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By THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIAN
A team of four Bakersfield cyclists covered an 857.6-mile endurance race from California to Colorado in less than two days to win the mixed division title of the Race Across the West.
Tony Castiglone, Mark Farias, Patrick Mason and Lori O'Lin, representing the Jeremy Staat Foundation, covered the course, from Oceanside to Durango, Colo., in 47 hours, 23 minutes, with at least one cyclist riding at all times.
They finished ahead of the six other Mixed Division teams on Thursday morning, in a record time for the event. The race started June 11 and coursed from California through Arizona and Utah before ending in Durango.
Fundraising for the venture started in October, according to Matt Manville, director of operations for the Jeremy Staat Foundation, and the team's purpose was to raise awareness for veteran suicide and childhood obesity.
"We weren't even sure two or three weeks before (the race) if it was going to happen," Manville said. "Our biggest expectation was just to finish the race, but we got out front in a blistering pace and just annhilated the field."
The locals took turns riding in 15-minute intervals and were aided by two support vehicles. Manville said the team received "invaluable" coaching from Action Sports owner Kerry Ryan, a past winner in the coast-to-coast Race Across America cycling endurance race.
Castiglone owns a safety consultant business called Lifesaver, O'Lin is a chemicle engineer for Chevron who also recently competed in the bomb-marred Boston Marathon, Mason works for a local farm and Farias works at Action Sports.
A reception for the team is planned for 7 p.m. Thursday at Lengthwise Pub, 2900 Calloway Dr., Suite 100.