Urbandale Woman is First Iowa Woman to Finish the Race Across America

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URBANDALE, Iowa-- An Urbandale woman was the first woman to cross the finish of line of the 2017 Race Across America

Sarah Cooper is the first Iowa woman to finish the race.

The race is billed as the toughest race on earth and is longer than the Tour de France.

Cooper started the race in Oceanside, Calif. on June 13. She reached Annapolis, Md. Sunday and won the women's division with a time of 11 days, 18 hours and 56 minutes.

Cooper's husband and four children greeted her at the finish line.

She was in good spirits at the end of the race even though she battled neck pain, edema and a lung infection during the race.

Steve Fuller, a member of her support crew, said the team's morale kept her motivated throughout the journey.

“It’s a serious race and it’s a huge accomplishment that we managed to have a good balance of work and fun along the entire route,” Fuller said.

Fuller added, Cooper averaged two hours of sleep per day, at times in just 20-minute intervals.

Cooper was exhausted when Channel 13 reached out to her on Sunday but we plan to catch up with her soon.