New world record for 100K indoor row

The competing teams

On the 7th February 2010 Hywel Davies broke the world record for the 100K indoor row.  He raced against three teams from Rugby Triathlon Club, and Paul Clarke from one of these teams providing us with this report.

“Three teams started, including Hywel who was going for the record. Each team had to have their own strategy, especially as we had thrown  200k on a bike into the mix too. Our race plan was to hold 2.00m/500m which would see us finish within the record time. Double the pace for double the distance on the bike and we would finish at the same time.  Simple –  in theory.

We planned to rotate every 20mins (20mins on the erg/20min rest/20min bike/20min rest and so on). I set us off and finished my 20min interval on the erg holding a 1.53/500m pace, happy but knowing it would be difficult to sustain for another six hours. After we had all done 20mins on, we quickly changed to 10mins on 10mins after realising we wouldn’t be able to sustain the pace.

We went fairly steadily for the first 50k and were on target. My legs were holding out but my knee was playing up so I had a rest from the erg and had an extra go on the bike. The other boys were holding up well too. By this time Hywel had to take a break, which for him was a big mistake. He seized up and found it tough to sustain the pace once he jumped back on the erg. He blew and was on the verge of being delirious and giving up. We kept going over to see how he was doing and he was either insulting us or speaking to us in a new language. Despite this, he kept going though.

After my rest, I jumped back on the erg, which was fast becoming the most hated bit of equipment ever. At 75k we dropped down to 5mins on 5mins off to maintain the pace and beat at least one of the other teams. One of our guys blew and we left him on the bike whilst the remaining three of us rotated on the erg. It was miserable, but we were still ahead of the pace and catching Hywel.  With about 10k to go, the finish line was in sight and we cut it down to 1k intervals and gave it everything. Everyone in the room was hurting and lots of support had turned up from the club. We finished within the record and only 250m behind Hywel and ahead of one the other row-only teams. Every team averaged under 2.00/500, a brilliant achievement and I was even more chuffed to have done it with a 200k bike thrown in.”

Hywel Davies also provides his report of the day.

Congratulations to all who took part, and especially to Hywel Davies for not only breaking the 100K solo distance record, but for also raising £5000 for charity.