To tell the whole story about how important the 24h World Championships in Borrego Springs 2017 was for my RAAM future, I have to start some time back. It was about 4-5 years ago that my feet problems started escalating. Before that there was an odd feet pain in the last days of RAAM, but suddenly the pain was coming sooner and sooner. So soon that during RAAM 2013 I had to stop before the descent down Glass Elevator for excruciating foot pain,  take the shoes off and dip my feet into ice-cold water. The only way I would survive that race was with taking Ibu-Profen in extreme quantities.

V soboto 30. decembra se lahko pridružite Marku Balohu na že tradicionalnem sedmem prednovoletnem kolesarjenju. Zaključimo skupaj leto 2017 in nazdravimo letu 2018 in Markovi osemnajsti sezoni v ultra-kolesarstvu.

Štartnine ni. Na voljo bodo Markovi koledarji za leto 2018, sprejemali bomo donacije za Markov sezono. 

A big thank you goes to dr. Vince and Diane of the Infinity Bike Seat for stepping in and helping me with the race expenses. This Title is for you guys!

The preparation for the race was not exactly perfect, but I was carrying a good turn of speed after RAAM, won the Tortour Challenge in August and felt I am able to do another 500+ miles 24h race. It went a bit bad after the flight to US, as I caught a bit of a cold that got me worried before the race. With coughing, a running nose and a throat ache a couple of days before the race, it seemed my third time a charm (3rd time in a row 500 miles in 24h) might not happen after all.

A couple of hours to the start of 6-12-24 Hour World Time Trial Championships, you can follow the race via race tracking on http://my5.raceresult.com/65136/results?lang=en

More about my feelings before the race on the next page:

My August in the last nine years has been reserved for participation at Tortour ultra-cycling race, Race around Switzerland in other words. Organisation-wise surely the best ultra-cycling race in the World. Switzerland and Tortour have grown to my heart after my first participation and victory in 2009. It is a beautiful country with great cycling infrastructure where cyclists are equal participants in traffic. A country where I can go to a cycling trip with my kids without being scared for our lives and where the government encourages the cycling commute to elementary schools.

Start dirke je bil kot že nekaj zadnjih let, pod pomolom v Oceanside, Kalifornija. Marko je startal  13. junija 2017 ob 12:25 po lokalnem času, kot pred-pred zadnji tekmovalec.

On Tuesday June 13th, 2017 I will stand on the start-line of RAAM for the 9th time in my career. That is as a racer. I did two more times, one as official and one as a crew chief, so all together this is my 11th. :) The answer to the question why the ninth time is pretty simple – because I feel I haven't raced my perfect race yet. Of yourse I am thinking about victory, but the only way to reach it is to race a perfect race. And give those few percent more that were missing until this time. My preparation was at least as good as in my best years, I am more experienced and I have a crew that will do everything in their power to help me reach my goal.

Dirka okoli Slovenije 2017 je za nami. Najprej gre najlepša zahvala organizatorjem, da so po lanski pavzi ponovno zagnali kolesje ene izmed najlepših dirk v ultra-kolesarskem koledarju. Druga zahvala gre slovenski publiki, ki je DOS in njene kolesarje vzela za svoje. Navijači ob trasi so bili res neumorni, ob vseh urah dneva in noči ter ob vsakem vremenu. Tretjič pa zahvala moji mali ekipi, tokrat z nekaj novimi člani, od katerih se bodo nekateri prvič spoprijeli tudi z RAAM-om. Hvala Irma, Borut, Aleš, Gregor in Luka! Bili ste odlični in z optimizmom zrem mesec dni naprej na Dirko preko Amerike RAAM 2017.

Here is the start list for 10th Race around Slovenia DOS/RAS Extreme. You can follow the race through GPS Tracking on the organizer's website and LieStreamn Video here on my website.Link will be published soon.

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