FulGaz is excited to announce that the Virtual Race Across America powered by FulGaz (VRAAM) is now officially underway!

Two hundred top ultra-endurance riders from all over the globe are now racing in three categories; the full 4500km VRAAM event, the 1500km Virtual Race Across the West (VRAW) and the general participant event, the60, that sees participants ride for about an hour a day for 12 days.

The VRAAM is a journey from the West coast to the East coast of the United States of America, virtually. The inaugural VRAAM will take place over a total distance of 4,542km with a total elevation gain of a staggering 73,739m. The cumulative ride duration (the time ride it took the rider who was filming the segment to ride it) is 185hr 22minutes 50secs. To put it another way, if you ride at the same speed as it was filmed, then you would need to ride about 15hrs per day for 12 days to complete VRAAM.

Drawing its length, name and legacy from the cancelled Race Across America (RAAM), one of the most respected and longest-running ultra-endurance events in the world, VRAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but the wider sporting community.

The length, duration of the ride and the time spent on the bike closely mimics the conditions riders would face on the road in real life. Riders have just 12 days to complete the 4500km distance and will ride ludicrous hours per day on a stationary trainer in their houses to achieve this goal. 

“When presented with the chance to partner with RAAM and to hold a virtual version of the race on FulGaz we jumped at the opportunity”, said founder and CEO of FulGaz Mike Clucas. 

He added “VRAAM powered by FulGaz uses our state of the art software to bring people training at home the most realistic road riding experience. We’ve added some key real-world RAAM features for both the competitors and the fans. We knew out of the gate that dot-watching was an important feature and I’m excited to announce that dot-watching is in for the VRAAM 2020! Our goal has always been to capture stunning videos from all over the world in 4K and bring them into riders home via the FulGaz app. Providing our platform for the VRAAM is a cause for celebration- in about 11 days!”

FulGaz has compiled a series of over 200 stages that are an approximation of the exertion the riders would endure on the real road in terms of the length, duration of the ride and time spent on the bike. While the course is not the same as the RAAM, the sections recorded and existing routes chosen provide for an exciting, challenging and different RAAM experience without reducing the difficulty nor the sheer will required to finish. The VRAAM long course riders still only have just 12 days to complete the 4500km ride and may choose to ride 20 hours plus per day to finish. Competitors in the VRAW may choose to forgo sleep utterly and complete the course in one hellish 1,529km sitting!

Fans can follow the journey at home following participant progress by ‘dot-watching’. 

The participation event for those who like their sleep but still want to feel a part of the celebration that is the VRAAM festival, the60 event was made for them.

The60 course has been designed by Rick Boethling, Race Director of RAAM, to be a ‘taste of RAAM’. This will be true right from the beginning of day one which will have a similar feel to the start from Oceanside CA. The aim of the 60 is to encourage 60 minutes of physical activity per day for 12 days.

The VRAAM 2020 continues and interested parties can see the riders “in action” via the virtual leaderboards and dot watching below