It took six days, 11 hours and 35 minutes to cross the North
American continent – from Pacific Ocean to Atlantic Ocean. It
took hundreds of thousands of pedal revolutions and an unmeasurable
amount of willpower.
Race Across America (RAAM), nicknamed “The Toughest
Endurance Event in the World,” starts in Oceanside, California,
and finishes in Annapolis, Maryland. It is both longer and fasterpaced
than the Tour de France. It’s not limited to just professional
cyclists. In fact, many of the participants who accept the challenge
are amateur athletes.
Dr. Yati Yadav, a practicing dentist, and TeamBarrow, a team
of eight cyclists including Yadav, endured the cross-country bicycle
race to raise money for brain cancer research at Barrow
Neurological Institute in Phoenix.
Yadav is a 1999 graduate of Northwestern Dental School in
Chicago. His practice, Your Family Dentist, PC, is located in
Peoria, Arizona. He lives in Arizona with his wife, Brenda, and
daughter Isabella (10).
The team took turns throughout the relay event; Yadav personally
biking more than 550 miles, averaging 4.5 to five hours
per day. The race covered 3,000 miles and spanned 12 states. The
group averaged 19.25mph for the duration of the race.
Yadav is not new to endurance sports. He has finished four
full Ironman competitions including the Hawaii Ironman World
Championship in Kona, completed six Half Ironman competitions
and many marathons. When he was invited to be a part of
TeamBarrow, he was honored for the opportunity and humbled
by the cause.
TeamBarrow consisted of: Jory Greenfield, Chris Wright,
Michael Patterson, George Catalano, Troy Willson, Donald
Bosch, Yati Yadav and Kyle Claffey.
Claffey (19) who is a current Barrow’s patient is undergoing a
second round of chemo for brain cancer. In fact, he had chemo
three days prior to the race start, and again three days after the
race finish. His struggle and success raised awareness and money
for brain cancer research.
Preparing for such a race is no small feat. Yadav says when he
was asked to join the team, he increased his bike training from
200 miles a week to 400 miles a week (about 80 miles day, five
days in a row). After working in his busy dental office all day,
sometimes getting out for a four-hour ride wasn’t easy to do.
“‘Trust your training’ and ‘work your plan’ – those were my personal
mantras,” says Yadav. “I had to trust that all the people I
counted on and all the systems I had in place would take over, and
they did.” He refers to his devoted staff and supportive friends and
family as his “tailwind.”
In a race covering this much terrain, teams are bound to come
across some obstacles. The biggest factors were hills (170,000 vertical
feet), humidity and heat (100+ degrees), the
team admits. Then there
were the dangers of riding on an open road – sharing lanes with
semi-trucks going 80mph or approaching livestock, construction
zones and trains. “We had six flat tires in 24 hours!” says
Yadav. Switchbacks, tornado warnings and a 40-mile detour
because of the Mississippi River flooding all contributed to the
team’s immense sense of accomplishment when they finished.
The team finished at 3:47 a.m. on June 22, 2013, raising
$100,000 for the Barrow Institute.
TeamBarrow and Dr. Yati Yadav, congratulations from the