Staying at home is a challenge for all of us. When you are an elite athlete used to daily training sessions with your team, isolation brings particular challenges. When the Covid-19 pandemic struck in early stages of March, rowers took it to the indoor machine and broke records like never before. In just 75 days these 131 new records were broken.

While some rowers just wanted to ‘get some kilometers up’ during isolation training, most of them were aware of the world records that may have been in their grasp. Most notably, young American rower Isaiah Harrison, 16, now owns all 13 indoor rowing World Records for his age group – from 500m to the marathon – most of them were broken during the lockdown.

In Australia, Georgina Rowe broke a couple records… accidentally, proving, she said, that quarantine life can be athletically productive. Rowe was taking part in an Australian indoor rowing competition with athletes from each state competing against each other on home rowing machines.

“I just wanted to get some kilometers up for my State in the interstate indoor regatta,” Rowe said.

Fellow countryman Erik Horrie proved that para-rowers could also smash records. He now owns the best time in the 1 minute, 100m, 500m, 6’000m and the Marathon. In total, Australian indoor rowers broke 36 World Records, followed by the USA (26) and Italy (12).

During lockdown, all top athletes trained hard on the erg. Big names like Emma Twigg, Hamish Bond, Olli Zeidler, Martino Goretti or Jackie Kiddle are now indoor World Record holders (see list attached).

And there may be more to come.

 

Here’s a sample of some of the crazy long-distance records:

World 100,000 meters

Men – Joel Naukkarinen, Finland (M 20-29) 6h 06min 06.1sec

Women – Margit Haahr Hansen, Denmark (W 50-59) 7h18min28.6sec

 

24-hours row

Men – Vasilis Tsantarliotis, Greece (M 30-39): 318,106 m

Women – Kristin Jeffery, Canada (LW 30-39): 270,690 m

 

1 million meters

Men – Andrew Abrahams, Australia (M 40-49): 4d 23h 50min

Women – Michelle Lee, Australia (W 40-49) : 5d 21h 35min

 

Concept 2 - Indoor records broken during lockdown