From Rich Dixon:
On June 15 my friend Jerry Schemmel began RAAM, the Race Across America.
3000+ miles of cycling. 170,000+ feet of climbing. 12 states. 3 mountain ranges. 30% longer than the 3-week Tour de France in 12 days or less. That means 250+ miles per day, continuously, for 12 days in a row, just to complete the race.
Jerry loves riding his bike, loves competition and challenge, loves raising funds for a great cause. But he’s doing this to run the race marked out for him. I think he’s simply doing his best to use his gifts and experiences to tell a story of sacrifice, courage, hope, and faith.
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After eighteen months of training and preparation, Jerry and his team were ready for anything. Except 115+° temps in the California desert. Jerry blacked out on his bike.
At checkpoint #3, race docs diagnosed heat stroke and said he couldn’t continue. I can’t imagine the disappointment and heartbreak. Knowing Jerry, he feels like he let down his huge circle of supporters. Of course, none of us feels let down at all.
We know he gave it everything he had and trusted God for the outcome. He didn’t get the outcome he wanted – doesn’t mean God isn’t at work.
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Jerry didn’t get the outcome he wanted on July 19, 1989, either. On that day his best friend died in the fiery crash of UAL Flight 232 in Sioux City, Iowa. Jerry survived, then walked back into the smoldering wreckage to rescue a crying baby – who’s now 32 years old.
I don’t know how it works. All I know is do our best, trust God for the outcome, and lean on Jesus when it’s hard.
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Godspeed: The Race Across America, tells the story of Jerry and his partner Brad Cooper and their inspirational victory in the 2015 team RAAM. If you find it and watch it, you’ll be amazed.