LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- Chadron State College graduate and Jake Holscher of Lakewood, Colo., plans to embark on a 3,000-mile bicycle race in June. Holscher, formerly of Ogallala, Neb., is a 2000 CSC graduate who also earned his MBA from CSC in 2002. He works in construction management and he and his wife, Mesi, have two children.
Although he has been an endurance athlete since 2006, this is his first time competing in the Race Across America Powered by Trane, also known as RAAM. He is riding to promote tissue and organ donation.The race begins June 10 in Oceanside, Calif. The finish cutoff date to reach Annapolis, Md., is June 22.
Holscher said the race, which draws competitors from around the globe, has been called the world’s toughest bicycle race. With a 288-hour deadline, the racers must balance speed and the need for sleep. The route forces riders to brave a wide variety of severe weather conditions as they cover more than 170,000 vertical feet.
Holscher’s brother and crew chief, Blake, of Kearney, Neb., is busy assisting with planning and preparation for the project. Blake is a claims adjuster for Progressive Insurance. He and his wife, Becky (Gross) Holscher, a 2003 CSC graduate, have two children.
Crew members for Holscher include long-time family friend and CSC alum Bart Voycheske, and the oldest Holscher brother, Erik, of Wichita, Kan. Crew members will pass nutrition to Jake from the support vehicle, handle bike repairs, safety, logistics, publicity and other responsibilities.
Blake said, “Jake’s done a lot of races before but nothing of this logistical and financial magnitude.”
Those interested in supporting Jake can visit fundrazr.com and search for “Holscher” to read his personal statement or contribute financial support.
The bike team is named “GS14” which stands for Garrett Schlichtemeier 2014. He died in 2010 while a CSC student and was also from Ogallala. Jake said the purpose of his ride is to raise awareness for organ and tissue donation and to honor his mother, Louise Holscher, and Schlichtemeier for being organ donors.
Louise passed away in 2002 while four of her children were CSC students. Jake, Blake (2004) and their siblings Jolene (2002) and Ben (2005) are CSC alumni. Jolene teaches in Nebraska and Ben teaches in Clovis, Calif., where he is also a co-head coach for one of the top five high school wrestling teams in the country.
Jake said, "Organ donation holds a special part in my heart. I know that we will never be able to bring our loved ones back, but what I can do, is bring people together in an event like this to celebrate and remember all the things about them that changed our lives.”
The GS14 team is working closely with donatelife.net and encourages fans of the team to consider registering to become organ and tissue donors.
Photos of the solo men’s race and the riders’ times as they pass through check points in Colorado, Mississippi and Maryland can be seen at: www.raceacrossamerica.org.
Following is a list of Jake's prior endurance races:
2013 Tejas 500 RAAM Qualifier - 1st in age group/ 7th overall
2011 Virginia Triple Ironman - 10th overall/ 6th American
2010 Bighorn 100 mile trail run - 8th overall
2008 Leadman Series Champion - Leadville Marathon, Silver Rush 50M mountain bike, Leadville 100M mountain bike, Leadville 10K and Leadville100M trail run
2007 Denver Marathon
2007 Leadville 100M trail run - 37th overall
2007 Crested Butte Xterra Triathlon
2006 Redman Iron Distance Triathlon - 1st in group/8th overall
—CSC Information Services