When Gunnar started from Grafton, West Virginia at 04:13 this morning, he had 315 miles to the finish line. One-hundred and thirty-six miles and fourteen hours later, he has pedaled his way up numerous 8% grade mountains with the strength of a true Viking.
On these leg-burning climbs Gunnar and his day-crew surprised deer, raccoons and the occasional mountain resident. PLUS encountered the chase vehicles of an Italian racer at many points along the road, even though their rider was reportedly one-and-a-half hours behind our man. Spying?! How flattering. Evidently it happens in these big races.
According to the RAAM website Gunnar is in second place for his category, and upon arriving at TS49 at Hancock, Maryland Gunnar and the lads pushed on after just a shower and a meal.
These snapshots will give you an idea of the beauty and the beast of the Appalachian mountains.
Heja Gunnar! You're almost there!