Half Marathon Row - Give it a Go! #KGB

So… who watched the Crossfit Games row? There wasn’t much to see if you weren’t at the stadium in Cali, but we quite enjoyed the 1970’s style Nintendo graphics of the row. 

It’s been the talk of the Crossfit world ever since the event was announced, as an event that could really change things up, bringing out the more endurance preferred athletes rather than the stronger ones and see who had the strongest will power as rowing 21,097m seems to be just as much of a mental challenge as a physical one.

We decided to test out the event from hell and just see how hard it’s going to be. 21,097 metres to row. Let’s just say we were grateful for no time cap.

Rick was the guy to take up this challenge on behalf of Team KGB. Armed with a fully loaded iPhone with some intense DJ mixes, water bottles lined up and a concept 2 he started the row.  This is what he thought:


When the Row WOD was announced, I think it prompted discussions and ripples throughout the entire CrossFit community and split opinion. 

It didn't take long though before I'd made my mind up that I wanted to give it a go. Normally when someone says they're going to give something new a go, it’s met with applause, encouragement and support, but this wasn't the case. Both in our office, and on Facebook etc my intentions were met with comments of 'you're mental' and ‘ridiculous’!

I was looking at it as more of a mental challenge than physical. Although I CrossFit regularly and have always been involved with Sport, I'm no pro athlete and having only rowed a max distance of 5k previously (just last week by chance) this was definitely a case of entering the unknown…

So with a 2hr playlist (courtesy of Rob Williams), my water bottle and my KGB Tee, I sat down to program the row. I had a moment of 'what am I doing' when entering the distance and realised I'd never had to use the back arrow to input distance in multiples of 10k before!

To be honest, ten thousand metres in I was thinking that this wouldn't actually be that bad, however my confidence faded and my previous fears started to creep in. Every 10m felt like a 100m, every 100m started feeling like a thousand. Where as at the beginning I was in a good place and just focused on keeping a steady rhythm, now it was more a case of just staying on the rower.

The last 3,000 was definitely the toughest, and there seemed to be a hundred reasons to stop; no more water, headphones fell out, foot straps were loose, hands were sweaty etc

But, after 1hr 49mins of rowing it was done, the meters ran out, and it was over. My first thought was great, under 2hrs, immediately afterwards though my thoughts turned to working out what pace I'd need t

o get it under the 90 mins, or take some time off. This is what KGB means to me, that constant pursuit of improvement, yes I had a new PB and had achieved something I hadn't ever done before, but now it was time to look at can I improve, can I do it quicker, can I get better?

So I recommend you all give it a go, the other guys from Team KGB will be doing it soon, and I’ll be re-testing again in a few weeks to see if I can improve.

Rick – Keeps Getting Better


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