September 18, 2008

Boston Marathon

I'm competing for my club, Grosvenor Rowing Club, in the Boston Marathon on Sunday next. No, not the running race in Massachusetts. It's a 31mile (49.2km) rowing race from Lincoln along the River Witham to Boston on the east coast of England. There are 215 crews entered altogether and the first crew will depart Lincoln at 9am. They start at 1 minute intervals.

I'll be steering my crew, a quadruple scull from bow, with my foot as I'll need both my hands for sculling, and we set off at 10.40. We're hoping to set a new course record for Veteran E quads (over 55 average age) and are aiming to cover the course in about 3 hours and 45 minutes. A lot depends upon conditions, particularly wind.

Training had been going well until the day after I went away for a week's holiday when a scratch crew went out in the boat we'd been using and crashed into a coxless four from Royal Chester Rowing Club. The bowman, who was steering was so hurt that he couldn't row or even sit in the boat and an ambulance had to be called. He was whisked off to hospital. Fortunately it turned out to be soft tissue damage only and he is all right now.

The boat, however, was a different matter and had to be taken to a boat hospital for repairs so we lost quite a bit of training time. We just got the boat back on Saturday and have settled back into the groove again so we're raring to go.

If you want to give us a cheer, we're crew 101. ETA Boston is 14.25, which will put us about half an hour inside the record time for our age and boat class.

Posted by Stephen Walker at September 18, 2008 12:07 PM