Dave Haase, an award-winning ultracyclist and a Fond du Lac native, loves a good challenge.
Currently, he is tackling the challenge of the Race Across America. RAAM is perceived as the world's toughest endurance bike race, with a route stretching 3,000 miles from Oceanside, California, to Annapolis, Maryland.
This is Haase's seventh time competing in RAAM. During his first competition in 2004, he had to stop after completing 2,600 miles of the race because he developed hyponatremia, a condition that occurs when a low level of sodium is in the blood, typically caused by dehydration.
Despite that setback, he came back in 2005 to take fourth place and was the top American finisher.
"The thrill of victory was still out there," Haase said, as he explained why he came back after 2004.
Haase's experience in both 2004 and 2005 was captured on film. Stephen Auerbach, an American filmmaker best known for his documentaries, captured Haase's setback in 2004 in "Race Across America," shown on NBC Sports. In 2005, Auerbach's film "Bicycle Dreams" also featured Haase.
In 2015 and 2016, Haase also was the top American finisher, coming in second, respectively.
Haase said he competes in ultracyclist races for the challenge. It's a challenge to keep his body in good shape and to keep his mind sharp. On a daily basis, he gets up at 5 a.m. and rides his bike until 9 a.m., before working for 10 to 12 hours. He has to stick to a tough training schedule, especially in a race such as RAAM.