Kudos to Chris – We’ll be cheering you on! If you can make it to Indianapolis Friday, July 5th, join the fun at the Major Taylor Velodrome, 6 p.m., to watch Chris break the world record. Whether you can make it or not, please check out ActiveWater.com to make a donation to the cause he’s riding for!
Chris Gottwald knows there are worse ways to spend four hours than the brutal, high-intensity push through the centrifugal force of the velodrome. He could be watching a child die in Africa from a lack of clean drinking water.
The 42-year-old national cycling sensation is taking on the World Record for 100 Mile Track Timed Trial Friday, July 5 at the Indianapolis Major Taylor Velodrome. He plans to cycle like someone’s life depends on it.
“What motivates me is how lives can be impacted. Every 15 seconds somewhere in the world a child dies from not having clean drinking water. I think I can drill it for four hours to raise awareness of the global water crisis,” Gottwald said.
The self-described “guy next door,” pilot and father of two never dreamed as a kid he’d have a world-class cycling career. He just liked riding his BMX around the neighborhood as a 7-year-old boy in Marion, Indiana. By the time he was a senior in high school, he’d graduated to road bikes and blossomed. At Purdue, he began to compete at a national level, and was named captain of the men’s cycling team. But Gottwald never suspected his greatest cycling accomplishments would come much later in life.
Just 8 years ago at the age of 34, Gottwald rode his first Race Across America after an old cycling pal coaxed him into signing up. The pair “waxed it” with second place. They pedaled from the Pacific to the Atlantic — in 7 days, 7 hours and 7 minutes! — covering 3,000 miles and over 100,000 feet of climbing over two mountain ranges. The next year, he rode solo, and was named “Rookie of the Year.”
Last year, Gottwald repeated RAAM solo to raise money for ActiveWater. Riding 22 hours a day with 90-minutes stops for sleep, pushing himself further ‚Äì and faster ‚Äì than ever before takes fight.
“Things are a piece of cake after that. It totally changes your perspective on life. You become more emotional because you turn yourself inside out. You have to fight for it at that level,” Gottwald said.
His passion to inspire others to improve their lifestyle is what makes Gottwald an outstanding captain and a leading community mentor on the Priority Health elite cycling team, according to his team manager at Athletic Mentors.
“Chris is not only an outstanding athlete; he’s an inspiration to everyone around him. He celebrates the accomplishments of his team members and always has a positive contribution to make to the team and the community. It’s the stuff leadership is made of,” said Cheryl Olson.
Gottwald’s coach, Mark Olson, thinks Gottwald’s got a lock on the World Record, and teases him that he could break a world record on a “green machine.”
Gottwald admits he’s a bit nervous, but says he’s cool with whatever happens, and refers to Friday as his “first” attempt, suggesting there will be others.
“I’m looking forward to seeing how far I can push myself,” he said.
“If I make it, I want people to go after my record.
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More than anything, he wants people to become more aware of the global water crisis, and to show him the “love” by making a donation to ActiveWater.com, which supports projects that bring community wells and related projects to life in underdeveloped countries.
From Gottwald’s vantage, cycling has given him everything; and it’s his way to give back.
“Cycling is an instrument for making a difference. My legs are the tools I’ve been given.”
Download Chris’s Flyer for the TT Event: (Click on Image)