RAAM - Race Across America is widely recognized as the longest, toughest running endurance and challenging bicycle race for the last 35 years and a tribute to human endurance. From Pacific coast to Atlantic coast across United States nonstop through 12 states, 5 long rivers, 88 countries-a distance of 4925 kms. It is open to solo racers as well as 2, 4 and 8 person team. Solo racers must qualify by competing in one of the 30 qualifying events worldwide.
RAAM has been challenging ultra cyclists from all over the world to push their physical limits to their farthest reaches. It is voted as one of the world's 10 most extreme challenges. Unlike most multi day bicycle races like the three great European Grand Tours (Tour de France, Vuelta a Espana and Giro de Italia) RAAM is not stage based. There is no specified distance to travel each day, also there are no designated rest periods for food and sleep. Sleep is optional. The clock runs continuously, the winner is the rider who can combine fast riding with infrequent stops.
INDIA's Race Across America - In the last 35 years there has been no solo representative to have finished RAAM. The only time Indians finished the race was when the Mahajan Brothers completed it in 2015, in the "Team of two". Now we have a representative who not only qualifies for solo representation but is the strong prospect for India in the world of cycling, he is Dr. Amit Samarth.
"A sheer passion to stay fit and the will to dare is his driving force."
Dr. Amit Samarth will be the first Indian to race RAAM solo and finish it. Dr. Amit Samarth will be participating in RAAM in 2017. Preparations include not just unimaginable, rigorous endurance training but also a dedicated process of acclimatizing himself for harsh physical conditions including the weather. He is a doctor by profession but likes to make a mark in different walks of life. After completing MBBS from Indira Gandhi Medical College, Nagpur he went ahead to do a Masters in Public Health from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Maryland USA. He has already brought glory to the country by participating in various national and international marathon and triathlon events in the last couple of years.
As an endurance athlete he has to his credits - 8 Ironman 70.3, RAAM Qualifier-Deccan Cliffhanger 643 kms cycle race from Pune to Goa in 27 hrs, more than 100 half marathons and 8 full marathons. He is the 1st Dan Black Belt in Taekwondo and has completed 1000 km Brevet from India Gate -Wagah border-New Delhi in 54 hrs.
Dr. Amit Samarth has already been a crew member for Seana Hogan(6 times RAAM winner in women category) in the month of June 2016 and proved to be crucial part of the team, in assisting the 58 year old complete her last RAAM attempt. When there is an unthinkable challenge ahead of him, Dr. Samarth is at peace. When his every muscle and sinew is exercised to the point of exhausted exhilaration, he is happy. And he chose to actively share that happiness with those around him.
He is the founder of ProHEALTH Foundation, a public health professional, an endurance athlete and promoter for sports for health. He believes that though athletics is an adventure sport, it is not just competing and dreaming big but the participants get to know about different world of marathons.
Dr. Amit Samarth, the Iron Man of India has worked with undeviating resolution towards his dream to foster fitness. This humble young man decided to start a one of a kind organization to promote health through sports in his own home town. Nagpur is truly fortunate to be the home of Dr. Samarth and the base of his endless endeavor towards a healthy, happy community.
ProHEALTH Foundation has brought much joy and zeal to a large community in the tier 2 and 3 cities in India through the medium of sports and fitness. The maiden step in this direction was the initiation of Nagpur 10K in October 2015 which had a participation exceeding 3000 and is set to grow year by year. Then came the Nagpur Duathlon, the first of its kind in Central India that involved running and cycling both. Miles N Milers where the athletes are provided training for endurance every morning.
Dr. Samarth's ProHealth is ever working towards its goal of an active India and sports for all, trying to send across a vital message about the essence of fitness and health in life. It's objective is to provide necessary educational aids or equipments and establish infrastructure to facilitate and support healthy lifestyles. It also identifies athletes and manages sporting talent.