Biking Across the Country with Shermer's Neck

Jul 31, 2017

Iowan Sarah Cooper recently finished one of the most grueling bike races in the country, Race Across America, placing 10th overall. She was the first woman to cross the finish line. If riding her bike 3,000 miles across the country wasn't hard enough, she did the second half of the race battling a condition called Shermer's Neck, which left her unable to hold her head up. 

"We had a headwind for the first 1,000 miles of the race. I really think that’s what stressed my upper body and brought this on so soon," she says. "So, I went from 4th place to 9th, and I eventually ended up in 10th." 

During this hour, she talks with host Charity Nebbe about the race, the condition that affects ultra cyclists called Shermer's Neck, and how she trained for the 3,000 mile journey. 

Cooper says she won't be doing Race Across America again, but that she will continue to compete in ultra cycling events. 

"I had a friend ask me, 'Why do you torture yourself so?'," Cooper says. "But that quest to take a few seconds off a time trial, it got old. To continue to have goals and continue to progress as an athlete, it became more about pushing myself and seeing what I can do. How do you finish something that hard? How do you keep yourself going? I really didn’t know if I would be able to finish race across America, and I wanted to see if I could do it."