A-Team Athlete-Jessica Palmer

Born in Bristol in 1978, I am sports science degree educated and I have worked in the health and fitness sector for last the 10 years

In June 2015 I will be on the start line of a race which has been on my ‘bucket list’ since I first started competing on a bike…..namely the iconic Race Across America – 12 states, 3300 miles as part of a relay team of very good athletes.

I have been an endurance athlete since 2009, competing in duathlon, triathlon and more specifically Ironman triathlons across Europe - my next Ironman (Sept 2015) will be my 11th long distance race.

My racing highlights have to date have been to have qualified for the Ironman 70.3 World Champs in 2010 and then last year I finished the punishing Ocean Lava Middle Distance (Wales) with the fastest overall female bike split – as the only woman to go sub 3 hours for the 90k – not even the pro women managed sub 3 hours!

To be given the chance to race in such an iconic event 'RAAM' is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and an experience that I intend to grab with both hands. To be part of an amazing team with some incredible athletes is a dream come true…..to then add into the experience the chance to raise a significant amount of money for charity is a highly motivating element.

The final part of the equation, for me personally, in doing RAAM is the ability to bring the element of women’s cycling into the experience – the percentage of men vs women who take part is still far from balanced, but the raising of the profile of female competitors is vital to the growth of our sport. RAAM have already committed to highlighting the women that are competing in 2015 with a photo shoot prior to the race and high profile exposure through online media – something I am immensely motivated by.