TeamPulse at Race Across America (RAAM)

Race Across America is an ultra-distance cycling event that links the two coasts of the United States, from Oceanside in California to Annapolis in Maryland, some 300 km south-west of New York. It is known for being the longest and hardest endurance race in the world. A legendary event, RAAM is seen by many as the ultimate athletic challenge. Members of the HESAV community, students and staff, will take part in the race after a year’s training. After the completion of the race, the team will travel to Boston, and share their experience on June 26th at a public event organized by swissnex and held at the Cambridge Public Library.  

8 cyclists

4,800 km / 3000 miles route

12 states crossed

9 days of non-stop relay

1 support crew

33,000 m elevation

temperatures from -5° to 48° Celsius

Setting challenges to achieve progress is a typical approach for the University of Health Sciences in Vaud (HESAV). This challenge will be human, sporting, scientific and institutional: in June 2017 HESAV, together with several partners including the School of Engineering and Management Vaud (HEIG-VD), will take part in the hardest cycle race, Race Across America or RAAM, in the United States.

This highly unusual endurance race has been held for more than thirty years. It involves over three hundred cyclists from five continents crossing US territory from west to east, with thirty thousand meters of elevation. One of the characteristics of the race is the mix of amateur and professional cyclists of various ages in two categories: solo or team.

For HESAV, HEIG-VD and their partners, this is a unique chance to take part in a major sporting and media event, while including a health and sports sciences research project in the overall adventure. RAAM will therefore enable Vaud’s universities to strengthen both their skills and their international reach.

Raising money for charity is also a feature of the race – and one of HESAV’s goals. For those who choose to support the project, RAAM will provide excellent exposure. The proceeds of crowdfunding will enable HESAV to further develop research into disability sports for children.

This process fits perfectly into the policy of promoting physical activity among the population of Vaud, as well as raising the canton’s profile as an important research center for sports science and practice, with projects such as the international sports cluster “ThinkSport international” established at the Synathlon building in Dorigny and Lausanne’s hosting of the Youth Olympic Games in 2020.

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” 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 not only in cycling circles but the greater sporting community as well.

 In 1982, four individuals raced from the Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles to the Empire State Building in New York City. Covered by national television, the race captivated the public’s imagination. Relay Teams were introduced in 1992 and quickly became the most popular and fastest growing segment of the race. Team sizes are 2, 4 and 8 persons. Relay Team racing made the event accessible to any fit cyclist.

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.

The Race inspires everyone who has been a part of it – racer, crew, staff and fans alike. RAAM is the true test of speed, endurance, strength and camaraderie, the ideal combination of work and play.”




After the start on June 17, swissnex Boston will be sharing updates on the progress through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram


Health and Sport – a Panel Discussion 

June 26, 6 PM, Cambridge Public Library

After debriefing with the team on their participation in the continental ultramarathon bicycle race, Professor Kenny Guex of HESAV will deliver a brief presentation on the scientific experiments conducted during the race, followed by a panel discussion where experts from the fields of health, physical therapy and sports will discuss the intersection of sports and health both in extreme situations such as the RAAM, as well as in normal everyday situations. RSVP & more info