True success does not come without a challenge, and the Race Across America is one of ALDO Racing’s biggest yet. So, why all of the hard work and dedication? The team at Two Ten recently sat down with all four riders to better understand their motivation.
Why are you racing for Two Ten?
Jean-Pierre Généreux: Two Ten is a long-standing partner of the ALDO Group. It’s a great opportunity to raise money to help members of the footwear industry (and their families) who have been challenged by cancer. This will motivate me as I push to the finish line of this grueling race.
Nicholas Martire: I have been inspired by Two Ten’s leadership in our industry and the stories I’ve heard from the people who have benefited from their support. I want to raise awareness for the foundation and help launch its new cancer-relief fund. It’s our duty to give back and help others who are have fallen upon hard times.
Jonathan Frankel: I am racing RAAM to show my kids that they can do anything. The race is about pushing boundaries; going outside your comfort zone, and tackling the seemingly impossible… Which is a lot like what the people Two Ten supports are facing.
David Schwartz: It’s a great way to combine my passion for endurance sports with my desire to help people impacted by cancer. As a member of the footwear industry, I am excited to help Two Ten in their ongoing efforts to support those in need.
How have you been preparing for the race?
DS: Most of my winter training was in my basement on a stationary trainer, while watching reruns of classic cycling races like the Giro d’Italia and the Vuelta a Espana. This was often during the early morning hours before getting my daughters ready for school. Since April, I have been able to train outside and have had some longer rides on back-to-back days.
NM: For me, training has been 5-6 days a week for the past year. It’s included cycling, running, cross-country skiing and going to the gym. Some highlights have been cycling outside in Vegas during the FN Platform show and cycling in snow in Florida! I’ve even cut down on donuts, but only a bit.
JF: In the winter, it’s been a lot of indoor rides, yoga, running, along with a solid weight and core program. Now that the snow has melted, it’s tons of long rides and miles in the saddle.
JPG: My training has varied between 9 and 20 hours a week. It’s included a mix of interval training, endurance rides and gym workouts. I am starting to realize that the most important part is the mental toughness you develop by committing to the daily training regimen (despite a 14 hour work day). You just execute the plan, no matter what.
What has been your biggest challenge in preparing for the RAAM so far?
NM: Without a doubt, trying to add 12-18 hours of training a week into a packed work and family schedule. It’s meant very early morning starts.
DS: Training for the unknown. I have done marathons and half-Ironman triathlons, but I have never done a multi-day around-the-clock endurance event that covers various terrains and temperatures.
JPG: Balancing training with work and family. I know that building psychological endurance is key. I doubt that I would be as prepared with an easier schedule.
JF: Riding for hours at a time indoors on a trainer. Also my job requires me to travel a lot, which makes training while on the road difficult.
What are you most looking forward to about taking part in the RAAM?
JPG: Experiencing the camaraderie amongst the brilliant people who have united us. I know RAAM will be an exhilarating journey where I will push myself physically further than ever before. It doesn’t hurt that it will be while riding some of the most spectacular routes across the USA.
NM: I’m looking forward to seeing what the team and crew can accomplish. I can’t wait for the physical and emotional experience of racing across the USA with 500 like-minded crazy people. Hopefully we’ll inspire others in our industry to embark on a similar journey to raise funds and awareness for Two Ten.
DS: Participating in RAAM is something I would have never done on my own. I am very grateful for the opportunity to participate and to do so as part of a great team. This will be an experience that I will never forget. I am sure it will create a special bond with my fellow teammates, both racers and crew.