SCT coaches conquer the Boston Marathon

On Sunday (21st September), five Stewards Charitable Trust coaches took on the gruelling Boston Rowing Marathon to raise money for the British Heart Foundation. Crewmember Aaron Sims reports on the scratch crew’s efforts…

‘Having raced the Boston Rowing Marathon before, I feel I may owe my crew of fellow SCT coaches an apology. I delivered an excitable pitch for us to race, knowing full well how hard it actually is. I had expected the notion of rowing 50km in a scratch mixed four to be met with resistance. Evidently, this wasn’t the case!

‘The crew, comprised of Cat Maude, Rachael Crockford, James Searle, myself and cox Sarah Cunnold in a London/St Neots/Boston/UWE/Leicester composite, were kindly provided with a boat from Lincoln RC and blades from Boston RC. Our aim was to raise £500 for the British Heart Foundation and, given we had never rowed together, our target time for completion was 4 hours, 30 minutes. With five rowing coaches in one boat, how could it possibly go wrong?

‘Before racing began, we agreed on the mantra ‘start as we mean to go on’, which was promptly abandoned after a slapstick near-capsize on our first stroke. We came together quite quickly though and the first 13km to the lock flew by with a bit of chatter, some technical calls and the occasional push when we got close to crews in front. It was relatively relaxed and the ideal way to settle into the race.

‘The other side of the lock saw a different crew emerge. Realising we were inside record time, we pushed on to try and leave our mark on the event. This lasted for quite some time and we edged closer and closer to the record.

Unfortunately, as we progressed, we experienced an increasing resistance from weed attaching itself to the fin. When we finally tired from repeatedly deadlifting a forest, we stopped and dislodged it but continued to acquire more. The last 7km saw us at a near standstill!

By the time we made it to the end, most of our backs had given up and we needed quite a bit of help getting onto dry land. We were so happy to have made it, and in a time of 4 hours 28 minutes, we were outside the record but just inside our original target.

‘Looking back, it was a challenging but memorable experience with everyone showing just how tough they were. The support from the hosts Lincoln and Boston as well as from the clubs we coach was tremendous, which spurred us on!

‘We all want to say a big thank you to everyone who sponsored us. You have helped us to raise almost £700. Worth every blister, sore back and tired pair of legs.’

To donate to the cause, visit