Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships 2020

In January of this year I decided to buy a Concept 2 Model D. For those of you that don’t know, a Concept 2 Model D is a rowing machine, and when I was doing my undergraduate degree at university I used to row.

Taken this summer in my garden – my Concept 2 Model D

So for the majority of the year I have been trying to row. I started off well and I managed to row a total of almost 250,000m but then the enormity of lockdown hit me and I tailed off during May, June, and July.

However, I got back into the groove and discovered the Concept 2 have challenges.

From the 1st-28th August I took part in the Dog Days of Summer challenge. Which was to row the following (which makes 100,000m):

  • Week 1, Aug. 1–7: 10,000 meters
  • Week 2, Aug. 8–14: 20,000 meters
  • Week 3, Aug. 15–21: 30,000 meters
  • Week 4, Aug. 22–28: 40,000 meters

After that challenge I got involved in the Fall Team challenge, which ran from the 15th September to the 15th October. I rowed a total of 302,601m, which was almost 10km a day!

My partner and her son also joined in on the challenge, completing 30k and 50k respectively.

After that it was the time to take part in the Skeleton Crew challenge:

• Row, ski or ride at least 31,000 meters between October 25 and October 31.

So this leads me up to the Scottish Indoor Rowing Championships 2020. It has been a long time since I have rowed competitively (and I have always competed on-water), and I had no allusions into how I would perform in it, but having not had much excitement over the year I decided that I would enter the 500m, and see what would happen.

Yesterday, Saturday 21st November, was race day. Due to my age and weight I was put in the LM40 500m category (which means light mens – less than 75kgs, over 40’s). There were a few other races taking place at the same time. The M30, LM30, and the M40.

The race was never going to last long. In rowing 2000m is a sprint, a 500m is a bat-out-of-hell dash to the finish and it was that. I had hoped that I would get a personal best, in training I had struggled to get a time faster that 1:46 so if I beat that then I would be happy. To get a podium finish I would have to be below 1:40 (and that seemed unlikely).

My race was in the afternoon, and with my Concept 2 connected to my laptop I was ready to go. I went for it. I push hard and stroked fast. I averaged around 46spm and I pulled a fantastic 1.39.6!!! A sub 1:40; but a podium place was not to be. Although I knocked over 6 seconds of my personal best I would have needed to knock another 10 seconds of my time if I had wanted to get the win.

But I am not bitter about that. I took part, I had fun and I beat myself, which for me is what it is about. There will be other events coming up (for instance the British Indoor Rowing Championship in December – which I have signed up for the 500m and the 2000m).

If you are interested you can watch my race here.