her lifestyle. After losing 70 pounds, Dani competed in her first triathlon in 2006. On November 1, 2006, while on a training ride in Florida, Dani was struck by a drunk driver, crushing her left tibia and fibula. Doctors were skeptical that Dani would ever run or be able to compete again. After months of intensive therapy Dani returned to multi-sport, completing her first Ironman in 2008.

In December, 2011, Dani became the first woman to ride solo across the state of Florida, setting a record for 422 miles in 27 hours and 58 minutes. Most recently she competed in a double Iron distance triathlon that consisted of a 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike and 52.4 mile run. Dani was the 4th overall finisher and the 2nd female finisher. Dani works in an independent retirement facility with older adults. Through her work with the senior population, Dani strives to show older adults how to commit to a healthy lifestyle. When Dani isn't on her bike she can be found in the kitchen inventing new recipes, reading autobiographies, or spending time with her two dogs.

A native of north Georgia, Kacie began competing in endurance events in 2008 while training for a duathlon with her husband, George. Since completing the first race, Kacie has fallen in love with endurance sports.  Despite her late start, she has become an accomplished triathlete, having now completed four Ironman triathlons. Most recently, Kacie placed third in the women’s division and fifth overall at the Florida Double Iron Distance Triathlon by swimming 4.8 miles, cycling 224 miles, and running 52.4 miles in under twenty-nine hours. Kacie has also competed in long-distance swimming events, and she won the 2010 Tashka 50k trail race. Kacie completed RAAM as part of an 8-person team in 2011 and loved every minute of it! After her team completed the event, Kacie immediately began planning her participation as part of a two-person female team.

Kacie is a member of Team Rev 3, and the blog that she writes about her racing and training experiences has been nationally recognized. Kacie is a middle school science teacher at High Meadows Middle School, where she enjoys sharing her inspirational stories and passion for living life to the fullest with her students. When she isn't training Kacie enjoys reading, spending time with family, and cheering on her husband, George, in his endurance races.

Power, Pedals, and Ponytails is the name of the team!  Kacie and Dani will be the first 2-woman team from Georgia to cross the RAAM finish line. In the 31-year history of the race, only 2 two-woman teams have completed the event in the allotted time of 12 days. Further, at ages 29 and 31 respectively, Kacie and Dani will be the youngest two-woman team to ever complete RAAM.

RAAM is an outstanding platform for raising money for charitable causes. Racers annually raise collectively in excess of $2 million for a wide range of charitable causes.  Power, Pedals, and Ponytails is racing to support and promote the work and mission of Camp Twin Lakes.

Camp Twin Lakes is a network of camps providing life-changing camp experiences to thousands of Georgia's children with serious illnesses, disabilities and other challenges each year. Camp Twin Lakes collaborates with over 50 different organizations (Camp Partners), each serving a different population, to create customized programs that teach campers to overcome obstacles and grow in their confidence and capabilities. Camp Twin Lakes is thrilled to provide programs at various state-of-the-art locations throughout the state of Georgia, including camps in Rutledge, Winder, Warm Springs, children's hospitals, and more. Prior to Camp Twin Lakes' opening in 1993, special needs groups in Georgia lacked adequate facilities to hold their camp programs. Today, Camp Twin Lakes partners with these organizations to provide high quality, fully-accessible recreational activities in a medically supportive environment. Camp programs are customized for each group of campers.

Since its opening, Camp Twin Lakes has welcomed more than 50,000 children and volunteers. Each year, thousands of campers and volunteers head to CTL-Rutledge and CTL-Will-A-Way for weeklong summer sessions and year-round weekend retreats. As our Director of Camping Services Dan Mathews puts it, “CTL campers constantly comment on how powerful it is to feel normal, to be one of the group, and not to stand out because of their various illnesses or challenges. Kids build camaraderie and friendships that will last a lifetime, not to mention support systems that will see them through their hard times back at home, which often entail doctor’s appointments, hospital visits and ongoing treatments.”

Donate to the Cause!

This is a HUGE undertaking, and we appreciate all of your support!