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Frank Fumich Races RAAM: Ordinary People Doing Extraordinarily Badass Things

Posted by Field Work Nutrition Co. on
Frank Fumich Races RAAM:  Ordinary People Doing Extraordinarily Badass Things

This is Frank Fumich, and he is one of the more inspirational people we have come across.  Frank is a member of the Swarm Collective and we are helping support him over the year as he trains to attempt Race Across America (RAAM) solo for the second time.  Now, a bike ride across America might sound "tough but fun" to many people, but with the time cuts and the fact that you are indeed "racing," RAAM is arguably the single toughest endurance endeavor an individual can engage in. 

Frank is no professional athlete, and by his own accord, he doesn't even like to ride bikes all that much.  But the thought of pushing himself to the absolute limit (again) to see what he is capable of was just too much to pass by.  We like this attitude.  We like it a lot.

Over the years Frank has completed a 355 mile foot race across the arctic circle, paddled the Molokai to Oahu open water channel, completed a self-supported 6 day stage race through the Sahara Desert, and done countless other superhuman feats of mental and physical endurance. 

In his most recent efforts, Frank has tied each event to a charitable cause that is close to his heart, and along the way has raised over $270,000 dollars for those in need.  Though the grueling endurance feats are impressive, that is DAMN impressive.

Though Frank bills himself as a "normal guy," nutrition will play a bedrock roll in his training and preparation for RAAM.  Although "on the bike" nutrition will be key, arguably more important is keeping his body well-fueled and healthy day in and day out while he prepares for this epic ride.  We are glad that Field Work Nutrition and our Primo Smoothie will play a key role in delivering him the nutrition he needs to take care of business come race day.

Below is a bit more about Frank and a Q and  A so you can get a better sense for him in his own words.

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Why do you do what you do?  You put your body through all kinds of pain and suffering, where do you find the motivation?

Well I've been doing races and adventures now for 20 years. I'd say for about the first 15 I did them solely to test my limits and see what I was capable of doing physically and handling mentally. The difference between myself and other racers I know is that I don't necessarily enjoy them. I know it sounds crazy to spend so many years and so much time on something I don't particularly like...but it's looking back on them and the great sense of accomplishment that I relish. To learn of some event and wonder if you can do it, decide to try it, plan and train for months for it, and then against most odds to complete it...is just an amazing journey of self discovery.
But then I stumbled onto using an event to raise money and awareness for a particular cause close to my heart, and that's when everything changed. I realized how much MORE meaningful these endeavors are when done for someone else. And so that's actually my main motivation these days. Sure, I still like the challenge myself, but I doubt I still have the personal motivation at 50 years old now to simply do it for myself. I'd rather do it for something much bigger than me.

 

What was the hardest adventure you have been on?  What was the best?

Well if I was to group "races" WITH "adventures" (and often a really hard race is an adventure) I would say my 2015 attempt at solo RAAM (Race Across America) was the hardest, because it remains the only DNF in my resume that I have yet to finish. It just about killed me. 

I'd say the best or most fun was my skiing to the North Pole because it wasn't a race, but just a fun adventure with some buddies of mine and we just had a spectacular time in one of most beautiful and remote spots on the planet, without the pressure of a timed event.
Is there anything you've been eyeing, but still can't work up the motivation to do it?  If so, what's the hang up?
Nope, everything I've ever wanted to do, I've tried. Sure there are a few things I haven't gotten to yet, but thats mostly because I haven't talked my wife into letting me yet! Lol
Each one of your efforts has a charitable side to it, how do you decide who to work with?  Is there any one in particular that has really had an impact on you?
I have never really searched out a cause. They have all just sort of fallen into my lap or I've been turned onto them from friends. Some stick and some don't. Some just hit my heart just right and I know it was meant to be. In 2015 my nephew Jason was diagnosed with Leukemia and so now more than not, I find myself pulled towards little kids battling cancer and the struggle that families have dealing with it financially and mentally. 
What is the appeal of RAAM?
RAAM appeals to me because I believe it's one of the toughest races on the planet. And I'm not really a cyclist. As a matter of fact I hate cycling so that just makes it a few levels off the charts for me. It's not the kind of race you can just go forward at any pace. In RAAM you have to be pretty much hammering for 20+ hours a day, and it requires a good bit of skill, which I really don't have. And it takes sleep deprivation to the scary realm, and losing touch with reality is a constant issue.  So it's just harder on all kinds of levels.
You tried once before to do it solo, where did things break down for you and what are you tweaking to improve this go-round?
Well all kinds of things broke down, but I just barely weathered them all. What finally got me were the horrendous saddle sores and about 2,400 miles in, I just could no longer sit on the seat. I ended up having a bacterial infection and staff infection and couldn't walk right for about 3 weeks after the race.
How important is nutrition in an event like RAAM?
I think nutrition is the one thing (besides a correct seat:) that might get me over the edge. I'm a notoriously bad eater, and I just don't think I can make it across the country downing cheeseburgers and pizza this time. I NEED some good nutrition to fuel me properly this time and keep me ahead of those cutoffs. Last time I just struggled so badly with finding the power and was right on the edge of timing out the whole way across. 
How do you see Field Work Nutrition factoring into your preparation?  What is it about the product that is a good fit for you?
Making the right nutrition choices day in and day out will be critical to keep my body healthy and strong. I think Field Work Nutrition will help provide me with this critical nutrition I need on an ongoing basis, and will keep my body properly fueled. It will help me get lean, stay lean and fit so I can get more out of my training workouts over the coming months, helping set me up for success.
And I'm a super busy person and usually don't have time, or make the time, to prepare nutritious meals which is why I have fallen too often into the trap of just grabbing something fast, but something bad fast. So the convenience of having something GOOD fast...an "all in one and on the go" fueling source when I'm slammed on time is something I'm really excited about

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