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Jun 20, 2012

Team RVLution Beats Pros, Takes 2nd Place in Race Across the West

At the 2012 MonaVie Convention of the Americas in St. Louis, Team RVLution captain Paul Meehan and team member Steve Stoffel boldly proclaimed that they would “podium finish” the 2012 Race Across the West (RAW) in honor of the MORE Project. On June 15, in Durango, CO, the bicycling team of four made good on that promise by taking second place in their division.

RAW is the toughest part of RAAM (Race Across America), which is considered to be the World’s Toughest Race. Even Lance Armstrong has been quoted as calling RAAM participants “crazy.”

Starting in Oceanside, CA, RAW takes riders through deserts, mountains, and then more mountains, ultimately ending 860 miles later in Durango, CO. The rookie team of Meehan, Stoffel, David Campbell and Josh Morros, rode relay-style through the grueling conditions on June 13–15.

The goal was to finish RAW in 55 hours. Team RVLution did it in 57 hours and 35 minutes, beating Team Wisconsin—a team that had placed in the top three in the past five years—by 23 minutes. The first place team, RoadWorx, was comprised of two former RAAM champions. They finished in just under 43 hours. RAW officials said Team RVLution was the only rookie team to cross the finish line. Other rookie teams made the attempt but did not finish. (Way to go, guys!)

The ride was not without its challenges. On day one, Morros got a flat tire and dropped his brand new iPhone in his first leg. Crew chief and MonaVie distributor Lloyd Hanna switched out the wheels for a spare one and fixed the flat. Unfortunately, the iPhone is still missing-in-action.

On day three, the battery died on the chase vehicle. Luckily, this happened in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart and right before entering a treacherous mountain climb without any support. Again, the crew hustled. John Morros (Josh’s dad) raced into Wal-Mart to buy a new battery and he and Hanna installed it in record time.

The purpose of the ride was to raise awareness and money for the MORE Project. Team RVLution raised $3,450. The cyclists are also packing up their medals and shipping them to the children of the MORE project.

Check out the slideshow of Team RVLution’s journey here.

Also, the team is still accepting donations. Please consider making a contribution here


Now let’s hear from the team!

You’re a RAW finisher. How does it feel?

(Josh) Proud of the accomplishment but happy it is over! It was a hard race, mentally and physically.

What was the hardest part? What kept you going?

(Steve) The heat, the climbs, and the sleep deprivation. I promised myself that I would finish and any time uncertainty or doubt crossed my mind, I thought about the people that matter to me and that kept me going. This includes my immediate family and my incredible MonaVie family. To be successful, you have to persevere; where others fail, you have to find a way to overcome obstacles, and the support and love we received from everyone made a huge difference.

Would you do it again?

(everybody) Yes!

What would you do differently?

(David) We learned so much about strategy and how to reduce overall race time. As a rookie team, I think we did great, but we came away learning that we may need one more vehicle, full bike racks, and quicker and more frequent transitions.

What else would you like to say?

(Paul) I would like to thank our outstanding support crew: Lloyd Hanna (crew chief), Teresa Morros, John Morros, Lora Morros, Ruth Stoffel and our mascot “Mohawk Johnny” (Jordan Stoffel). Without them, none of this would be possible. I would want to thank our sponsor MonaVie, especially Jeff Graham, for making it possible for us to raise almost $4,000 for the MORE Project. A big shout out goes to the RAW race directors, officials, volunteers, and our competitors. What an outstanding community of people. We had other teams’ crews spray us with water bottles and offer us drinks if our support vehicle was not in sight. I would do this again just to share time with their community.


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