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godspeed brad shem 2As time goes by, races have become increasingly extreme. Obstacle races such as the Spartan Race, increased distances in races like the Iron Man triathlon and survival-style races such as the Adventure Racing competitions have grown in popularity because, apparently, it is not enough to run a 5K or even a marathon anymore for some people. Such extreme competitions are not just for runners. Open water swimming has the Oceans Seven, a list of seven channel swims that include the English Channel, Cook Strait and Molokai Channel, as well as solo swims from Cuba to Florida, the length of Britain and a yearly race that circles Manhattan Island. Not to be outdone, cycling has its own extreme events for those who itch to push their bodies to the limits. The Transcontinental Race stretches 2,500 miles across Europe, the IncaDivide runs for 1,120 miles through high-altitudes in the Peruvian Andes Mountains and the Race Across America runs about 2,300 from the west coast to the east coast of the United States.

It is the Race Across America that is the subject of the new film “Godspeed.” The website for the documentary states that the “Race Across America (RAAM) is one of the most respected and longest running ultra-endurance events in the world. RAAM is seen as a pinnacle of athletic achievement….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…RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.”

“Godspeed” follows author and Colorado Rockies sportscaster Jerry Schemmel and four-time Iron Man triathlete Brad Cooper as they take on this Everest of ultracycling. The two men are noted to have competed for 24 hours a day every day for a week as they raced across the incredibly varied terrain of the United States. They had to push through physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and the mental anguish that arose from pedaling for 168 hours non-stop across 12 states in order to raise money for the orphans of Haiti.

The film will be available in select theaters nationwide for one day only on Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Check out the trailer online, and follow this incredible test of endurance in theaters. Then, cheer on this year’s Race Across America competitors as the 2018 racers pedal their way from coast to coast from Tuesday, June 12, 2018, to Monday, June 25, 2018.

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