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Home » Blog » Indoor rowing world record fuelled by ELOAD

Indoor rowing world record fuelled by ELOAD

When it comes to lactic acid, few activities compete with rowing. On March 30 in Vancouver, fuelled by ELOAD, a team of 8 broke the world indoor 100km rowing record as part of fundraising to offset the costs required to train for and compete at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.

The team clocked in at 4hrs 30mins 7.2 secs – that’s an average speed of over 22km/h

“We’ve never attempted a 100 km team row, so we’re not sure how bad it is going to feel,” Mike Lewis said before the race. “We imagine that it is going to be pretty easy at the beginning and incredibly tough through the middle to end.”

Before the race, Lewis said each person will sprint about 15 seconds and then take a two-minute break.

“There is lots of rest, but the kicker comes in when you’re four hours in and still doing sprints,” said Lewis. “We’re trying not to impact our normal training too much so we’ve only practiced a few times over much shorter distances, but so far it’s going well.”

Video streaming by Ustream

The group of Canadian lightweight male rowers were attempting to break the old published record for a 100 km relay of 4:39:01.0, set in 2007 by a British crew, on a Concept 2 rowing machine.

“We took 14,044 strokes,” said  Tim Myers of Penticton, B.C. “We are happy to have beaten the record by almost 10 minutes. Hopefully, nobody will break our new world record anytime soon because it will be a while before any of us want to attempt that again!”

Normally, Lewis and other Olympic-level rowers race at a distance of two kilometres, which he said takes about six minutes to row.

“We do the Olympic race without breaks though, so it’s a lot different than our world record attempt, which is going to take around four and half hours to complete,” Lewis said. “It is important to offset costs to help reduce our competitive disadvantage, as well as reduce our financial stress and the financial stress on the people that support us.”

“For example our coach would like us to do an altitude camp just before the World Championships this summer, and many of the top rowing nations do altitude training,” Lewis said. “But we’ve been told we do not have the money. If we raise enough maybe we can make that altitude camp happen. Amateur athletics is not lucrative and nor do we expect it to be. It would be nice to focus a little bit more on doing things that are good for our training and less on affordability, and we are hoping that the money raised will help us do that.

Qualifying for the Olympics at this year’s World Championship event in Bled, Slovenia, at the end of August, and Lewis said his team must finish in the Top 11 in the world to qualify.

“It was a great accomplishment for the team and our dedication to working together,” said Rares Crisan of Mississagua, Ont., a 2010 World bronze medalist in the lightweight men’s pair (his rowing partner was fellow participant Matt Jensen of Innerkip, ON). “There was a good crowd of supporters cheering us on (at the Bentall Centre Athletic Club in Vancouver), which really made the experience all the better.”

The rowers, including 2008 Olympic bronze medalist Lewis of Victoria, are all part of the National Team training centre. Also taking part was Morgan Jarvis of Winnipeg, McKall of Edmonton, John Sasi of North Delta, B.C., and Simon Gowdy of Westmount, Que. The lightweights organized the event to raise awareness of their journey to the World and Olympic podium and raise money.

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