My indoor rowing tends to be a very solitary affair, home alone in the cellar with the concept rower and the radio playing loudly. Yesterday however I competed in a rather low key contest. Five concept rowing machines had been lined up in a row and they were linked to a large overhead screen. Ten individuals took on the 2000m challenge.
There was no attempt to seed individuals or split them into light weights and heavy weights, though for the most part the weight categorisation was fairly obvious. Five were selected at random for the first heat, self included. The large screen displayed the rowing rate of the competitors and the gaps in metres between everyone. It was not long into the row before I realised that there was no one in this heat who was going to push me. To achieve any half reasonable time I would have to force my own pace. My finishing time was 7.33.7 so very mediocre, but I was a minute a head.
The second heat panned out in a very similar way. Again there was someone who was appreciably better than the other contestants. He had more upper body strength than myself and with two hundred metres to go I was sure that he would beat my time, but I think that he must have then reached his lactic tipping point and his stroke rate slowed slightly. He finished in 7.34.1.