Ohio RAAM Challenge Update 1

Hello virtual crew!

Throughout the race we will be posting in-depth updates on this blog to try and give a true glimpse into Andy's races. As always, Andy is so appreciative of all the love and support he receives from each of you. It amazes us every time how many people are touched by his efforts.

Andy crossed Time Stop 2 at 7 hours 12 minutes and at the time of this post is at mile 106. As we have been reporting on Facebook, the weather started out dry but has switched to a steady drizzle and is expected to continue for a while. Once the rain started, we got Andy into his rain gear but its amazing how fast the dampness can suck energy from him. We quickly had to increase some of his energy food to keep his strength consistent.

Even with the rain and wind, Andy has been able to keep his speed the first 100 miles nice and steady. You will see some dips on the chart but those were just quick pauses on the bike. If you are following on live tracker, you will notice another dip on the speed chart at TS2 because we had to change him into another set of rain clothes.

The course so far has been hilly, something in between serious climbs and rolling hills, but we all know Andy doesn't mind good climbing. He is in good spirits but is very cold. The temps are in the mid to low 40s, with winds around 11 mph and gusts above 20 mph. According to weather.com, it feels like 39 degrees, but I think Andy might disagree with that estimate.

Typically, during the daylight hours the crew car does what is called "leap frog" with the rider. Basically, the car moves ahead of Andy by a mile or so, pulls off the road and waits for him to pass, then waits until he is out of view and moves a mile ahead of him again. This method helps prevent traffic build up behind the rider and gives the crew time to get out of the car and stretch for a minute or two. However, due to limited visibility the crew decided to "direct follow," which as you can see from the video means the crew car drives behind Andy the whole time. The job of the crew is to ALWAYS keep the rider safe and direct follow is the safest strategy for the rider.

One thing many of you might not know, but this weekend is Andy and Jenn's wedding anniversary. These two really are an example of how working together makes for a lovely married life. The support they provide each other during all of life's adventures is inspiring!

Another update will be coming in a few hours. Feel free to leave Andy comments on here or on Facebook, the crew always reads them to him as he is riding.

To see live tracking, find rider 410 on here: http://ohio.raamchallenge.com/rs/index.php?N_webcat_id=465

Shop to support Andy and become a virtual crew member: https://squareup.com/market/andywelch-dot-net

#NothingToItButToDoIt, #SpeakUp, #LiveRed, #LightenUp, #BeMore