The World Erg Challenge (WEC) ends Friday at midnight! The WEC is a one-month team-based challenge to row or ski as many meters as you can between March 15 and April 15. There are 242 teams from around the world participating with a total of 4839 individuals, averaging 87,464 meters per person for a grand total of 423,239,969 meters erged—and we still have a few days to go!
Among the participants are some individuals who have been rowing remarkable numbers of meters for their teams. So how do they do it?
I’ll start with our own in-house hardcore rower Don Zukswert. The amazing thing is that he also manages to keep up with his day job, which is serving as half of our IT team here at Concept2. Don started the challenge with a goal of 750,000 meters, which would mean rowing about 25K per day. Partway through the month, he went on a weekend trip and took an erg along with him so he could row while watching TV in his hotel room. He had a couple 60K days on that trip and started thinking that he might be able to reach a million before April 15. He upped his daily total to 40K–20K in the morning and 20K in the evening. He’s currently over 910K and on target to make the million if all goes as planned. Don’s secret is movies—mostly action adventures and mysteries. A good movie gets him through 20K. He also likes three layers of bubble wrap for a seat pad and has been using some light cotton gloves more recently.
Sixty-nine-year-old Judy Abbott, a rower at Fitness Point in Munster, Indiana, has rowed over two million meters during the challenge!
We are sometimes asked if people who row this many meters are “real.” Sure enough. Judy writes, “I’m sorry it took me a week to answer you, but I haven’t looked at my email since the challenge started, because I am at Fitness Pointe nearly 10 hours a day, go home, ice, eat, sleep and head back to row some more. We have a great group of rowers at Fitness Pointe who all cheer me on (while laughing at the pile of snacks under my indoor rower), but I row every single meter myself.”
So, it’s all possible, and comes down to a combination of determination and available time. Camaraderie and team spirit help a lot, too!