By Jayme Mechur
Posted in More Than Sport, on June 03, 2015
Some truly amazing and inspiring stories coming through from the participants with the Challenge not even a week old. In an effort to commend these unsung heroes of the campaign we will profile as many as we can throughout June and beyond.
When we heard of some of the targets being set by the challenge participants we where simply humbled that people would aim this high, everesting itself is hard enough, Ray Brown is aiming for 8 in the month of June. We caught up with Ray to get the background on his attempts and to find out more about what drives him and his background.
What are you aiming for during the Climb For Nepal Challenge (Fundraising + Challenge)?
At least $2k for much needed shelter for the people of Nepal and 8 everesting completions.
Most people wouldn’t publicly broadcast a goal like that in case of failure, why have you done so?
I have an endurance background that dates back 25 years. The only thing I have DNF’d in my life was Kona in 2010 at the Ironman World Championship when I was runover by a course marshal on a motorcycle. Even then I tried to pick up the broken pieces of my bike despite a career ending shoulder injury and try to complete the bike ride. Most recently at the Silver Sate 508 race I came down with pneumonia during the night and still finished and subsequently check into a clinic the next morning after completing the race.
What specific motivation do you have for attempting this?
I am training for long distance cycling and these workouts are ideal for power sessions, learning to ride better at night and the mental focus needed to complete one. My intent is to do RAAM solo in 2016 so this has been an ongoing focus for the last several years. I have a 1,000 mile race coming up in West Texas in October. I rode 16,000 miles last year and plan to do 25,000 this year with at least 1,000,000 feet of climbing. My other goal is to do 20 Everests. I have done 5 in the last 6 weeks and if I am able to pull the other 8 off that will give me 13. Another goal that I want to try and do during the Fundraiser is back to back Everests.
Do you have any personal connection to Nepal?
I have always marveled at the Sherpas involved in the Everest climbs. In my opinion they are the true unsung heroes. To see the devastation that has been caused by the Earthquakes is so sad and it doesn’t appear that the world is rallying around the country to assist in recovery. Since the Everesting is the brainchild of George Mallory and Andy van Bergen (who I adore) I felt it was the least I could do to assist.
Obviously this means a whole lot of time in the saddle, any special tips or tricks to keep the soreness, fatigue or boredom at bay?
I have had 1,000 mile weeks and done 250 mile rides on a 2.5 mile loop! Boredom is never an issue. I ride in the here and now always focusing on the current time and how I am pacing or feeling so no time for boredom!
Who will be supporting you during the event?
I do these 100% solo. I have an RV that I use as basecamp and park it at the bottom or top of the climb and refuel, change, eat, rest, pit-stop you name it from there.
Anything else you would like to add?
Courtesy of http://www.pjammcycling.com/home.html and its founder John Johnson the site was my roadmap to a cyclists dream vacation last year. Before the Silver State 508 I drove my RV out to Colorado and did the epic climbs there starting with one of the top five toughest in the US Pikes Peak. I then did all the toughest climbs in Colorado and Utah and then headed for the race in Reno Nevada. The PJAMM website was my GPS as I pulled over on the interstate in the middle of nowhere to do one of the top rated climbs in their Top 100 list. As I was doing these I was thinking how awesome would it be to be able to Everest these brutal climbs having just heard about the crazy concept Andy had just launched last summer. When I came home I told my ultra racing Crew Captain Gary Lucero (store manager for Atlanta Cycling) that I was going to Everest all Six Gaps in the mountains of North Georgia. The Gaps is an infamous century ride held annually each year where about 3000 riders try to tackle 11k of climbing in 108 miles some of the climbs 20% grade. After explaining to him what an Everest was he looked at me and said you are crazy enough to do it so when do you start? Cycling is the fountain of youth for me. After triathlon was taken from me in the motorcycle crash in Kona I thought my endurance career was over. I Loved the bike so I tried to make the best of it. I have been incredibly blessed in my life and if I can help others by doing something that brings me so much joy in my personal life how can I not help?
Ray’s Campaign Link – http://www.morethansport.org/team/hells-500/everesting-aide-for-nepal?fb_ref=Default#
Ray’s Strava Profile link – https://www.strava.com/athletes/916207?utm_source=top-nav