Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

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Iain
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Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

Post by Iain »

With the start of the new rowing year, I have been contemplating the next challenge for this middle aged plodder. Something I have thought about for some time keeps popping up... 1,000,000m Tandem. The disadvantage of this is that I have to find someone else with a similar screw loose to do this with me. So I am seeing if there is anyone reading this post that is interested. Happy to travel or host.

Back in 2010 I did the 24hr Tandem with Plummy and found it significantly easier than the 100k I did the following year. I think the reason that anything over about 50km is tough is that it is not possible to take in a significant proportion of the energy required for these in sugars during continuous rows. This is not the case in a tandem as you have twice the time to absorb food for the same amount of rowing. So I averaged 2:16.x for the Tandem, but only 2:3x for the first 100km of the 111 (I always intended to take it easier following that). The downside is that the rules require the row to be continuous, so rowing at unsociable times. I was assuming that this would best be done with regular changes (the 24hrs was mostly 15 mins on/15 mins off), but with either 2 longer rows each per night for rest (maybe 3 hours?) or 1 even longer row (would need to try this out, but 4hrs when already tired sounds about the most I can currently imagine). We could take a view on the 3rd night as to whether we need a sleep break and, if so, for how long.

At the moment this has only been accredited for 50+ Hwt women and Hwt men upto 40+. So as a 50+ Lwt, any category I fall into would be a first and de facto world record. That said, happy to have a crack at the 40+ Hwt record (2:37 pace required) or just to complete and not get a record. In short, happy to attempt with anyone! By definition it is likely to be the longest continuous row in the calegory in any case!

I am only just returning from an absence and have only just completed my first marathon since the 111,111m in 2011, so would want to do some serious training and acclimatisation for this, so am not thinking for some time after a likely easing of lockdowns. I was thinking perhaps to work up to the Crazy Bear Challenge and then do after that (ie near end of this year or perhaps, if more convenient, into next year).

Any takers?
52 year old Lwt (in ability and weight) trying to develop a technique that doesn't cause hysterics and get back to regular rowing.
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plummy
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Re: Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

Post by plummy »

Look away Plummy...look away quickly...
57 yrs old, 72kg, 5' 10"
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MaxMacLaren1
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Re: Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

Post by MaxMacLaren1 »

As my distance record is a HM there's no way I could attempt a tandem. But I would consider joining a team. I can't see a record for the small or large team 50+ 1,000,000 so that looks like an opportunity.

As we have a lot of good 40+ rowers I also looked at those records as well. I can't see a large team record but the small team is listed as 57 hours 37 min which I think is 1:43.7 pace :shock:. If that's right it's amazing.
Max

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Iain
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Re: Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

Post by Iain »

MaxMacLaren1 wrote: Tue May 05, 2020 1:41 pmAs my distance record is a HM there's no way I could attempt a tandem. But I would consider joining a team. I can't see a record for the small or large team 50+ 1,000,000 so that looks like an opportunity.

As we have a lot of good 40+ rowers I also looked at those records as well. I can't see a large team record but the small team is listed as 57 hours 37 min which I think is 1:43.7 pace :shock:. If that's right it's amazing.
I believe that there is no minimum interval, so the approach is very short intervals. The 100k record was done 10 strokes at a time with no-one strapping in, someone holding their feet in before diving off. With 10 in a small team, some can sleep with the others rotating.
52 year old Lwt (in ability and weight) trying to develop a technique that doesn't cause hysterics and get back to regular rowing.
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plummy
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Re: Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

Post by plummy »

Iain did mention this a couple (or was it more) years ago to me and at that time I simply wouldn't have considered it. I wrote the story (as best I could) of my million metre row in 2014 to remind me never to tackle anything like it ever again. 3 years or so ago I got called in at 2 weeks notice to save a 26 hour world record attempt for charity and I remember distinctly thinking "just get through the dark hours and when the sun comes up it gets a little better" - but it didn't, the last 9 of the 26 hours were just horrible. I think to a large degree the tandem might be worse than the solo owing to the sleep deprivation as I'm not sure anyone could manage 2~3~4 hour stints on a machine in the middle of the night with no break whatsoever (even a toilet break). You'd have to try and sleep almost next to the machine in case of urgent needs by the active (cramp etc - remember your last stint of the 24 hr?) and that would mean very fitful sleep at best.
All that said, 500,000 is a helluva lot less than 1,000,000 and 4 days or so is a lot less than 7~8 but the lack of sleep would be a real killer. You'd need a magnificent support team (and I've had some incredible ones). Like the million, the thing you have to your advantage is no WR to beat, just finishing it is a WR by default no matter what the time taken - that's the one attraction...
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Re: Takers for ridiculous ultra-challenge?

Post by Iain »

The cramp in my last session of the 24hrs was due to trying to go 12S/500m or so faster than I had been rowing at. With the crowd there for the finish, it seemed better to take a break rather than limp home. At the time I was not expecting that you did the additional 5 mins as an addition to your final interval (that I remember was at sub 2:00 pace, quite a feat for someone who had been rowing 50% of the time for 23.5 hrs and suffering with your knee). I have since had cramps during rows and successfully rowed through them. The pain does subside to an ache after a few minutes.

Re sleeping, I seem to remember that Paul slept very well next to our erg after finishing his 200k, alternatively it would just be necessary to have someone present who could go and fetch the non-rower if required. I was thinking of trialling the night rows. Obviously these rows would be slower than the normal intervals. Yes they may cover around a marathon in distance and would not be on fresh legs, but they are a completely different beast to an all out FM as we wouldn't be pushing the pace. Yes, the glute pain would be significant, but that is something this row like all ultras would not be short of. At the pace required, I don't expect to be sweating much, so would only need to drink for the energy. With some forethought and practice, I am sure that the right drinking regime would be achievable.

I think I can russle up an acceptable support team. My daughter is trained in sports massage and my wife did an excellent job in the 24hr of keeping our brains occupied with the quizes (even if Paul got most of the answers!). Personally the WR is less important to me than getting it finished, but it is an added incentive and a benefit to raise some money which is a big incentive to keep going (rowing through stomach cramps during the 111 was one of the least pleasant experiences of my life, but thinking of helping those that had been through much worse made giving up impossible, even if gritting my teeth left me unable to eat anything needing chewing for nearly a week afterwards!).

I'll leave this for a week or so on here before opening up to the wider C2 Forum if I don't get any takers. Definitely not for the feint hearted, but something to tell your grandchildren about!

- Iain
52 year old Lwt (in ability and weight) trying to develop a technique that doesn't cause hysterics and get back to regular rowing.
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