Marthasville had the unique distinction of having the riders go through the middle of town. Riders approached the town from the west on Highway 94, merging into Highways 94 and 47 just past the Time Station, left onto One Street past the ballpark, the Katy Trail and Downtown Marthasville before continuing right onto Highway D up the hill, past City Hall, the park and Marthasville Elementary School before heading out of town on Highway D toward the county line.
"Just a month ago, I had barely heard of RAAM or Race Across AMerica, let alone expected it to simply roll past where I live and work," said Cathy Turman of Scenic Cycles in Marthasville. "This past weekend has been a revelation of what determination really becomes in the hearts of athletes and the teams supporting them. RAAM is definitely not the 'Tour.' About 100 cyclists from all over the world must pre-qualify to participate in an incredible endurance test of mind and body—2922 miles on a bicycle in under 10 days. There is simply no event like it. Participants are allowed up to four hours off their bikes per day for showers, food, and rest. We were amazed that these athletes sleep an average of only one to two hours per day. Cycling all-day and then into the cooler hours of the night, their support crew faithfully follows them within the reach of the vehicle's headlights."
The first team, a four-person men's group, Team Harreither/VAV Versich of Austria, arrived in Marthasville Friday at 11:18 a.m. The final rider through Marthasville was Rebecca Smith, the lone entry in the female solo division. She went through town at 4:32 a.m. (C.D.T.) Monday morning.
Team Harreither/VAV Versich's arrival showed a bit of a weakness in the routing as the riders continued down Highway 94 before being halted by spectators.
That little off-course excursion didn't prevent Team Harreither/VAV Versich from becoming the first team to reach the race end at Atlantic City, N.J. That squad arrived in Atlantic City at 10:13 (E.D.T.) Sunday night for a time of six days, six hours and 13 minutes.
The 74-mile stretch between Jefferson City and Marthasville marked the first time a team had passed the individual leader. The solo riders left San Diego 30 hours ahead of the teams.
Anxious officials awaited the arrival of Allen Larsen, the leading solo rider, Friday afternoon. Larsen hit Jefferson City at 6:15 a.m. (C.D.T.) and was expected in Marthasville late in the morning or early in the afternoon. The time was adjusted back when the support crew reported Larsen had one of his rare naps just north of Jefferson City.
With members of the support crew already in Marthasville, Larsen came into the time station at 1:54 p.m. (C.D.T.) pulling to a stop underneath the canopy near the gas pumps.
The 37-year-old Washington State rider took time to gather his strength under the Time Stop tent while being attended. While exhausted, Larsen still had energy to joke with the officials and support personnel. He stated he hadn't slept for more than an hour and a half at a time since leaving San Diego.
Larsen gobbled down cookies set out for the riders at the stop and asked if there was a limit. Also, someone asked him what his future plans were after this race was over. He stated he would be riding his couch watching the Tour de France.
Sporting a metal contraption, Larsen pedaled through town. The brace went over the top of his head and was bungeed to his helmet. Larsen has had trouble with neck muscles in long races after being injured a few years ago.
Larsen arrived in Atlantic City Tuesday at 9:42 a.m. (E.D.T.) for a total traveling time of eight days, 23 hours and 36 minutes.
Between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m., two more groups hit the time station. Team Insight, the corporate team leader, rode in at 7:33 p.m. (C.D.T.) and was followed by Team HydroCharge, the second-place team in the four-person men's team standings, at 7:53 p.m. (C.D.T.).
The last team to check in Friday was Ride to Remember, the second-place corporate team, at 9:27 p.m. (C.D.T.).
Prior to dawn Saturday, three more entries rode through Marthasville. Power of Mind, a four-person men's team, hit Marthasville at 2:05 a.m. (C.D.T.). Team FOI, also in the four-person men's division, arrived just over an hour later at 3:07 a.m. (C.D.T.), a minute ahead of second-place men's solo rider Rob Kish.
Jure Robic, a solo men's rider, hit Marthasville at 9:42 a.m. (C.D.T.). Grupo Guapo by Healthy Choice hit town at 10:53 a.m. (C.D.T).
As support crews began gathering at S&R Convenience Center, the parade picked up in the afternoon.
Rieper/Goodwin, the two-person men's team, rode through at 11:42 p.m. (C.D.T.).
Two solo men's racers, Marcel Knaus and Markoh Baloh, arrived within minutes of each other. Knaus timed in at 12:51 p.m. (C.D.T) with Baloh hitting at 12:55 p.m. (C.D.T).
Two hours behind the leader, the two-person men's team Epic Racing hit Marthasville at 1:42 p.m. (C.D.T).
Dino Nico Vasesia, a men's solo rider, checked through at 3:15 p.m. (C.D.T.) and was followed by Terry Lansdell at 4:16 p.m. (C.D.T.), Rick Ashabranner at 4:32 p.m. (C.D.T.) and Ish Makk at 5 p.m. (C.D.T.). Martin Lorenz arrived at 8:35 p.m. (C.D.T.).
At 11:20 p.m. (C.D.T.), Mark Patten arrived in Marthasville and was the final rider to arrive Saturday.
Keith Frombel was the first men's solo rider to arrive Sunday, getting to Marthasville at 1:09 p.m. (C.D.T.). Beny Furrer was next, getting to Marthasville at 4:45 p.m. (C.D.T.)
Attila Kaldi rode into Marthasville Sunday night at 10 p.m. (C.D.T.) Paul Bonds was the final solo men's rider to arrive in Marthasville, getting there Monday morning at 1:35 a.m.
At some point Saturday morning or early afternoon, Fabio Biasiolo dropped out of competition between Jefferson City and Marthasville as a past kidney condition flared up. The cause of exit was called water retention.
"One rider was forced to quit very near Marthasville because his body began to swell," said Turman. "He was reportedly in tears when he called from S & R Convenience Center in Marthasville to headquarters for withdrawal from the race."
Two other entries had dropped out as of that point. Team Vail-Go Fast was leading the four-person men's standings near Pie Town, N.M., last Wednesday when rider Brett Malin was struck and killed on U.S. Highway 60 after completing his 30-minute overnight shift. Fredi Virag, a men's solo rider, dropped out after reaching Time Station No. 2 in Southern California due to dehydration.
Since passing Marthasville, Mark Patten left the race after Time Station No. 38. Smith left the race for "water retention" after the Orchard Farm Time Station.
As of 11 a.m. (C.D.T.) Tuesday, the following teams and riders had finished the course. Team Harreither/VAV Versich of Austria, Team HydroCharge, Team Insight, Ride to Remember, Team FOI, Power of Mind, Grupo Guapo, Goodwin/Rieper and Allen Larsen.