For Sarah Cooper, that’s all in the rear-view mirror now.
Her eyes are focused on the road ahead.
That road will be more than 3,000 miles long. It will wind through mountain passes and along the desert floor. It will crisscross cities and towns from Oceanside, California to Annapolis, Maryland. It’s the route for one of the country’s most grueling competitive cycling events known as Race Across America (RAAM). The 10-day race kicks off next month.
Cooper, a 46-year-old mom from Urbandale, is not only focused on finishing the ultramarathon cycling event—she’s out to win it. And by win it, we mean best the female and male racers. That’s because in her brief ultramarathon cycling career, she’s done that before. More than a few times.
Velorosa is just one of Cooper’s many sponsors in her quest to conquer RAAM. We are her exclusive clothing sponsor for the 2017 season. Part of our sponsorship includes a custom skin suit, jersey, cycling bibs and outerwear. Click here to read more about the story behind her Road to Glory design.
One of the more inspiring things about Cooper’s RAAM effort is the number of people who have stepped in to support an athlete in her ambitious dream. There are the members of her crew who will take two weeks out of their lives to drive and provide support along the entire route. There are the sponsors which include local bike shops, nutrition and equipment companies. There is her family of 6 that has watched her roll in from a 5 a.m. bike ride, just so she can get the kids off to school or picked up from practice.
There are the people who have provided financial support for Cooper. More than 70 people stepped in to purchase a special edition Road to Glory jersey, created by Velorosa. A portion of the proceeds are helping finance her chance at making history. Friends organized local fundraising events and a www.gofundme.com account was set up to help with race and crew expenses.
Cooper describes herself as a private person, and there’s no question this RAAM effort is anything but private. It’s very public. It has to be. Cooper is not a professional athlete who gets paid to ride her bicycle. She needs people to know that she’s trying to be one of the fastest cyclists to ever ride across the U.S. She needs their help to make it happen.
“This has been overwhelming. It has really touched my life,” says Cooper of the support she’s received. “All the people that wanted to buy that jersey and support this crazy brutal adventure I’m on. All the people who’ve just taken the time to wish me luck. It’s something I’ll think about during the race.”
Cooper leaves Iowa on June 3 for some final preparations in the desert. She needs a week to get reacquainted with that kind of heat. The race begins June 13th.
Check in with Velorosa for updates on Cooper’s progress during RAAM.
Check out some of Sarah's many friends and fans sporting their Special Edition Road to Glory jerseys!
Ride, Sarah, ride.