SoCal Race Across America team to ride over 3,000 miles in 6 days for fundraiser event

Wednesday, June 6, 2018
SoCal RAAM team to cycle over 3,000 miles for charity
Four local dads with full time jobs created 'Team NEGU' to Race Across America, raising money for three of their favorite charities.

Southern California team NEGU, short for Never Ever Give Up, is participating in Race Across America to raise money for their favorite charities.

Alex Isaly is passionate about RAAM.

"It's considered the toughest race in the world, actually tougher than the Tour de France because we're racing around the clock 24 hours a day," said Isaly.

RAAM is a 3,080-mile bike race that starts in Oceanside on June 16 and ends in Annapolis, Maryland. They plan to get it done in just six days.

There are checkpoints with time cut-offs. If you don't make them, you are out of the race.

"We've been ramping up the training. Time in the saddle matters when you're not a pro," said Chris Marsh of Newport Beach.

Marsh, who's done this race before, said they average riding 250 miles per week.

Keep in mind that all these guys have full-time jobs; they all have kids, yet not only do they want to meet this physical challenge, they feel it's really important to raise money for some wonderful charities.

"I have my own charity called the Bahati Foundation, and we work with inner-city youth around Compton and Watts and the greater L.A. area to get them on the bike, keeping them active," said Rahsaan Bahati, of Los Angeles.

"Augies Quest particularly inspired me," said Marsh.

Marsh is riding for Augie Nieto, who contracted the debilitating disease ALS 15 years ago. Nieto and his wife are raising money for research to find a cure.

"The Jessie Reese Foundation for me. Their mission is to help every kid fighting cancer to never ever give up. That mindset for never, ever giving up is sort of appropriate for us as we tackle this race across the country. It's also the origin of our team name, team NEGU," said Mark Brandenberger of San Clemente.

They're riding for others while hoping to instill life lessons in their children.

"I want to be inspirational to my kids and teach them with a little bit of courage and a lot of commitment you can achieve great things in life," said Marsh.

From the Arizona heat to the cold of the Rockies, it's a real uphill climb. Riders from 35 countries have raised over $2 million to date. Team NEGU's goal is $250,000 for their three favorite charities.