James Cracknell’s ‘Race Across America’ to air tonight

Discovery Channel documentary chronicles the Olympian's ill-fated record attempt

James Cracknell on Route 66

A documentary about the race that almost claimed the life of Olympic rowing gold medallist James Cracknell is to be broadcast tonight at 9pm on Discovery Channel UK.


Race Across America With James Cracknell sees the extreme endurance athlete attempt to set a world record by racing from Los Angeles to New York City in just 16 days.

Running, cycling and swimming his way to the Big Apple, he’d already run 80 miles across the inhospitable Death Valley and cycled along Route 66 when a horrific accident cut short his race, and almost his life. He was riding along a freeway near Arizona when he was hit by the wing mirror of a petrol tanker, leaving him with a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain.

The documentary chronicles his journey before the accident and his subsequent fight for life and fight back to health, and marks the second instalment in the James Cracknell Trology. Last week’s edition saw him attempt the gruelling 161-mile six day Marathon des Sables – known as the ‘Toughest Race On Earth’ – in the Moroccan desert.


The final installment airs Thursday 7 April and sees Cracknell take on the Yukon Arctic Ultra – cycling 430 miles in -50 degrees Celsius across the Canadian wilderness. Check out the trailer to Thursday’s show below.

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