MKUR - Race across america Morten Kjærsgaard THE RIDER

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My RAAM - by Morten Kjærsgaard.

Mortens story about Team MKUR´s participation in Race Across america 2014 Mønsted, Denmark 15 of july 2014. I am a happy, content and proud man. Reaching 2840miles/4545km in 11 days and 9 hours, brought Team MKUR so close to our goal, that the exitement and joy we feel about getting this close to the finishline by far overshines my DNF. Multiple elements worked out perfectly - for me as the rider, and for the intire team. I didn´t have any seat related problems or saddlesores. My neckmuscles were in good condition under the intire race and at no point did we prepare or consider any actions in order to prevent Shermers Neck: (A breakdown of a persons ability to keep the head up). Appart from a little cramp due to racing Zamboni and some other 50+ men riders on first day of the race, I had no musclepain, edemia or bonesystem issues at all. I adress the succesfulness we have expirienced to my Brooks-saddles and the setup of my Focus Izalco Ergoride, where I spent 80 percent of the racetime. The fronttube is 5 cm higher than on normally roadbikes, and with my earobars lifting the handlebar another 5 cm, my ridingposition was so upright, that I´d only lower my back 2 cm, shifting from the brakes to the earobars My digestive system was effective, and I could drink and eat what I needed during the race. Dehydrating was never an issue for me, and the stuff I had to eat was variated along the 11 days, and it only partly became an annoyance to eat. My saltbalance was closely monitored by my crew and me, and I took half spoonfuls of salt in between. One of my main sources of salt was a mixture of nuts, almonds, raisins and salted peanuts. The teamwork, and support I recieved from my crew just worked out perfectly. My skin on the areas of my bud in contact with the saddle was treated and applied by antibacteriel creme when I layed down to sleep, and I would wake up 90 minutes later, being massaged with sunscreen in the same round. Breakfirst was oatmeal, a proteinesmootie, a litlle cup of coffee and one or two slices of bread with cheese. After breakfirst I´d get on the bike for the next 22 hours. I would stay here to ride, drink, eat, brush my teeth and only get off the bike for a powernap or two of 10 - 20 minutes. These breaks became more often as the race progessed. My crew brought supplies, both for themselves and for me at each crewshift. I could choose from melons, nut/peanut mixture, apples, m & m´s, chips, sandwiches and cold supper from last meal(such as pasta bolognese). I also had a variety of energygels, bars and energydrinks with and without added electrolytes depending on the heat, and of course lots of drinkingwater. Mounted at the front of our followcar was a set of loudspeakers - I had the most awesome PA system with the coolest sound( especially in the middle and lower soundrange), loud and clear, and we blew up valleys and mountains climbing at slow speed.....The soundsystem was connected to the car battery, with fuses and the whole works, and the speakers were hanging in belts tightened to the frame where the cooler is mounted at the front just under the hood. So cool and so nice a mountingjob...... I had prepared myself to go at a higher pace than I normally do, in order make a succesful result in RAAM. This meant for me going faster in parts of the race, and I had in mind some climbs, where I went very slowly in 2012. This strategy went very well, and I even battled some other racers at certain climbs, and gained a good amount of time this way. I also did a couple of flat stages at a good speed, and added some nice hours to my overall race time. The fact is, however, that I burned down almost every 24 hours, and these periods cost me a lot of time. This often happened when I was very tired, or under hot and headwind conditions. So I am perfectly aware that here is a potential where I can develop my skills and powers as an endurance racer. For another fact is that I kept up to my best, and did a good speed in a large number of stages in the race, and until Mississippi River I kept gaining the time I lost during my crises. Passing Mississippi River, my overall fatigue left me with a timegap of 4 hours, which I never regained. We tried to replace my nightsleep with powernaps in order to keep me on the bike for more hours, but lack of sleep and the hilly terrain in Appalachian Mountains was to much for me, and with 7 hours to the 3´rd timecut in Mt Airy I still had 125 miles/195 km to go and I was tired, wasted and in need of sleep for at least 2 hours. So the decision to abandon the race was made by a logical calculation, and it was made by myself alone. My crew in the followcar at the time, Jesper, Allan and Karina looked at me at said that it was my own decision to DNF or not and they would help me go on as long as I wanted. It never was an option for me to continue to the finish line, to be able to say that I had completed the race or the distance. My aim has been and still is, to complete the race within the timelimit, and as this was no longer an option, I chose to abandon the race. Off course I would have loved to see my name on the finishers list, and standing on the stage giving a speech and being honoured at the finishers banguet. Race Across America 2014 has for me and my team been a wonderfull and an awesome journey with many great results and performences. And I feel no - like none at all - reasons to look behind and focus on, - or being disapointed that we diden´t reach Annapolis in 12 days. RAAM has left me standing in a position with the overall knowledge to plan a focused training in the disciplines I need to improve: Riding in the heat, riding in headwind and generally being able to generate more watts into the pedals of the bike. Race Across America has given me a possibilty to find out what is possible for me and my team when we give our best. And this efford brought us allmost all the way from Oceanside to Annapolis in 12 days, and this makes me happy, content and proud. I wish to thank my wonderful crew for RAAM 2014 - Jesper. Allan, Sven, Karina, Mads and Andreas for the help they have provided and for doing a great job. I could never have done this without their efford. I send my best regards and thanks to my sponsors - Paletten Viborg, Kalkmineløbet, Midtkom, Xtreme, Focus, Fribikeshop Viborg, Retis, Northwind Visuals, AC Sports og Kropsterapeut Lars Henrik Olesen. I also send my gratitude to my kilometersonsors - Herbert and Martina Frank, Tore Hammer Kjærsgaard, Ilvesheim County, Elly Brix, 2Radhaus Meyer, Vitathrom, Alexandra Müller Ihrig, ICHP Deutshland - Sven Frank. Love and hugs to the artists who donated paintings to the auktion - Morten Alsinger, Susanne B. Nielsen, Lotte Nielsen, Søren Krog, Ildiko Kjærsgaard, Dorte A. Poulsen and Jackie Knudsen and to Lotte Nielsen, Anne Marie Nørbo, Daniel Mikkelsen and Hanne Hammer for their support at the auktion. Finally, we send our gratitude, respect and love to everyone who have followed the adventure on Facebook. It was a very emotional feeling having all the greatings read to me during the race. Without you there would be no RAAM. The crossing between you as followers and our racing is absolutely central for the race and we feel greatful and proud, having had your attention during RAAM 2014. All the best to everyone out there Morten