Race Hard : Women’s Head of the River – part 4

9 Mar

We did it!

Just got back in to the club, and feeling pretty good!

The race itself went well. The marshalling seemed to go on for ages, however once we got in to position to start, it was a quick turnaround and we were off.


Chiswick Bridge to Barnes Bridge

This seemed to go ever so quickly – it felt really smooth, we seemed to be in time with each other, and it didn’t take long to get the rating up.

The water was good, and the conditions were great – it was fairly mild, which made life easier. I think we were rating 28-30.


Barnes Bridge to Hammersmith Bridge

Compared to the Hammersmith Head, the water was much less choppy, and with Marie’s motivation, this part of the race seemed to go much quicker than we’d feared!

There did feel a brief drop in momentum, however I think this is more to do with the fact we’d got into a consistent rhythm, having got the initial burst of excitement and adrenalin out at the start.


Hammersmith Bridge to Putney Bridge

The cheers from Hammersmith did just as we’d hoped! Fresh legs for the last burst of the race.

Marie kept up the inspirational talk, and as we got towards Harrods, she told us how proud she was of us, and how well we were doing. The pain was starting to set in here, however the adrenalin was enough to keep the momentum, and I believe we even sped up at this point!

As we got level with the club, we could hear the cheers from the balcony, and you could feel the pace of the boat pick up another peg or two. The last 30 strokes were hard, and Marie called for us to empty the tanks and give it everything we had, and we definitely did that!


Despite us catching 3 crabs over the course of the race, I think we did pretty well. As we pulled up by the club, the coaches came over with our wellies and helped us out, and said we looked like we were moving nicely down the home straight. Marie told us we could walk out of the boat with our heads held high, that she was proud of our performance, and that she knew we’d given it our all.

A proud moment – an emotional release

I think we all had a little cry as we came through under Putney Bridge.

It’s quite surprising the release of emotion you feel at the end of a race. Six months of training were poured into that race, and so crossing the finish line was a big relief – the tension of the day was over, all the pressure we had felt as a crew was gone as there was nothing more we could do, and our bodies could finally relax.

It was a great feeling stepping out of the boat – pride from having rowed well, and rowed hard (except for the feeling of cramp in my calf as I initially tried to stand up!) – and being able to confidently say that we’d given it everything.

Let’s see how we do in the results!

Fingers crossed, we should find out before the end of the night! … 🙂


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