The fantastic folk at Stratford upon Avon Boat Club managed 1,327,644 metres with four teams of eight rowers going right through the twenty four hours and a couple of Junior teams for a few hours on the Saturday. That’s just under 825 miles or 31.5 marathons!
Organised by Dr Ben Twiney and Gaby Walker who both did their three hour stints as well and through the night. Their reward was to sneak off at Saturday lunchtime to Twickenham to watch the rugby. Massive thanks to them for doing all this on top of their day jobs. We hope that they feel a great sense of pride and satisfaction of a job really well done!
There were some magnificent Club teamsters who volunteered to row straight through the small hours of the night: James Reeder, Jen Carey, Tom Doherty and Tom Coles who all did straight two or three hours at very unsociable hours in the dark as the fog was descending. Also there were some helpers that stayed on to supervise, especial note here for Trevor Tiller who managed to help out for all but a few of the twenty four hours and also supplied some very tasty cakes.
The weather was really good with an absence of rain throughout which meant we could keep the ergos set-up outside the clubhouse: the temperature was perfect once the rowers got erging although it did get somewhat chilly at 4am especially as the fog descended around 2am and stayed until around 7am.
The Senior Men’s crew were mostly keeping sub-two minute splits for hours and rowed considerably more distance than any of the other crews.
There were a number of people who managed to do personal marathons (42,195 metres) in their three hours which requires split time of less than 2 minutes 7.9 seconds. Tom Doherty had the unique distinction of doing his marathon over a single three hour sitting with one minute and twenty seconds to spare. This almost defies belief!
The Google Doc booking system threw up some anomalies with spaces where there should have been people so a number of folk volunteered to row to fill the gaps. Thanks to Ruth Winter and Will Macleod who stepped in to ensure we kept the four teams rowing for the full twenty four hours. Their reward was to set off rather late for Twickenham! Stephen Haighton also stepped in to cover gaps meant he ended up rowing for five hours and twenty minutes in total and covered 72,617 metres which is just over 45 miles or 1.72 marathons: everyone has their personal stories and achievements!
Although there were no Junior crews rowing for the twenty four hours, a good number rowed during the day on Saturday including their coaches and some parents. This helped boost our overall distance and hopefully we have recruited some willing volunteers for the next Ergothon. A number of the Juniors and their incredibly helpful parents also went onto the Tramway Bridge to rattle collection buckets and such was the interest of the public in what we were doing (they could hardly ignore the great music supplied by Lucy Weston!) that these impromptu fund raising activities netted over £300!!! Literally thousands went past voicing their support and we certainly got ourselves noticed.
Christine Goodwin, as a warm up for the ergothon, did a10k time trial in 41 minutes and 16.4 seconds which gives her a world ranking of three in her age category and was a PB from her last year’s PB of 41 minutes 18.0 seconds. Christine is now training for a 5k time trial in four weeks before the build up to The Indoor Championship.
A number of club members came down to show their support throughout the Saturday and this was very much appreciated by the rowers.
The general view of all those taking part was that it was brilliant fun, very challenging but very enjoyable. We are now collating sponsorship results and hope this has really pushed our Pavilion Fund skywards.
Big thanks to all who took part – organisers, rowers, helpers and supporters. It was a great new thing for our Club to do and although many don’t want to see another ergo for some time, we feel sure we will be doing that again sometime in the future.
For more pictures, see https://www.flickr.com/photos/125143270@N03/albums and https://www.flickr.com/photos/135872444@N08/. For press coverage, see Stratford Herald p4 (In Brief) and Stratford Observer p30.