The first woman cyclist to win Race Across America
BY ENDURANCE NEWS STAFF
At 52 years old, on her 3rd Race Across America (RAAM) ride, Leah Goldstein became the first woman to win RAAM overall—and she fueled with Hammer the entire time.
Not only is she the first woman ever to achieve the feat, but she is also the first North American to win since 2003 and the first-ever Canadian to win overall since the race’s inception in 1982. Her winning ride of RAAM—the 3,000 mile (4,800 km) endurance race—was 11 days, 3 hours, and 3 minutes at an average speed of 11.8 mph.
This was not Goldstein’s first time at RAAM. In 2011, she won the women's solo category using Perpetuem®, Hammer Gel®, and plenty of Endurolytes®— and broke the previous record by 12 hours. In 2019, she came in 2nd in the women's division and 5th overall in RAAM.
Speaking to the immense physical, mental, and organizational challenges of the race, Leah explained to the New York Times in 2011, “More people summit Everest than complete RAAM.”
A lifelong athlete, Leah rose to be the World Kickboxing Champion in her late teens before getting the endurance bug. As a professional road racer, Leah specialized in climbing and time trials—disciplines that come in handy for cycling across the United States in less than two weeks.
People often bombard ultraendurance athletes with questions about what they eat and drink for 100 miles or 300 miles. RAAM dwarfs those distances with 3,000 miles of cycling, including 175,000 ft of climbing, across 12 states.
So what did it take to fuel Leah Goldstein, riding nearly 22 hours per day for 11 days straight?
- 400+ servings of Endurolytes Fizz
- 400+ capsules of Endurolytes Extreme
- 3 bottles of Vegan Tissue Rejuvenator
- 2 bottles of Liquid Endurance
- 108 Hammer Bars
- 288+ servings of Perpetuem
- 800 servings of HEED
- 96 servings of Recoverite
For years, Leah has worked closely with Hammer’s fueling expert Steve Born to help create these personalized fueling plans.
“The intensity of the weather was a significant factor for this year’s race,” explains Leah. “Because of the heat, we only did liquids for the first few days. I couldn’t stomach any solid foods. I used a lot of HEED® and Perpetuem mixes throughout the entire race. And then after a few days, we started having a few more solid foods, but very little; my diet was probably about 70% liquid to 30% solid. But you don’t feel like eating, you only want to drink in the heat. Maybe later in the day as it cooled a bit, I’d have a bit of an appetite, but the temperature never really dropped below 80°F.”
Leah also raves about the crew that kept her safe, fed, and watered while out on the public roads of the USA. "Every ultraracer knows that without an awesome crew, you’re not going anywhere. It’s not a ‘me’ thing, it’s a ‘we’ thing. And those guys never get enough kudos for what they do."
Lisa Dorian, crew member and PR for Leah talks about Hammer’s crucial role:
“Hammer was a critical part of Leah’s overall nutrition and hydration. With this year’s race being the hottest on record, Leah drank more HEED than in past events and also relied heavily on Endurolytes Extreme throughout the entire event. Staying hydrated was the name of the game for this RAAM and Hammer certainly delivered.
We truly appreciate that you were part of Team Leah and contributed to her historical win as the first woman ever to cross the RAAM line ahead of everyone else!”