Pawpro to Follow Hopecam Founder and RAAM Cyclist in June Race with Nikon D7000

It’s official.  Pawpro will be a part of the Hopecam.org crew following Len Forkas’ solo attempt in the 2012 Race Across America from Oceanside, CA to Annapolis, MD next month.  Pawpro will provide daily video reports for Hopecam’s social media audiences during the 12 day race.  The event crosses California, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and ends in Maryland.  Followers will be able to track Len and the crew’s progress live online through the Hopecam blog.

Also known as RAAM, some people consider these 3,000 miles, and 170,000 feet worth of climbing the toughest bicycle race in the world, but it hasn’t achieved the acclaim of the Tour de France even though it’s 50% longer and doesn’t allow any days of rest.  Once the clock starts it doesn’t stop until a racer crosses the finish.  Now in its 30th year, the winner of RAAM usually makes the crossing in 8 days.  At a minimum solo riders must pedal 250 miles a day to finish within the time limit, and it’s not uncommon, especially for the solo racers, to experience hallucinations during the race as they push their bodies’ endurance levels through extreme conditions.

Len Forkas is the founder of Hopecam.org which supplies a much needed social connection for children homebound and isolated because of treatment for leukemia or any life threatening illnesses. Len formed the charity over ten years ago after his son was diagnosed with leukemia and became homebound.  Through his participation in RAAM, Forkas hopes to raise money so he can serve more children in the US and abroad, and raise awareness of this critical aspect of treatment for children.

A crew of nine people in three vehicles will provide different types of support for Len as he makes his way across the country.  This is Len’s first attempt at RAAM, but all solo racers must qualify in order to participate.  Len has competed in a number of ultra and other high level endurance events through the years to benefit Hopecam.  First time solo riders in RAAM stand a 30% chance of making it to Annapolis.  In an effort to improve those odds, Len and a skeleton crew has already completed two-thirds of the course in a series of practice sessions.

This will be the second significant project using the new Nikon D7000, newly rigged with a follow focus and a host of new lenses.  Can’t wait to have the camera ready as I cross some of the most scenic American landscape and capture the race events as they unfold.  Currently, I’m putting the final editing touches on a new video for the 2012 American Odyssey Relay from Gettysburg to DC.  I’m eager for its release in the very near future to show off the great footage that comes out of this camera.

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