Kirkland team trains to break world record in Race Across America competition

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KIRKLAND — For the first time, two competitive cyclists are teaming up for a 3000 mile trek to raise money for the families of fallen law enforcement officers. Kirkland’s John Bergen and Kenmore’s Derek Hill are in training for the Race Across America on June 17th. The pair who call their team “Race Against The Machine will have 9 days to cross 12 states, ascending 170,000 vertical feet.

John Bergen and Det. Derek Hill training for Race Across America

The two accomplished athletes are aiming to beat the record of just over 6 days.  “Derek and I have put in hours and hours, miles and miles of training. We have 10 years of racing together as a backdrop for a good base,” said Bergen.

He won the solo race last year and has competed in more than 100 endurance races since 2001.  Between the two of them, they have completed 29 IronMan competitions.

Race Against The Machine team member John Bergen

Hill who works as a Kirkland PD Detective has completed 70 races since 2005 including 9 IronMan distance triathlons.  “We definitely feel like we have the ability to do it but sometimes having the ability is not all that it takes. You need some good luck along the way," said Hill.

They are holding a meet and greet Wednesday at 7:30 pm at ‘Recycled Cycles” at 1007 NE Boat St in Seattle to raise money for the non-profit Behind the Badge Foundation that helps the families of officers killed in the line of duty.

Race Against The Machine team member Det. Derek Hill

“It’s devastating. To be able to support an organization that comes in right after a tragic event happens and is able to not just hand money to somebody and say, 'Here, this will make everything okay.' They provide everything,” said Hill.  Click here for more information and to donate to support their ride: