2019 – World Indoor Championships – Long Beach

The rowing machine makes for one hell of a race.

Seems impossible that that little machine that we use in the gyms all over America and the world could have such a following. More than half of all the people that row in a rowing machine race never get into a boat on the water. So the competition is fierce.

As you walk into this large stadium, with the live TV cameras sending out a livestream of the whole program all day long, and races going on in all corners, and cheering crowds, it is certainly the most exciting venue that I have been to yet for a race.

This race had participants from all over the world. Next to me was a gentleman from Lahore, India. There are about 80 machines on the floor, all connected electronically, so that like in a video game, the fans can follow the progress of each rower in their group. There was the usual compliment of different groups for this masters competition. All age groups, with most racing 2,000 meter distance. There was also a 500 meter all out sprint race. In our 2,000 meter race, there were 3 of us old buzzards, one 81, one 83, and one 84. Both lightweight and heavyweight. Well, I came in the middle, just 10 seconds behind Don Tanhauser, who has been rowing these competitions for ages and is 6’2” in height which is quite an advantage. But I only missed catching up to him by 10 seconds. I was one second behind at the middle. He of course had a better finish than I did and picked up the ten seconds. The wonderful thing though, was that each of us was in a different weight class and age class, so all three of us received national and international beautiful gold medals. Don did the race in 8:28 and I did the race in 8:38, my new personal best. Just wait until next year though.

Click on the video below to see us race on the double erg with sliders :