24 Hour Row: What were we thinking?

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I said to John today while we were cleaning up at 9:30am that sometimes having a completely naive approach to something is a good approach. He had asked me if I would do it all again, but I said I can’t because now I know what it feels like.

Those 24 hours were something else… you kind of had to be there to know what I mean.. although I’m sure that any of you that stopped by after about 9pm (the half way mark in the 24 hours) could sense what was about to happen for the next 12 hours.


The whole thing started out pretty happy with the odd “what are we doing?” sideways look from person to person. There were a total of 14 teams so roughly 70 athletes. People sat with their teammates while they rowed, people socialized, people ate their healthy snacks and talked about intentions of playing scrabble and other games (we never played boggle!!!). The time actually went reasonably quickly through the day. I remember being shocked that it was 3pm already. I think a lot of us were quite surprised that we could sustain a pace a little higher than we had anticipated going into the event. Others realized they needed to make some adjustments after the first few hours and increase the mobility and stretching work! How much to eat and what to eat wasn’t easy. Our stomachs told us a lot about what they did and didn’t like.

There was a bit of a race between a CrossFit BC team and our team with James, Jo, Soraya, JF and Kyle (from Vancouver) to be the first to reach 100 000 m. The CrossFit BC team took it by a margin and fueled our Squamish team to pick up the pace (announcing a prize for first to 100,000 at about 90 000 m was a fun game).

Then the thermarests and camping mattresses came out and I can honestly say I have never seen so much camping gear inside a large room. By later in the evening people were making honest attempts (mostly failed) at sleeping. The sound of 14 ergs continually spinning is remarkably loud. Never mind the movies and all of the people. Oh, and the AMAZING Quest student drumming band that showed up at around 9:30. I laughed SO hard at how startled the “sleepers” were when the band started (these people were all lying down and appeared to be sleeping 10 seconds before this photo):


The band (and the arrival of Mel’s fudge) dramatically elevated the energy of the room and was a critical step in keeping everyone going when most of us would be normally be getting ready for bed. I would say from my perspective that once the band ended at around 10:30pm there was a long phase of anticipating that total fatigue would soon set in. But I would also have to say that it didn’t get weird until around 1. Then it was just plain gross for the remaining 8 hours. Some people managed to sleep, others couldn’t, those that did had mixed reviews on its effectiveness. Most of us experienced waking up literally 1 minute before having to get on the erg at some point. That took top place for gross moments for me (I was lucky it was the one time I actually had my shoes on while trying to sleep).

Having been in the bubble I was not aware of the “odor” that was allegedly in the room, but I definitely could see the facial expressions of our visitors. Enough said.

The seat pads were a huge hit and it seems as though the battle wounds were kept to a minimum. The biggest complaints I heard of were tender (like really really tender) hands and tight hamstrings.


We watched Anchorman, Dumb and Dumber, Starsky and Hutch, Superbad, Wayne’s World 1 and Wayne’s World 2 on the big screen, and pulled through the night. The room looked like a refugee camp full of zombies. By early morning some of us actually started to feel ok (relatively) again as it hit our normal wake up times. The general pace picked up again and some of the final pulls were blistering given it was the 24th time on the erg for those of us that did 12 min shifts every hour.

At 8:50 am everyone stood around the 14 ergs to cheer on their teammates in true CrossFit style, and at 9am sharp the whir of the flywheels stopped. Not a single person tried to squeeze an extra meter out of it.

The medals were handed out to JF, James, Soraya, Jo and Kyle for their 346 thousand metre pull!

And by 9:20am the room was vacant. I have never seen that much stuff get cleaned up so fast.


-Quest University for again allowing us to use their amazing campus for an event
-The Right to Play Club for helping us organize the event
-Cliff for donating to the silent auction and being our meat supplier at 3am!
-Kale for his video work
-Other sponsors of the silent auction:
Nester’s Market
Valhalla Pure
Elevate Me Bars
Ascenta Fish Oils
Christine A for donating pottery
Urban Alpine… our favourite Chuck Taylor supplier!
Health Food Heaven
-People who donated to get out of having to row
-And everyone who came up and cheered us on at strange hours and brought us treats!

We are still waiting to hear what the grand total raised for Right to Play is… if anyone is wanting to make a last minute donation, please follow the link in our previous blog entry to Quest’s Club’s page.

If you missed out on this row and regret it despite my description of events… sorry, you are out of luck. We aren’t doing it again next year (said with 98% certainty).



Send us your team photos and any others you have that are good!

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