J. Michael PhillipsRacer
Michael’s launch into cycling began with a doctor telling him that he needed to change his lifestyle. Diagnosed with Rheumatoid arthritis Michael took the doctor’s advice and changed the way he was living. Proper diet and exercise have turned his life around and made a huge difference in his health and wellbeing.
Michael bought his first bicycle in 2013 and was quickly hooked. Within months he was doing century rides and multi-day century rides. Prevail Racing was started by Michael to highlight his journey and hopefully encourage others that it is never too late to help yourself.
Michael has been competing in Ultra-distance events since 2017. His plans include, among other things, is to compete RAW (Race Across the West) 2021 and in RAAM (Race Across America) 2022.
Michael also uses his cycling to raise support and awareness for various charities. In 2020 Michael raised support for Living Water Community Clinic, which offers free medical care for the uninsured in his community, by riding 92 hours straight and close to 700 miles on a stationary bike in the Virtual Race Across the West. He also competed in another Virtual 24 hour race riding 300 miles to raise support for World Servants. Michael loves to serve. He has served and worked with his local church as a youth leader and for short-term mission organizations to use his skill as a carpenter/builder to bring hope and to share his faith in God with others.
Michael owns Turning Point Construction, LLC, a residential remodeling and home building business in Virginia.
Larry CooneyCrew / Crew Chief
Larry was born and raised in Arkansas, served 21 years in the US Air Force, and retired along with his wife Susan to Lake of the Woods, Virginia. It was here through a business/client relationship that Larry met Mike and subsequently volunteered to crew for him at the Mid-Atlantic 24 hour race in August of 2018.
This was Larry’s first experience with Ultra cycling so he had lots to learn. Every race is different, even when competing in the same race each year. At every race there are new challenges to contend with in terms of logistics, weather and keeping your rider on the bike. Larry has crewed for Mike at Mid-Atlantic 24 hours, Sebring 24 hour and at Natchez Trace 444.
Being a member of the crew can be mind-numbing at times and in the flip of a switch turn into an action/adventure role when you are called upon to meet an unexpected need of the rider. At the end of the race the crew members are rewarded with a since of satisfaction knowing they were an important part of the team’s success.
His favorite race was Sebring 2020. He had the opportunity to support Mike in the 24 hour as well as Adam Ashwill in the 12 hour race while both were on the course at the same time. It was an exhilarating and fast paced effort to say the least. Both racers set personal bests and it was a pleasure helping them achieve their goals.