Cycling for Charity by Chelsea Knorr, Associate Editor, Dentaltown Magazine

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 Dentaltown community!


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