On Tuesday, 7 June, Slovenian ultra-marathon cyclist, Marko Baloh, along with his team, presented all his activities in preparations for this year’s endurance race RAAM 2011 at a press conference. On 15 June Jure Baloh will, for the sixth time in his career, start the toughest race in the world.
Marko’s results this year point to his great physical fitness:
- 1st place: Country 600KM RAAM qualifier: 600km in 19h 26min, March 2011, new course record;
- 1st place: race across Slovenia DOS 2011: 1138km in 40h 21min, May 2011.
Marko Baloh took 2nd place in RAAM in 2006 (Enduro category) and 3rd place in 2009 (individual category), while in 2008 he won the race paired with his friend Tomaž Perčič.
RAAM, Race Across America, is a cycling race which spreads from the west coast to the east coast of the United States. The race goes on uninterrupted, which means that cyclists can remain on their bicycles even for 22 hours per day, as they rest whenever they want or need to. The race is regarded as the toughest, most strenuous and most extreme sports test in the world.
Parametres of this year’s RAAM:
- start: Oceanside (California),
- finish: 8 to 11 days later in Annapolis (Maryland),
- course distance: 4880 km,
- race extends over 14 American federal states,
- altitude difference: more than 35.000 metres,
- highest altitude: 3.300 metres.
Marko Baloh clearly stated that he directed all his power and focus towards winning the race. But he also added that the race is extremely long and tough and therefore also pretty unpredictable. His main goal is to race across the United States in less than nine days. He will dedicate his racing to recently departed Jure Robič, who left an unprecedented mark on RAAM. He is sure, that it will be tough during the race, but the thought of his friend Jure Robič, will help him through the toughest moments of the race.
Marko Baloh took advantage of this opportunity and presented a charity project he is part of, namely the Jure Robič foundation. Donated financial means are being raised for Nal, the son of Jure Robič, with a portion of the raised means being invested into this sport, which was Jure’s favourite.