In March 2019, I watched a YouTube video of the 2016 TABR. Lael Wilcox overtook Steffan Streich on the last day of the 4,200-mile race, to win. She completed it in a little over eighteen days, the second-fastest time on record. Streich was leading with 130 miles to go. On the final morning, he started riding in the wrong direction, the effect of sleep deprivation. He realized his error when he met Wilcox in Bumpass, Virginia, cycling in the opposite direction. They rode together for a brief time, and Streich suggested they ride to the finish together. Reportedly, Wilcox responded, “This is a race,” and sprinted the last 130 miles to become the first woman to win a major ultra-distance backpacking race, beating Streich by two hours.43
I pondered what it would feel like to race across America just like Lael did.
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish