As promised, here is an update on progress on that charity row.
About 10 days ago my little rowing team met with a member of the team from the Ahoy charity to fire questions at him; including “how do you train to row?”
The race has been run for a few a years now so the charity was able to let us know some of the details from previous races. I took this as the prime time to ask what the record time was, rather awkwardly they thought I meant quickest. I can confirm the slowest time is 1 hour 39 minutes – this is the time we’re aiming to beat if we come last on the day. Expectations remain high!
Another concern comes with training. The charity provides us with a three-hour training session out of their hub – I’m reliably told some of this contains a health and safety briefing so we’re not rowing for the full 3 hours. More worryingly – we are rowing in loops. For those that know about a river they have a top to bottom mentality, so there will be times during the training where the river is working against us. We’re yet to set our date for training, but we need to have raised half our £2k total before they’ll let us on the water – so this is request 1 for some donations!
Personal training remains a challenge – running is just too boring. After a few minutes of jogging, I’m bored. For this reason, I’ve decided to do short quick runs, which is making sure the heart is beating quickly, but probably not the ideal preparation when stamina is key for an hour-ish race. I was told by the charity that fitness isn’t everything, but flexibility really helps so to do yoga – music to my ears! I’ve done a few more core intensive yoga workouts to make sure those abs will be able to get me down the Thames. Training, however, remains low on the priority list – I think the Uni mentality still lives on, it isn’t happening tomorrow so I don’t really need to worry.
Friday night involved a few drinks by the Thames – it was at this point the sheer stupidity of the challenge hit me – have you seen the water? Not only is it a murky grey, there are party boats cruising up and down making waves – a much better way to see the sites of London from the Thames! I’m hopeful there are less party boats on a Tuesday evening so the dramatic waves aren’t quite so frequent. Then there is the motion aspect. The last time I took part in water sports was sea kayaking – this was shorter than expected as I fed the fish and had a speedboat take me back to the comfort of dry land. Here’s hoping I keep dinner down during this row!
The highlight from catching up with the Ahoy charity, other than seeing their passion for the work, was learning about the bar at the end of the race. If there is one thing that is going to carry this feeble body down the Thames it is the knowledge that the inevitable fluids that will be lost as we sweat down the river will be replaced!
I appreciate May is an expensive month, with two bank holidays, but any change left in the bank account would look great on our donation page – found here. The Ahoy centre are able to change the lives and prospects of young people through water sports, but can’t continue to grow their services without the kind generosity of people like you to dig deep into those exceptionally deep pockets (looking at you Dad!) and sponsor people foolish enough to take on such a challenge.