BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — Early Sunday morning, a group of dedicated women completed a 24-hour training exercise to prepare them for their Race Across America.

Kilee Harmon is the Executive Director for Gaia Home, who is leading the team in the race and fundraiser. The nonprofit’s new center plans to become a six-town home hospice care facility in Bismarck.

Gaia Home just launched the leadership phase of its $12M capital campaign. The hope is to have all of the funds raised by the end of 2023, so Gaia Home is operational in 2024-2025. The Love, Sweat & Gears team is helping Gaia Home in this effort by raising awareness and funds for the nonprofit, but the group anticipates it will take 2 years to raise the necessary funding.

Gaia Home says what’s special about its hospice care facility is that it makes family front and center in the hospice process.

“Our home’s caregiving staff will be there 24/7 in order to take the caregiver role off the family. So families can just be families for that final season of life,” said Harmon.

The race begins on June 18 in Oceanside, California, and ends in Annapolis Maryland. It takes about a week to finish.

Love, Sweat and Gears is the nonprofit that helps teams raise money for their individual causes and trains them for the big race. Julie Lyons is a coach and the founder of Love, Sweat and Gears and she says our local team of women is strong, resilient and ready for the big race ahead.

“They have to go through 13 states, all the climate changes, all the terrain changes. There’s 170,000 feet total climbing in the race, which is huge,” said Lyons, “It’s 3 times as far as the Tour de France and they do it in a third of the time.”

During the race across the country, the North Dakota women will be taking a leapfrog approach working 4 to 6 hour shifts and taking rotations.

To learn more about Gaia Home and donating to the cause, click here.