Surpassing one billion metres. The lockdown lowdown on indoor rowing.
The 2020 World Erg Challenge saw the 1 billion metre threshold surpassed as rowers around the world locked down and erged.
In its fifth year, the World Erg Challenge registered a record number of participants: 8843. These rowing enthusiasts completed a total of 1,249,511,544 metres between March 15 and April 15, 2020. To put it in perspective, each competitor averaged 141,299 metres over the 30-day period- that’s almost 5000m per day, every day.
This year’s challenge may have had a different spin. As so many people around the world are under lockdown orders, professional and amateur athletes alike have been seeking fitness solutions. For those lucky enough to have fitness equipment at home, this challenge came at the perfect time to stimulate the virtual competition.
The winning team was a virtual group called YAMSQUAD. Their slogan is, ‘a community of like-minded people supporting each other to their goals, whether big or small, through positivity!’. The team amassed an impressive 59 million metres with their 408 members. The members joined the group from all over the world, including Ukraine, Germany, New Zealand, Spain, Poland, USA and more.
Finishing in second place was an on-water team, Greenwich Crew. Based in Connecticut, USA, the team has 264 members and rowed 44 million metres. This pushed the three-time winning team French Indoor Rowers Team into third, with 32 million metres.
The top team by average metres per participant was a clear winner: Chp. 22 DAV Crew. This team, with only two members, averaged 2.5 million metres per member. This is largely due to the continued impressive performance by Don Altrichter. Altrichter spends almost nine hours per day on the rowing machine. Read our interview with him here. The Chp. 22 DAV Crew finish dwarfed the next-best, the Comal County Sheriff’s Office with 733,652 metres per person.
Finishing in second position in the individual metres tallied, behind Altrichter, was Carl Haske with just over 2 million metres. And the first female was Sharona A. with over 1.5 million metres, rowing for The Diamonds virtual team.
The World Erg Challenge gives teams from across the world the opportunity to compete, not for time or split, but rather for total amount of metres logged. Both Concept2 Ski Erg and Concept2 Bike metres were also counted. However, bike metres were counted as half when applied to the challenge.
The 2021 World Erg Challenge will take place from 15 March to 15 April 2021. Stay tuned for more information.