17 June 2019

Race Across America & Ultra-Endurance webinar

August 6, 2014

The Race Across America (RAAM) is one of the world’s most intensive ultra-endurance races. Cyclists have to ride 3,000 miles from one coast of America to the other in a bid to win the race, RAAM is different from other tours in the fact that, once it has begun, the clock doesn’t stop; cyclists are timed on every second of sleep they have, right through to every rest stop they take.


This year, British cyclist, Shusanah Pillinger, made an attempt to be the first British female to complete the race solo. For the race, Shu teamed up with the GSK Human Performance Lab who helped her find the right nutrition and hydration strategies for the race. They also studied the science behind ultra-endurance and what Shu was doing in order to train her body for the race.

Matt Furber, a Sport Scientist from the Lab, worked with Shu before and during the Race Across America. Matt was in charge of Shu’s nutrition and hydration strategy and was able to develop this throughout her journey. Shu was set to finish the race after 12 days but unfortunately, on day nine she fell from her bike breaking her collarbone and was unable to complete the race.

Both Matt and Shu will be speaking in the GSK Human Performance Lab live webinar on Thursday 7th August. The webinar will provide insights into the challenges of ultra-endurance competition and Shu will be speaking about what the scientific support looked like from her point of view as the athlete. HPL scientist Matt Furber and team medic Erica Ley will also speak about the lessons that were learnt on Shu’s solo quest to become the first female solo British cyclist to complete RAAM.

You can register to listen to Shu’s incredible story here


About RAAM

There are different divisions in which the cyclists can choose to take part, from solo right up to eight-man teams. Every rider, solo or in a team, has a support crew that travels with them, taking care of everything from nutrition to the navigation of the race.

People from all over the world take part in the RAAM and since it began 30 years ago, over 25 countries have been represented. It is open to both professional and amateur riders.

Solo racers have a maximum of 12 days (12 and 21 hours for women) to complete the race, with the fastest finishing in around eight days. They will ride 250-350 miles a day, balancing speed and the need for sleep.


About Shu

Shu (pictured above in the GSK lab) is an experienced ultra-endurance athlete. She completed her first sprint distance triathlon in 2006 and has gone on to compete in middle distance and Ironman triathlons, she has also undertaken various cycling adventures including riding from John O’Groats to Land’s End and completing the Mallorca 312. In June 2013 she completed a double Ironman distance race at Enduroman UK,

In June 2012, she participated in Ride24 – a 24 hour time trial and qualification race for Race Across America.

The Women’s Sports Magazine

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