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(<<Stage 5)

When I told my dad that I was going to race across the United States, I expected his interest, but also some doubt. Dad was going to races with me, he was helping me in logistics, but RAAM was 5 times greater distance than the one I had on my account back then. Therefore, I welcomed his enthusiasm. Until now, I remember that he said then, "I am very happy, I this idea and will support it."

My brother was always ready to help too. Over the years he has shown great commitment, has done a tremendous job and has spent a lot of time helping me with preparations and supporting me during the races.

I have always been able and can count on my Gosia, who supports all my ultracycling projects and takes care of my duties when I leave. During the races, Gosia sleeps not much more than me, because she gets nervous and tracks the dot moving on the map in the competition monitoring application.

Six months before the race in the States, I reminded that Christoph Strasser (the fastest ultra-racer in the world) kept repeating that success in a long-distance race depends on 3 factors, each of them equally:

  1. physical preparation
  2. mental preparation
  3. support team

In the past I worked hard on the first factor. The third required some refinement. The second - it was new to me. My cycling coach - Wojtek - told me to find a psychologist. Actually, I called Michał quite by accident. I told him who I was and what I was going to do. It turned out he was nearby, and in an hour we were talking face to face. Before the meeting ended, Michał said: "I can already see myself when I follow you in the pacecar through the United States"

Ambitious endeavors attract people. Especially when they are already at an advanced stage and you can see that they are not just dreams or hallucinations. Of course, the team's goal during the preparations and the race is one, common to everyone. During our RAAM it was: "Safely bring Remek to the finish line". Everyone had it written on the team t-shirt. However, participation in such a project can be transformed by each participant into their own goals and development in the future.

After his return from RAAM, Michał started cooperation with other athletes and business managers, Jarek logistically supported the relay race of journalists and activists from Warsaw to Kiev in the "Majdan Run", Jacek won Grand Press Photo contest with his photos from RAA,  Kuba told a story about supporting me in RAAM and helped himself in recruitment to the sports shop. On the other hand, Zbyszek got on his bicycle and started commuting to work every day, regardless of the weather.

I know that also Leszek, Jacek, Czarek, Robert, Mateusz, Martyna, Mariusz, Krzysiek, the second Mateusz, Kuba, Maciek, Piotrek, Wojtek, Andrzej, Darek, the second Maciek and all the former and current crew members of Team Ultrakolarz were attracted by passion, have had a beautiful adventure and this experience will stay with them forever and give them new opportunities.

Moreover, even those who did not make it into the team at RAAM but participated in the team building workshop thought it was something special and had never participated in a similar project before.

Anyway, hardly anyone has the opportunity to spend the weekend in the following way: You come to Warsaw on Friday evening. You check in at the Ursynów school building and find out that at your own request for 48 hours your freedom is limited to two classrooms. There is work in one, and rest in the other. At the beginning the Ultrakolarz presents his plan to finish RAAM in less than 12 days, then he gets on the trainer and for the next 44 hours he only goes to the toilet and for a short sleep in the next room. During this time, you and a dozen or so people you don't know are building a team under the supervision of 2 psychologists. You are provoked to a conflict, from time to time you have the task of feeding the cyclist and even massaging him, although you have not done it before. When it turns out that your racer has fallen on the Shermer's neck, you have to do something, although you only have what you usually take to the race. String, duct tape, a piece of tube ... Finally, you are to be involved in selecting the team leader. Not to mention that in those 48 hours you find out why you really wanted to go to the United States and maybe on Sunday afternoon it is a different reason than you thought it was Friday night.

No sport discipline is an individual discipline. If you do something at a high level, you are never alone. Commitment and determination produce results. The results attract people. People strengthen the energy of the project. After the race, energy goes with people into the world and sprouts in other projects.

(Stage 7>>)

  • Author: Remek Siudziński
  • Date: 24.09.2023