The SOLO support crew
Craig's solo success relies heavily on the support of a close team.
His support crew of nine people are focused on ensuring he makes it to the finish line – to complete the race and be the fastest Kiwi across America, and be competitive at the front of the international endurance cycling field.
As a team, they’re responsible for every detail of Craig's race including logistics, bike maintenance, nutrition, health and navigation.
Planning this level of logistics and preparing for all weather conditions is no mean feat... the team must plan to be on the road continuously for up to 12 days (the maximum time allowed for the race), travelling in support vehicles.
While battling their own sleep exhaustion and wellbeing, they must ensure that Craig stays motivated and fully supported to stay in top condition throughout the race.
Any slip-up on their part could result in time penalties or, tougher still, Craig's non-completion.
Jim is Craig's Crew Chief.
Craig was fortunate to meet Jim in Blenheim briefly in early 2018. A chat about RAAM lay the seeds to the start of this campaign and has resulted in Jim coaching Craig over the past 8 months.
Jim’s value lies from having completed RAAM three times as a solo and once as a team which adds incredible knowledge. But his biggest strength to the team comes from his understanding as to how and why we do things as people.
Professionally, Jim is an Executive Coach and is qualified in Emotional Intelligence. RAAM is more of a mental challenge than physical, so Craig has been working with Jim closely on improving his “off the bike” skills.
Jim’s willingness to support Craig in completing RAAM to a high level is second-to-none and he is looking forward to watching this kiwi fly!
Craig and Callum met in Blenheim, NZ when they both first moved there.
A strong friendship has seen them compete together and support each other through a number of sporting challenges, business ventures, establishing families, and even puppy trainings!
Callum’s strengths lie in organisation, communication and people skills.
He has supported Craig in a number of his cycling adventures, including the record breaking Long White Ride in 2017.
Callum is super amped up with the opportunity to be part of their biggest challenge yet.
Norm is a born and bred Marlburian.
Having first met Craig in 2006 through Norm’s efforts in starting up the PeakFuel brand, Norm has been a major supporter of all of Craig’s challenges since.
Norm’s good sense of humour, enthusiasm, attention to detail, and ability to do whatever is required for a cause makes him such a valuable part of the SOLO crew.
Norm is very well travelled and connected and always seems to know someone wherever he goes, so the chances of him meeting someone helpful across America are pretty high.
Kate (Craig’s wife) is a competitive athlete herself.
She grew up a high country farmer’s daughter in North Canterbury and her younger years were dedicated to rowing where she won a number of national titles and represented New Zealand at World Championships from 1992-2000.
Competing alongside Craig in rowing and also adventure racing in multi-day races like The Southern Traverse gives her extensive knowledge to be able to support Craig.
Aside from this, Kate’s profession as a Massage Therapist of 20+ years (which saw her as part of the NZ Olympic Team at Athens in 2004) brings strength to the SOLO crew.
Jamie and Craig first met each other as fierce on-water competitors in rowing in the late 90’s.
Their strong friendship strengthened over the following years as they partnered together in NZ representative crews and even flatted together.
Jamie’s adventurous nature has seen him take on Trans-Atlantic and Antarctic challenges, become a TV personality, connect with many famous NZers – all of which has inspired Craig himself.
Jamie has developed a very successful business which showcases his knowledge for success in personal and group endeavours.
Being part of the SOLO crew is right up Jamie’s alley as he can bring his inter-personal, performance-focused and behaviour skills to good use, as well as create an abundance of humour.
Ray, from Dunedin, connected with Craig in Blenheim around 2012 through his Cycle World shop.
Craig’s cycling focus was just getting going and Ray provided some early knowledge and assistance.
He is still directly involved these days with cycling retail at the Cycle World Dunedin store.
Ray has been a long-time competitive cyclist himself, having competed nationally and at age group World Championships, with his main focus being the road Time Trial.
Ray brings a lot of experience with regards to bike knowledge, strategy, reading opposition, and small gains in riding speed. This has been important in Craig’s final build up phase as they look to get the most out of the equipment as well as optimise Craig’s riding capacity.
Ray has a strong attention to detail and is loving the challenge of being directly involved this iconic, ultra-endurance race.
Mel, also from the UK, was introduced to Craig through Jim and it became immediately apparent that the role she could play was vital to the team’s performance.
Not only does Mel naturally possess the necessary team skills and flexibility required for such an arduous adventure, but she showed enthusiasm to be involved right from the onset.
Also a keen cyclist, Mel felt inspired by the challenge that lay ahead of the SOLO team.
Mel’s bubbly and friendly personality will also be a welcome sight to Craig and the rest of the crew as the days tick by throughout RAAM.
Em joins the team as our medical professional.
While a GP with an interest in sports medicine by day,
Emily is also a highly accomplished athlete herself. Originally an outstanding young rower (where she was in the National Junior Team alongside Craig, as well as studying and representing Oxford University, and winner of National titles),
Emily has also participated in a number of multisport challenges and last year represented NZ at the World Age Group Triathlon Champs.
Professionally, Em has also been part of the NZ Commonwealth Games Medical Team last year.
Media & Communications
Jason, along with Callum, has been tightly involved with the SOLO campaign from its earliest days.
Jason’s willingness has professionally aided Craig in making this campaign viable, give it an identity, and most importantly showed him that this was a dream that was worth pursuing.
Without Jason, SOLO would not be here, simple as that. Jason has not only shaped this campaign but he will bring it to life for all its supporters and followers!
Thanks to today’s technologies, Craig’s family and friends will be able to enjoy following him Race Across America!