Tackling the world's toughest cycle event to support Kiwi kids and youth

One of the great reasons to work for The Y featuring in our brand new video (see below), is that you can make lifelong friends here. And for these four friends, a friendship that started at The Y more than 20 years ago is now taking four men to cycle 4,828 kilometres across America, aiming to raise more than $100,000 for children and youth charities in New Zealand, one of which is our youth development programme - Raise Up.

And to make it even more impressive - it's a race, Race Across America (RAAM) to be exact, one of the most respected and longest-running ultra-endurance events in the world.

Here's the story of TEAM NZBLUE's plans:

4 Kiwis, cycling 4,828km across America to raise over $100,000 for children and youth NZ charities!

In June 2023, Team NZBLUE will embark on RACE ACROSS AMERICA, one of the most respected and longest-running ultra-endurance events in the world.

Race Across America is one of the most respected and longest-running ultra-endurance events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement not only in cycling circles but in the greater sporting community as well.

There is no other race in the world like RAAM. There is no race that combines the distance, terrain and weather; no other event that tests a team’s spirit from beginning to end. The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it - racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.

This Ain't No Tour

RAAM is a race! But, unlike the three great European Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia), RAAM is not a stage race. RAAM is one continual stage, once the clock starts it does not stop until the finish line. It is the world’s longest time trial…the ultimate race of truth.

RAAM is about 30% longer than the Tour de France. Moreover, racers must complete the distance in roughly half the time, with no rest days.

Our team will be traversing three major mountain ranges (Sierra, Rocky and Appalachian), crossing four of America’s longest rivers (Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri and Ohio) as well as passing through iconic American landmarks; - the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts Monument Valley, Great Plains, and Gettysburg.

Racers must cycle 3000 miles (4,828km) across 12 states and climb over 51,000m! Team racers have a maximum of nine days, but most finish in about seven and a half, with the fastest in just over 5 days. Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days to complete the race, most finishing in 11 days, with the fastest finishing in under 8 days.

Watch Ben and Aaron share their story with Mike McLean, The Y Glen Innes Centre Manager.

We at The Y are super excited about the team's preparation and progress and are really grateful that they've chosen Raise Up as one of their causes to support. It's tough being a young person in Aotearoa right now, and youth mental illness is on the rise. Raise Up teaches young people the resilience and skills they need to tackle the adult-sized problems they're navigating in their young life. Your support means we can make sure as many young people as possible benefit from the help and support we can provide.

Donate to support Raise Up here, or click here to find out more about Team NZBlue.