Success – Kacie & Dani race across America

Finish Line joy - Dani & KacieA couple of months ago I wrote about the amazing Kacie & Dani who were in heavy training to complete the 3,000 mile Race Across America. I’m pleased to say that the pair made it, and I was lucky enough to catch up with them again post race.

Q: Were you both nervous in the days leading up to big race? And did you feel like you’d trained enough?

Dani: I wasn’t nervous. I tend to not get overly anxious before big races or nervous. I did feel overwhelmed in the days before we left Atlanta, I felt like I had a tremendous amount of things to do to get ready and packed and not enough time to do them in. I felt incredibly confident in my training and my physical state!

Kacie: I was nervous for sure! My husband, our crew chief, and I had to drive all of the gear across the country. It was almost 35 hours of driving, which is exhausting. It started to get intimidating thinking about the fact that we were riding our bikes back! I was not nervous about the training. I knew that I had worked as hard as I could possibly work and prepare as much I could have prepared. I was nervous about the unexpected–accidents, car trouble, and the unknowns.

Q: What was your hardest moment during the race?

Dani: I developed thrush, a yeast infection in my mouth. The inside of my mouth became sore, my tongue was swollen, throat was sore, I couldn’t talk, and could barely swallow. I was having to eat rice by placing it on the back of my tongue and swallowing it with water like it was a pill. I stayed hungry, VERY hungry the last two days of the race. I felt like I was starving all the time. Eating was just too painful and I forced it to get the calories I needed, but it wasn’t enough. That was by far the toughest part of the race!

Kacie: I got altitude sickness in the Rocky Mountains. I was throwing up everything I took in for quite a while. It was frustrating and very uncomfortable riding. I started feeling better right about when we hit a storm in Kansas. I am probably the only person in the race who loved riding in a nasty storm in Kansas! I was just so happy to get out of the altitude that I was giddy and literally singing on the race radio!

Q: Women Who Cycle followed you on social media and you made it look effortless, how hard was it really?

Dani: Physically, it was much easier than I expected it to be. I had worried about the sleep deprivation, which ended up not being as bad either. My crew kept asking me when I was going to start complaining, but I never did! I was so grateful to them and so happy to be out there. The hardest part was 11 crew people’s personalities and not everyone getting along well.

Kacie: I think there were moments that were hard, and moments that were effortless. Dani is right about the personalities clashing being tough, but since I had done this race before, I think I was mentally prepared for that to happen. I think the hardest part was that we never stopped. Eventually, the constant forward motion can become exhausting! I started daydreaming about just being still somewhere for a while.

Q: How many support crew did you have?

11 and they deserve as much credit as we do! They worked incredibly hard and we are grateful for all of their effort!

Q: Do you feel a bit lost now you’ve accomplished such a huge goal? Are you still training as hard as you were before?

Dani: I don’t feel lost at all! I’ve been able to catch up on things that have been on my to-do list for way too long. There is no pressure to get up at 5am to train, and I have been able to spend more time with family and friends. I am not training even remotely as much or as hard as I was before!

Kacie: I agree with Dani! I am so proud of what we have done that I don’t feel lost, just grateful that everything worked out and we succeeded. In a race this long, anything can happen, but we each gave it our all (and so did our crew), and I am thrilled about that! I am not training hard right now either. What we did was long and intense, and I want to allow my body the time it needs to properly heal. I am enjoying some running, hiking, and climbing. I hope to hop out on a kayak soon, which is something I love. I am enjoying catching up with friends and family too!

Q: What time did you complete the race in? Did you meet your goals? Did you break a record for a female team?

Dani: We finished in 8 days, 2 hours, and 35 minutes. Our goal was to break the existing two person female team record and we did. We also became the youngest two person female team to finish RAAM.

Kacie: Woo Hoo! Yes we did!

Q: How much money did you raise for your charity – Camp Twin Lakes?

Just over $37,000 and we are still actively fundraising! www.raam2013.org

 Q: Will you be entering the race again next year? What’s your next big event?

Dani: I will be entering the race again, just not next year! I am really not sure what the next big event is for me.

Kacie: I have been at that race in the past two years, and that is enough for now. I also want to toe the line at RAAM again, but I am in no rush at all. I am not sure about my next event either, and I am not worried about hurrying into anything.