“She took the sport seriously, trained and prepared professionally, and raced with the intensity deserving our great race.”
Incredible, simply incredible. That’s the only way to describe what Seana Hogan has accomplished in ultra racing. She’s won RAAM a jaw dropping six times! (1992, ’93, ’94, ’95, ’97, ’98) She holds the women’s transcontinental record, the overall San Francisco to LA record, the overall Seattle to San Diego record as well as the Trans-California (N-S) record. Seana was the overall winner of the Furnace Creek 508 in ’95. She’s no stranger to the track either. She also holds the 12 hour, 24 hour, 100 mile and 200 mile records there.
Seana’s RAAM game plan is virtually patented, she goes out hard and fast. Early on, she’s always in the front “pack”. Many times she’s had the overall lead going into the mountains. “I think I can beat a lot of the men, not all. I’ve proven that. Ask the guys what it will take to beat me, not many have.”
Success in ultras came early in her riding career. She rode her first double in ’91 and won RAAM the following year. “After my first double, I rode the LA Wheelmen’s Quadruple Century. I was riding with a friend who was training for RAAM. I had planned to stop after 300 miles, but couldn’t see sitting in a van for him to finish, so I rode the remaining 100 miles. That wasn’t difficult for me, so I discovered my natural talent.”
“Seana Hogan has been one of the most significant competitors in the Race Across America.”
Seana’s toughness is legendary. “I was very proud of myself for winning the women’s division of the 508 in ’91.” She won that race only eight weeks after getting out of a wheelchair. She had been confined to that chair because she was recovering from a training crash that broke 11 bones. “I worked hard for that win and I got it”. Seana also started the 580 mile ’95 Tour of North Texas with several broken ribs that she sustained after being hit by a car while training.
Seana also took the sport very seriously: “Seana Hogan has been one of the most significant competitors in the Race Across America, as well as one of the most thoughtful and supportive participants in the world of ultra-marathon cycling. Her dedication to the sport was always on the highest of professional planes. She took the sport seriously, trained and prepared professionally, and raced with the intensity deserving our great race. Anyone who ever rode with Seana could not help but think “wow, this must be a very serious and professional sport.” To that end Seana was exemplary.” — Michael Shermer, co-founder of RAAM and the WUCA, five time RAAM competitor and RAAM Executive Director of RAAM for seven years during the height of Seana”s career.
Shermer continues: “Three races stand out as especially memorable. In 1994 Seana broke the transcontinental record previously held by Susan Notorangelo, long thought to be almost impregnable given Susan’s formidable reputation as an ultra-marathon cycling machine. Seana was steadfast in her determination to make it and she kept her head down and gutted it out the last days of the race.”
“The year of Seana and Muffy (1995), when Muffy Ritz really challenged Seana all the way to the final hours of the race, so close after thousands of miles, and both competitors remarkably professional, serious, and determined. Shortly after Seana won the race, Muffy came across the finish line, where she promptly did ten push-ups.” Both Seana and Muffy broke the transcontinental record that Seana had set the year before!
- Hogan’s palmares
- 1991 Furnace Creek 508 1st 36h 21m 7s
- 1992 RAAM 1st 11d 15d 7m
- 1993 RAAM 1st 9d 15h 30m (3rd overall)
- 1993 24 Hour Track 427.86 mi
- 1993 12 Hour Track 235.50 mi
- 1993 200 mile Track 9h 54m 46s
- 1993 100 mi Track 4h 43m 55s
- 1994 RAAM 1st 9d 8h 54m
- 1995 RAAM 1st 9d 4h 17m (13.22 mph, transcontinental record)
- 1995 California N-S overall record 9d 20h 7m, current record
- 1995 Seattle-San Diego overall record 62h 19m
- 1995 Furnace Creek 508 1st 28h 46m 34s Women’s Record
- 1996 San Francisco-Los Angeles overall record 19h 11m
- 1996 Furnace Creek 508 1st 31h 24m 53s
- 1997 RAAM 1st 10d 1h 35m
- 1997 Furnace Creek 508 1st 30h 3m 30s
- 1998 RAAM 1st 11d 7h 1m
- 2002 Furnace Creek 508 1st 35h 6m 03s
“Third, in 1995 Seana led the entire race all the way through Colorado before Danny Chew finally caught her on the biggest and longest grade of the race. After over a thousand miles of leading the race, and at over 10,000 feet elevation on a leg-breaking grade, Seana was really suffering, barely grinding up the hill, barely turning over the pedals, but determined not to let Danny catch her. For his part, Chew couldn’t believe a woman could lead the race, let alone beat him up a big climb, so he was really pounding out the miles. He finally caught Seana before the top, but Seana’s performance of leading all of the men through the hardest part of the RAAM course was really a remarkable feat.”
“Seana’s performance of leading all of the men through the hardest part of the RAAM course was really a remarkable feat.”
Chew recalls that for four consecutive years (’94 – ’97) he had to chase Seana all the way to Colorado, before he could finally catch her!
Muffy Ritz: “When I rode to the starting line of RAAM in 1993, I had no idea that was to be the beginning of a five year battle against a woman who was both mentally and physically the strongest cyclist I’d ever known. Seana was the reason that I fought so hard to reach the finish line in RAAM every year. She was always on my mind – always out there making me push my pedals a little harder than I wanted to – always making me suffer more than I wanted to – always making me come back to the starting line.”
Shermer recalls: “Seana was almost always pleasant during the race, and sometimes even really funny (both humorous and goofy). Her description of her stomach woes one evening, as ‘projectile vomiting’ was most colorful and memorable, especially since I was eating a Dairy Queen Blizzard at the time.”
Currently Seana balances riding with her home and work life. She lives in the foothills of the Sierra in Valley Springs, CA with her husband, Pat Enright and their two children, Alex (14) and Austin (almost 4). She has been a software engineer with IBM for over15 years, where she does development work. Seana has her BA in mathematics from San Jose State University and her MA in mathematics from the University of California, Berkeley.
“I like being alone. I rarely have ‘alone-time’, and riding long gives me the time that I need. I can listen to music and think about my family and work. I solve lot of problems on long rides. On short rides, I just think about going fast. For me, training is a personal thing. I do not follow a particular plan, although it’s good to lay out an outline of what you want to do ideally. Then, alter it according to how you feel and balance it with the other events in your life. To be successful, I need to be flexible.”
“I plan to ride the FC 508 again. I love the desert. I don’t know why. I guess it’s the vastness. The 508 is well organized and has always been fun for me.”
“I like RAAM for its challenge.” For RAAM training, she bumped her weekly mileage up to between 400 and 1400. “When I train, I just eat, drink and don’t stop. I don’t draft others because you can’t draft during the race. I’ve incorporated a CompuTrainer into my program and have noticed a marked improvement in power output vs. heart rate.”
“During RAAM, the finish line motivates me. If I lose track of it, my crew keeps me focused. It’s not easy to stay focused in the middle of the race though, like when there’s still 1,000 miles to the finish. I just tell myself, ‘going is faster than stopping’.”
Muffy Ritz: “Seana is truly an amazing person. She has singe-handedly dominated the sport of ultra-cycling in not only the women’s division, but also surprised the men by nearly beating them as well.”
“Seana Hogan definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame, not only for her cycling abilities, but for her courage and character.”