Maryland men train for Race Across America, pushing personal limits and fundraising for charity

Posted at 1:18 PM, Jun 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-06 18:16:07-04

Three Marylanders and a Texan are teaming up to Race Across America.

Glenn Mintzer, an attorney, Jeff Boltz, a scientist, and Michael Auer, are in their fifties and spent hundreds of hours riding thousands of miles together to prepare for this competition.

"I think one time we just sort of dared each other, hey, that would be great to do," Auer said smiling.

These men are driven. They started out running marathons, then trained to swim and bike for triathalons, that wasn't enough. They moved on to 50-mile bike races, called centuries. Now they're riding 3,000 miles in the Race Across America.

The team has about a week to complete the feat, pedaling in eight hour intervals.

"So we train between 5 and 7 days a week a mix of long endurance ride and then during the week some hard intervals to get your speed up," Boltz said.

He trains before work on a stationary bike in his basement, while the other two ride on the road. They come together on the weekends to ride for hours. The guys say it takes discipline.

"I would say nothing is really easy for me, I trained very hard. I don't necessarily think of myself as somebody who has a lot of athletic talent," Mintzer said. 

On top of all this training, the men are balancing full time jobs and families at home. 

On Wednesday the RV pulls in and they load up everything they need to succeed in their mission, and the challenge is starting to sink in.

"We just want to take on an adventure that we may not be able to succeed at. When there's that risk of failure that's what makes the success all the greater," Auer said.

They say all the hard work is worth it.

"It feels like you're on top of the world actually when you're on a nice road and you're pedaling and you're not really too tired and you're going fairly fast , it's a really good rush of adrenaline and I guess pride that you're in good enough shape in your middle to late year to be able to do that," Boltz said.

They say riding keeps them young and ready for another challenge.

"Jeff is already looking for our next adventure, (Reporter: How does your wife feel about that?) um she doesn't really know about that but (Reporter: She will)," Mintzer laughs, "She will now, and I will say I am all geared up for Ultracycling, what we're doing. Ultracycling is century beyond... it's just getting started."

They say they couldn't do it without all the help from their friends, family, sponsors and everyone going on the trip with them to support.
In addition to riding, they're raising money for two organizations. Stroup Kids for Kids and Water For People help children.
Stroup Kids for Kids raises money for people epilepsy and Water for People builds infrastructure to provide third world countries with potable water.