Race Across America stops in Iola



June 22, 2017 - 12:00 AM

Rotarians  from Iola greeted Tulsa Rotarian Bob MacKenzie, Wednesday, as he and fellow bicyclist Steve Schoonover, Salt Lake City, Utah, swapped positions during the Allen County section of the 36th Annual Race Across America.
The riders began in Oceanside, Calif., Saturday,  and are journeying more than 3,000 miles and crossing 12 states to finish in Annapolis, Md. MacKenzie and Schoonover have alternated with teammates Kurt Matzler of Italy and Ruth Brandstaetter of Austria every nine hours of the trek. While half of the team catches up on some much needed rest in a motel room, the other two bike-riding members alternate every 30 to 60 minutes. In between their turn to pedal, they ride in a designated vehicle.
Finding places to eat was hard through the western part of the country, MacKenzie said. The bicyclists rode for hundreds of miles without seeing any signs of civilization.
Schoonover said the weather in Kansas offered a relief compared to both the heat of the desert and the cold mountain temperatures.
In 1988, the World Health Organization, together with Rotary International, UNICEF and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention passed the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
In an effort to raise money for the Rotary International’s goal of eradicating polio, MacKenzie and teammates had raised, as of Wednesday, more than $550,000 through corporate sponsors.
MacKenzie visited Iola last year when he traveled from Tulsa, Ok., by bicycle to present details of his 2016 RAAM experience to Rotary members.

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