02 September 2010

Mercer Island Marathon

So, Sunday 29 August was supposed to be the day where I would be the 3-seat in a quad, rowing all the way from Pocock around Mercer Island and back again - a full Marathon of 42.2 km for the benefit of Rainier Valley Rowing.

The route was s'posed to be something like this (thx to Kim); a nice little Sunday morning row:

So, at 5 am Sunday morning we all met at Pocock, where another quad, a four and 2 eights were also departing for the row. Hugo was stroke, I was in 3-seat, Kim in 2-seat and Elizabeth in the bow, guiding us around the Island.

We got down and got hands-on our boat and got it launched. Then we got in, pushed off, adjusted the stretchers and we were off!  The wind was breezy, to put it mildly. When we cam out to SR-520 bridge and went through, we had - almost - whitecaps on the water, and a wave now and then coming over the gunnel. 

The support launches told us to go back to the lee of 520, and we rowed to the far east end of the bridge, so try and make it down the coast on the east side instead of on the west side (normal traffic pattern). 

But alas, as we came to the east it was pretty obvious that the wind and waves were also too much on this side, so we turned back towards Pocock and the sheltered waters of Lake Union.  Even that turned out to be a bit of a challenge, as the wind picked up a bit during the early morning hours...

However, we made it through the ship canal and all the way to the far end of Ballard, only half a mile from home for me!  In Ballard we stopped for a few minutes for 'lunch' - a few sips of Gatorade and a power gel...

From Ballard it was back through the ship canal, down around the bottom of Lake Union and then home to Pocock where we docked around 9am, about 3 hrs after the start.  We had managed 32 km out of the 42.2, so we'll grab the last 10 k next year - that will be easy peasy, even if the wind is rough!

Here's a map and stroke info of 18k of the route (click the triangles). I had some issues with the otherwise *Brilliant* SpeedCoachMobile app - not sure it can handle really long rows...

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