The first ever Butler Rowing Row-A-Thon was an incredible success that blew away everyone’s expectations. After months of planning and prep work put in by the club’s officers and the club’s Coach, the 2016-2017 team became the first rowing team from Butler to ever break a world record. The record was for the longest continual erg time by a small, mixed team of men and women under the age of 30.
The previous record was held by the Wells Tobias Rowing Challenge Team of Reading, United Kingdom and was 25 hours long. Butler Rowing not only broke the 25-hour record, the group of eight rowers went on to row another 5 hours for a total of 30 hours. The necessary paperwork has been sent to the coordinators from Concept2 and the team is currently waiting for confirmation that the record will be accepted.
The world record attempt also doubled as a fundraiser for the club as well as the Semper Fi Fund which provides financial assistance and lifetime support to post-9/11 U.S. veterans of all branches of the Armed Forces. The fundraising goal the team set to achieve was $2,000. About four hours before the start of the Row-A-Thon, several generous donations were made that allowed the team to meet and surpass their fundraising goal. Over the course of the Row-A-Thon cash and online donations brought the total up to $2,889.89.
Despite some minor technical difficulties with the livestream and an overall lack of sleep, the experience was a good team bonding activity that brought so many people together in support of an important cause, especially with the 15th anniversary of 9/11 the day after the Row-A-Thon. Pizza was eaten, cupcakes were passed around, Yats was brought in, and everyone manged to get through their hour-long shifts without crying (mostly).
Coverage was posted on the team’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. WISH-TV also stopped by and published a story on the team’s efforts that can be read here.
Moving forward this week, the team is ready to welcome a few more novice and focus on improving on the water. With the planning and preparation for the Row-A-Thon over, the team next turns to regatta season where they intend to travel to Secret City on October 22 and participate in a regatta that will be held at Eagle Creek on November 5.