Race Across America: The Professor Wants To Know – With Good Reason

June 14 – 4800 km – $1 million target for donations

Written by Martin Rosinder


Kurt Matzler at RAAM 2019 | Photo: Eren Rohregger

06/13/2022 | Austria’s academic community is not only smart, but also athletic: last summer Dr. Mathematics Anna Kissenhofer won the Olympic gold medal in the road race, and tomorrow Kurt Matzler, professor of economics at the University of Innsbruck, starts his first match Race Across America as a solo driver.

As a member of the “Rotary Team RAAMs Polio” contact Rotarian Matzler
Race with a donation project to eradicate polio. The goal of 52-year-old Kurt Matzler, who has lived in Innsbruck for 30 years, and his team of supervisors is clear: to finish in less than twelve days and raise a million dollars in donations.

If tomorrow in Oceanside on the West Coast of the United States, the starting signal for Race Across America Waterfalls, 4,800 kilometers and 52,000 meters in height await the participants. RAAM is considered the toughest and longest bike race in the world, because in addition to the physical constitution, the mental component plays a major role. The race has been held annually in June since 1982, and the time limit is twelve days.

When crossing North America
On the continent, participants master a desert of up to 50 degrees, three mountain ranges, with Wolf Creek Trail at an altitude of 3,300 meters in the Rocky Mountains, prairie Great Plains, different climatic zones, twelve states and three time zones. “On average, only 50 percent of individual riders cross the finish line. So far, there are fewer runners racing across America than the Everest Conquerors,” says Kurt Matzler, who is currently at RAAM in California. Desert.

Matzler is supported around the clock by twelve supervisors, including former managing director of the Tirol Tourist Board, Florian Phelps, and Martin Epster, director of the Tourist Association of St. Anton am Arlberg. Ebster is looking forward to the adventure: “What motivates me is the combination of meticulous preparation, great athletic performance, energetic teamwork, and a crossing of the American mainland – all combined with a great charitable drive.”

The Rotary Polio RAAMs Team was established in 2015
Founded by Rotary Bob Mackenzie of the Rotary Club of Tulsa in Oklahoma. Bob’s goal was to combine his passion for road cycling and fundraising for the End Polio Now project to end polio. The 2016 race across America made over $300,000. The team managed nearly 5,000 kilometers and 52,000 meters of altitude difference across the United States in just under seven days.

The team was formed for 2017 just two weeks into the race, and about $550,000 was raised. And with subsequent entries in 2018 and 2019, the team has achieved incredible things: more than $1 million in donations to both polio eradication — and first place in the four-category mixed team, with new record times. With an average speed of 31.2 km/h, the team reached the finish line in six days, 18 hours and four minutes – and has held the world record ever since.

Kurt Matzler was one of the two winning teams
included. He is a professor at the University of Innsbruck where he deals with topics of innovation, Leadership the strategy used; He is also the Scientific Director of the Executive MBA at MCI Innsbruck and the author of more than 300 scientific articles and several books, including co-authoring the German edition of “The Innovator’s Dilemma,” one of the six most important management books (according to Wirtschafts magazine economic). Matzler’s current book “The Open Strategy” was recently published by MIT-Verlag.

Kurt Matzler has also succeeded as a super cyclist: he has finished four times in Race Across America In a Rotary team of four solo players Race across Italy 2019 and des Race around Austria 2020. These projects have raised more than $3 million in donations to help eradicate polio.

What makes Kurt especially happy:
Backed by six-time RAAM winner and record holder Christoph Strasser. Strian provided Matzler with his time trial suit, which had him the first person to break the 1,000km mark in 24 hours last year, for the donation project. The lawsuit will be withdrawn among all those who donate to the project by June 30. Here’s how it works: Donate at https://raise.rotary.org/Team-Rotary-RAAMs-Polio/fundraiser and email your donation amount to raampolio@gmail.com Lots of luck!

Martin Rosinder is the press spokesperson for Christoph Strasser.

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