Endurance Cyclists Set World Record Powered by Raw Milk


Mark McAfee and Two of the Four Raw Milk Cats

The Raw Milk Cats Show Good Nutrition Makes a Difference

by Kimberly Hartke

A world class woman’s cycling team with an average age of 50 years old, has just completed a 6 day race across America. They set a Transamerica speed record with raw milk, as their fuel source.  The Race Across America (RAAM), began in San Diego and ended in Annapolis.

The Raw Milk Cats were sponsored by Organic Pastures Dairy Company and a number of other corporate sponsors.

The team captain is Dr. Kat Berge, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and VET. She is also a state certified epidemiologist and graduate of UC Davis. She worked on a project at OPDC seven years ago to study organic raw milk and calve raising antibiotic resistance, among others.  She is also a founding director of the “Raw Milk Institute” that is going to be formally opened and announced later this summer.


Raw Milk Fueled the Racers and Gave them Winning Edge

The race is a 24 hour, round the clock relay race. One cyclist would pound it out, while the others rested and refueled on chocolate raw milk. Their chase van was covered in GET RAW MILK and Raw Milk information. Their jerseys were decorated with raw milk messages.

The Raw Milk Cats, a 4 woman relay team set a world record in the world’s toughest endurance event. They finished the race in 6 days, 11 hours and 34 minutes, averaging 19,22 mph (31 km/h) (they did it in the time it takes to drive across country in an automobile).

Raw Milk Cats teammates are  four women, Isabelle Drake, Lori Cherry, Jeanine Spence and Catharina Berge, between 44 and 58 years of age, beat most male and mixed teams and set a new world record! They biked across the USA, from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean.

Says, Cat Berge about the experience, “Did we think we could set an overall US transcontinental cycling record at the start? No, even our age group record of 17.1 mph (27 km/h) seemed like a tough target. We biked day and night, at every minute of the race one of us four girls was hammering as hard as she could. Every time we took our pulls on the bike, we biked for our team mates, our crew, our supporters, and Organic Pastures.”

Organic Pastures, a dairy company which has fought for healthy natural food from healthy animals in natural environments, inspired Cat and her team to push faster and faster. Half way through the race, Cat’s husband Marc messaged her, ‘forget about the 50+ record, you are going for the overall record’!

Cat describes her effort, “When muscles were screaming and lungs were burning, I pushed on: one for all, all for one!”

In a letter she wrote after the race, Cat goes on to say, “Crossing the finish line, my crew chief plays the Swedish national anthem for me, and tears roll down my eyes, as I realize that I have given my team The Raw Milk Cats, my friends, my supporters and Organic Pastures a race of a lifetime and the message that ‘No goals are too high to aspire if they are in your heart’.”

Congratulations to the Raw Milk Cats! Hopefully, many other athletes will hear of your world record, and look more closely at raw milk to give them the nutritional edge.


At the Finish Line in Annapolis

Kimberly Hartke is the publicist for Weston A. Price Foundation, a nutrition education non-profit. The groups Campaign for Real Milk educates consumers about high quality raw dairy products that start with sound animal husbandry practices.


  1. Milliann Johnson says:

    Had raw milk for the 1st time recently in Rock Hill, SC from Carolyn’s Dairy it was awesome! Being 53 myself these ladies are very inspiring just overall, but because they are more mature some would say past their “peak” this accomplishment shows the power of the human spirit & good nutrition

  2. Go Raw Milk!!!

  3. Jamiboles says:

    Great story!!!

  4. Sonia Conti2911 says:


  5. Heckman says:

    I was very impressed.  I wanted to get to Annapolis in time to see / photograph the Raw Milk Cats cross the finish line. However I did see other teams that came in later which made me appreciate all the more what the Raw Milk Cats accomplished.

    I relayed the story to a group of agronomists while delivering a presentation entitled Grass to the Glass: Raw Milk and Informed Consumer Choice.
    Grass to the Glass: Raw Milk and Informed Consumer Choice. Joseph R. Heckman, Plant Biology & Pathology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
    Demand for fresh whole fat unprocessed milk, commonly referred to as raw milk, has increased markedly.  By some estimates about ten million people in USA consume milk raw.  Public health officials teach that pasteurization of milk is a major public health victory of the last century.  However, since the inception of pasteurization there have also been major advances in hygiene.  What puzzles officials is that the more they warn against drinking raw milk, the more people demand it.  Public health pronouncements relentlessly warn of the dangers of raw milk without a full analysis of what is actually in the scientific record.  As a soil scientist, I became embroiled in the milk controversy as a result of hosting a university seminar series concerning raw milk and informed consumer choice.  A careful review shows that pasteurization does not guarantee food safety; any food, including milk (raw or pasteurized) can be linked to food borne illness.  Two notable examples of pasteurized milk outbreaks documented in JAMA: In 1985, >168,000 people were sickened with Salmonella from pasteurized milk and in 2007; Listeria from pasteurized milk was linked to 3 deaths.  Government agencies universally opposed to raw milk fail to draw a distinction between risks associated with carefully produced legitimate food-quality raw milk intended for direct human consumption, and poor quality milk that cannot be safely consumed by people in raw form.  Currently about half of the states in USA allow raw milk sales and legislation for expansion is pending in several.  In Pennsylvania, farms with raw milk permits increased from about 25 to 150 over the last decade.  Raw milk consumers want quality and strongly prefer milk from grass-fed cows with minimal grain feeding.  Agronomists are needed to help raw milk dairies with pasture feeding and organic cultural practices. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks, Dr. Heckman for sharing your perspective. The more prominent
      scientists and professionals come out in favor of our right to choose
      food from producers of our choice, the sooner we will advance the cause
      of a sustainable, local food supply.

      Our rural economy could flourish if the legal barriers were removed.

  6. This is fabulous!

  7. This is Fabulous!

  8. This is beautiful and inspiring! Girl Power AND Raw Milk Power! 🙂

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