First timer CRASH-B 65-69 ltwt

From the CRASH-B's to an online challenge, discuss the competitive side of erging here.
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First timer CRASH-B 65-69 ltwt

Post by Cyclist2 » February 14th, 2017, 7:53 pm

Well, I've had an extra 24 hours to digest all the posts, videos, replays, and stats. Here is my version of my first trip to CRASH-B. I've owned at least one erg for over 30 years (Model A, B, C) and my first erg race was in 1988 at the Mid-Atlantic Erg Sprints, when Bob Spousta was in his prime, setting world records, period. But, among life, work, kids, and just lack of motivation I never made it back to Boston. So I turned 65, well into retirement, and noted that I could probably beat the qualifying time for a free trip. I'll give it a shot! I did it at Ergomania in Seattle, so there I was.

I met Greg Cook and Arlene Wade on the flight from Seattle, they looked relaxed and confident then, but a little down after the race. I met the other Seattle qualifiers at the Sonesta and the race. In general it seems none of the Seattle contingent quite had their best day Sunday.

Saturday morning, my sister-in-law/cab driver/coxswain got me to the Sonesta for the breakfast and qualifiers meeting. There I met Edward and Lindsay, and chewed the fat (not much of that in the erg room!) for a few minutes with a short warmup thrown in. Then I went back to my mother-in-law/chef/inn keeper's house and shoveled snow.

Sunday, we got there and found the weigh-in room. Like Rick, I can easily make it fully clothed, but I did drop my backpack first. Then it was wander around, soak up the atmosphere, check out the vendors, and burn at least 1000 calories in nervous energy, which I sure wish had back during the race.

Lindsay's race was just before mine, so I watched him from the curtains separating the warm up area. I wish I was more of iPhone geek, because I could have taken great video from that vantage point. Sorry. Anyway, you looked strong and were obviously going for it. It was hard to compare everyone in that race because the board had to keep switching because of the different erg rows you, Spousta, the Dreissigacker brothers, and others were in. With no offense to Chris Cooper (he won, so I guess I really can't critique him), his technique is, uh, shall we say not quite what we promote on this forum. I wonder what he could do with a more efficient stroke. In any case, you rowed a good one, Lindsay!

There has been comments on my race already (many thanks for the kind words). From an insider's view, just let me say; it was ragged. If you look at the split/stroke rate charts for me and Adam Wilson, you'll see right away why he won. His was the race I had in my HEAD, but my BODY didn't get the memo. I tried to crank it up at 250 to go, but there just wasn't anything left. Arms felt like jello. Alain must have crossed the finish on the drive of his stroke, I guess my last drive was at meter 1997 and I coasted across the finish. It was that close. He makes some serious breathing/grunting noises, so I knew he was digging deep.

After I recovered, I introduced myself to a couple guys I thought were Bob Spousta (hey, it's been 30 years) before I actually found him. He didn't remember our, uh, little meeting in the Schuylkill River way back then, and once he recalled, he was just as gracious as he was on that day. We talked for a few minutes. He loves this sport, and can't understand why some people only come when they think they might do well (was I blushing?). He had no problem placing 4th this year, he just was glad he beat Peter D.

Then it was wait for the awards ceremony (they need to rethink that whole thing) followed by a quick exit to beat the snow for my chauffer. I missed Rick, but called him at his store, we'll connect next year (when I might come whether I qualify or not. Thanks, Bob).

All in all, a great experience. Nice to meet some of you, and just be part of it all. See you around the forum and challenges!
Mark Underwood. Rower first, cyclist too.

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Re: First timer CRASH-B 65-69 ltwt

Post by Edward4492 » February 14th, 2017, 9:49 pm

Mark, you're correct about the awards. It was much better in previous years when they had it up in the sponsors area. You couldn't hear a thing with all of the noise in the background. Most of you reading were not there, they held the awards on the stadium floor adjacent to the racing. You couldn't hear a thing. They had Gevie Stone there at one point handing out hammers which was a nice touch. But trying to do it next to the racing just didn't work. Nice effort in your race, it was exciting to watch! I saw your big surge at 250m to go....and I saw the air go out of the balloon. Nice effort and a well earned bronze.

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Re: First timer CRASH-B 65-69 ltwt

Post by Yankeerunner » February 22nd, 2017, 3:04 pm

Nice report Mark, and good to talk to you on the phone. You guys beat me so badly that I had to slink down to the Dominican Republic on Tuesday morning for a week of recovery. I'm back now and ready to start the next buildup phase. Look forward to seeing everyone next February, and on the internet between now and then.

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Re: First timer CRASH-B 65-69 ltwt

Post by gregory.cook » February 28th, 2017, 5:26 pm


It was nice to meet you. Maybe I'll see you around on the bike.

Age: 48, Weight: 155 lbs, Height: 5' 9"

The struggle itself toward the heights is enough to fill a man's heart. -- Albert Camus

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