The Big Row: Breaking World Records for Charity

Rowbot Fitness instructor Charles Anderson and Crew Member Stephen Ebbett challenged themselves to break two ultra-long distance world records to raise money for Open Hand Atlanta and Kidney Research UK. They set out to break the Longest Continuous Row and the Fastest to 1 Million Meters records, and accomplished both. Best Self caught up with Charles to hear how the row went, and how he and Stephen prepared for such a feat.

The Big Row

Celebration after Stephen and Charles complete the row

How long were you each able to row?

I rowed 541,700 meters and Stephen rowed 458,300 meters.

How long did it take to row the 1 million meters?

89:19:09.8 hours. I rowed for 45 hours, Stephen rowed for 44:19:09.8 hours.

What was your favorite part of this record-breaking charity event?

The response from the community (both online and offline) was incredible. We had people bringing us food during the entire event, and hanging out or rowing with us constantly. It was great. The online community also really rallied for us, sending us messages from around the world as they watched our online stream.

How much were you able to raise for Open Hand Atlanta and Kidney Research UK?

We raised $2000 for Open Hand Atlanta, and $5600 for Kidney Research UK.

How did you choose these two charities to help out?

I wanted to pick a local charity that focused on people’s health and well-being, and Open Hand is a great example of that. Stephen chose Kidney Research UK as a tribute to his father who is fighting kidney disease.

How did you prepare for the row?

Rowing. Lots and lots of rowing. In addition, we also did a lot of very planned carb-loading the week before.  We both gained eight to ten pounds to help protect our bodies during the long exertion.

Was it any more or less challenging than you expected it to be?

In some ways it was more challenging, because it is impossible to understand how long you have to sit down and do it, other than just sitting down and rowing for that long. But, in other ways a lot of the coordination pieces fell into place perfectly, and we had so much help during the event, that it was much easier to keep rowing and not worry about the small stuff.

Are there any other records you have your eye on breaking?

We’ve always got our eyes peeled for the next challenge, and I always have some crazy idea brewing, but nothing we want to lay claim to… yet.

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