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2011 RAAM Route Mapped

December 28, 2011

2011 Race Acros America Route

Using the official route sheet from this year’s Race Across America, I drew the maps of the route using Gmap-Pedometer, an online app that allows you to draw routes. I wanted to draw the entire route in one piece, but Gmap seems to have a built-in limit somewhere around 500 miles. So I decided to keep the maps broken up by state, or 300 miles or so.

Complete route picture, borrowed from the RAAM website

2011 RAAM Route

California Section

RAAM starts off in Oceanside, CA; just north of San Diego. The route climbs out of the coastal plain and into the mountains near Mount Palomar. From there, it’s off into the southern California desert; through Anza-Borrego State Park, down the famed Glass Elevator descent, past the Salton Sea, around the Chocolate Mountains and north through Blythe before turning east to cross into Arizona near Parker, AZ. The photo to the right is Joan in the southern California desert near the Salton Sea during the 2011 Race Across The West.

Here’s the route map:

California (273.8 miles to Arizona State Line)

Arizona Section

After crossing the Colorado River and entering Arizona, the route goes through agricultural land near Parker before returning to the arid Mojave Desert. This section can be brutally hot. When Joan went through Congress during the 2011 Race Across The West, it was 105 degrees. From Congress, the route climbs into the high desert up the Yarnell Grade. The course goes through Cottonwood, Sedona, Flagstaff and then into the open high desert. Nearing Utah, the route goes through Monument Valley and lots of Native American land.

Here’s the route map:

Arizona (431.1 miles to the Utah State Line)

Utah Section

After crossing into Utah in Monument Valley, the route follows the Green River as it meanders between Mexican Hat and Aneth before turning northeast again to enter Colorado.

Here’s the route map:

Utah (80.8 miles to the Colorado State Line)

Colorado Section

Crossing into Colorado on backroads, you pass through classic western ranchland before coming into the more mountainous areas past Cortez and Mancos. From the mountain biking mecca of Durango, the route enters the high Rockies cresting at Wolf Creek Pass and more climbing ensues before emerging onto the Great Plains at La Veta, CO. In eastern Colorado, the route passes through Comanche National Grasslands before moving on into Kansas.

Here are the route maps:

Colorado Part 1 (282.25 miles to La Veta)
Colorado Part 2 (219.4 miles to the Kansas State Line)

Kansas Section

Tons of cornfields, that’s about all I know about the RAAM route through Kansas. The route skirts the north side of Wichita before continuing on and eventually crossing into Missouri. Picture to the right is Randy Mouri entering Kansas during the 2011 RAAM.

Here are the route maps:

Kansas Part 1 (274.7 miles to Maize)
Kansas Part 2 (163.1 miles to the Missouri State Line)

Missouri Section

The route in Missouri travels through the northern reaches of the Ozark mountains and across Lake Of The Ozarks before following the Missouri River nearly to Saint Louis before turning north to cross the Mississippi River just north of the confluence of those two great rivers.

Here’s the route map:

Missouri (317.5 miles to the Illinois State Line)

Illinois Section

After crossing the Mississippi River into Alton, IL; the route travels through farmland and rolling hills across the state before entering Indiana just past Hutsonville.

Here’s the route map:

Illinois (155.3 miles to the Indiana State Line)

Indiana Section

The route through Indiana looks a lot like the Illinois section on paper. One of the highlights might be riding through Bloomington, where the classic cycling film Breaking Away was filmed. Will riders get bonus time if they don a Cutters jersey while riding through town? The route then enters Ohio just after the town of Mixerville.

Here’s the route map:

Indiana (189.6 miles to the Ohio State Line)

Ohio Section

The RAAM route travels through the suburbs north of Cincinatti before entering the hills of southeastern Ohio at Chillicothe. The mountains continue leading into the Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia.

Here’s the route map:

Ohio (201.5 miles to the West Virginia State Line)

West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Maryland Section

After entering West Virginia, the climbing is perhaps the most challenging on the entire route. There are short steep hills constantly as the course meanders through the mountains. After leaving Pennsylvania, the route travels south through the suburbs between Baltimore, MD and Washington, DC before finishing in historic Annapolis at the City Dock.

Here are the route maps:

Part 1 (200.6 miles to Cumberland, MD)
Part 2 (217.8 miles to Annapolis, MD)

And of course, the ultimate goal! The finish line in Annapolis… The photo below is of Michele Santilhano at the finish of the 2010 Race Across America.

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