Endurance cyclist Joe Barr is over 11 hours into the Race Across America.
Barr is attempting the RAAM for the third time and has had to endure 43 degree heat in the early stages as he tackles the first few hundred mile of the 3000 mile trek.
The RAM is seen as the toughest race in the world – 30% longer than the Tour de France and the riders have 12 days to complete it.
Barr turns a youthful 60 this week, he says his age is not a limiting factor: “Endurance is a great equalizer. The further that you go, performance becomes less about age and more about mental fortitude and resilience. It’s a war of attrition and comes down to the last person standing, or in my case the last person able to move the bike forward.”
Barr has set his sights on contending for the overall Race Across America podium, as well as winning and setting a new course record for his age category. He is also using the race platform to raise awareness and funds for all-Ireland charity, Cycle Against Suicide.
In the 35-year history of Race Across America, less than 300 solo riders have ever completed the course. Barr is one of only two Irish cyclists to be in that elite category. His first attempt at Race Across America in 2012 nearly cost him his life, after he ended up in hospital in the Rocky mountains with severe altitude sickness. He returned in 2014, focused and determined to finish what he had started. He succeeded in completing the race, placing 10th overall and 2nd in his age category. This time, he is returning stronger than ever and determined to really put his stamp on the race.