Vic Armijo / Mt. Airy, Maryland
June 23, 2011
“Wait, isn’t this the RAAM Leaderboard from a couple of days ago?” I thought this afternoon when I took a peek at current results. In six years of being on the road with RAAM I’ve never seen such a tight race this late in the game. The time separations look more like something we see in the first day or two. Right now second place is held by Marko Baloh (Slovenia), (left) just as it was way back in Utah, and just as it remained until yesterday when first Alberto Blanco (USA) and Gerhard Gulewicz (Austria) both got by Baloh. And by last night, Blanco had moved past Gulewicz to take over 2nd place. But, here we are less than 24 hours later and the positions are back to where they had been for most of the mid-west. The full stats as of 6:45pm EDT are as follows:
1st Christoph Strasser 2898.30 miles 8 days 1 hour 13
minutes, Average Speed 15 mph.
2nd. Marko Baloh S 2674.80 miles 7 days 22 hours 32 minutes, Average Speed 14.04mph
3rd Gerhard Gulewicz 2674.80 miles 7 days 22 hours 58 minutes 14.01mph 4th
4th Alberto Blanco-TeamRAPD S 2674.80 miles 7 days 23 hours 45 minutes 13.95mph
5th Mark Pattinson 2674.80 miles 8 days 0 hours 12 minutes 13.92mph
Christoph Strasser has of course held the lead since passing Marko Baloh in Monument Valley, 36 hours into RAAM. But as you can see we have quite an argument going on behind Strasser, with the 2nd through 4th separated by just over an hour, with 5th place Mark Pattinson gaining ground, just two hours behind Baloh. With such close racing it is especially fortunate that none of these riders have been assessed a penalty (Good job crews!), assuring that RAAM 2011 results will be decided on the road, and not in the penalty box at Mt. Airy. How frustrating that would be, to score a top finish in RAAM only to be relegated back a position due to a rules infraction. Penalties are routinely assessed for such thing as having a support vehicle being parked too close to the shoulder line, having the crew forget to call race headquarters when required, or any other lapse in following the many rules put in place to keep RAAM safe and fair.