Club SportsSports

UO Club Rowing gets set to row 1 million meters in one day

On Feb. 15, the University of Oregon club rowing team will collectively attempt to row 1 million meters—more than 600 miles—in a day to raise funds for its trip to the national championships in Georgia and celebrate the sport of rowing.

The inaugural Million Meter Challenge will be held at McArthur Court (EMU South) at 11 p.m. and will be open to the public. The largely self-funded team invites everyone to contribute a few meters to the goal or eat, hang out and meet the rowers.

“Realistically I think we can hit that 1 million meters in not too much time,” rower Connor Benson said. “We’ve got about 30 ergs we can utilize and we’ll have some team members rowing pretty much the whole time. If it’s just us we’d have to each row about 20,000 meters ourselves, so we’re not opposed to having other people help.”

Each rower usually logs around 12,000 meters over the span of a two-hour practice. Rowing 20,000 meters in one shot would take about two hours nonstop.

“To do it all at once it would be pretty strenuous, but not out of our realm,” Benson said. “We have a really big, committed team this year and our main focus is to take a big team to the national competition. We’re really excited.”

Those interested in contributing to the program will have the opportunity to sponsor a rower based on how many meters they row, buy tickets to a raffle or leave a tip in a donation jar next to a rower. One can also donate directly to the team here.

The rowing team has competed in the national championship in each of the past five years and looks to build off its most successful season yet. In 2014, the novice women’s team finished second place in the nation, while Benson’s pair qualified for the men’s grand final. Many of the rowers on the team last season are returning with two to three years of experience in 2015.

The Million Meter Challenge officially begins at 11 a.m on Sunday.

Follow Kenny Jacoby on Twitter @kennyjacoby

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