By Chris Kostman
A record number of racers battled the worst conditions in the history of the event on this course which began in Valencia, CA on October 26, 1991 and crossed the Mojave Desert to Death Valley before heading across the high desert to the finish 508 miles later. The 24 men, 4 women, and 2 mixed tandems were dealt the worst Mother Nature had to offer: sand and rain storms, 50 mph headwinds, sub-freezing temps, rock slides on the highway, etc. Despite the adversity, 18 hardy souls made it to the finish in 29 Palms. Nine placed high enough to earn a spot on the starting line of the 1992 RAAM.
The men’s winner was Tom Winstrom, 53, of Foster City, CA, with a time of 31:07:22, bettering the master’s record by over 5 hours. Runner up was Premananda Childs, 46, of Greenwich, CT, who covered the first 200 miles in 8:20 and held onto the lead for another 100 miles, but lost time battling headwinds across Death Valley. The women’s winner was Seana Hogan, 32, of San Jose, CA, with a time of 36:21:07. Women’s course record holder Laura Stern, 30, of Menlo Park, CA, led for the first 300 miles, but was passed by Hogan when she succumbed to digestive problems and sleepiness on the climb out of Death Valley. Hogan’s victory is even more impressive considering she gave birth to a son just 1 year ago and rode her first event of over 100 miles in April, 1991. Former winner Beth Dawson, 30, of Saratoga, CA, bettered her previous time by 8 hours but still took second.
DNF: Laura Stern, Blythe Leidig, Jack Brisley, Tom Davies, James Chudej, Richard Heiss, Harry Kearney, Dennis Brown, Kevin Unck, Willi Zuber, Sean & Antoinette Addison, Mike Meng and Christi Butler.