Sunday, November 28, 2010
Two Little Words
We knew that we were starting off first in our category and had 16 boats that were going to chase us, so the plan was to get out really fast. Row the fastest first 2km that we could possibly row because after 2km it becomes harder to pass due to the twists and turns in the river. But the most dangerous place on the river in this race was Big Bend, a 90 degree bend in the river. With all the rain that we have had the silt had shifted and gathered at this one corner, so to get around this bend without a mishap was probably going to be the breaking point of other crews.
By the time we hit Big Bend we had about 400 metres on the crews behind us. (Not bad for only a 10 sec head start) Our coxswain Emma is so experienced that she took a fantastic line and we really zipped around the corner then drove our legs as hard as we could to get back up to speed. At this point we still had about 4km to go, so it was up to me to keep a good rythm and stroke rate and up to Emma to keep us on our toes with our heads firmly focused on what we were supposed to be doing.
But with about 1km to go an almost unbearable pain started in my hip and I really had a hard time getting up the slide and even sitting up straight. This felt like a nightmare about to start! The velcro on my right shoe had come loose right near the start of the race, so when my hip started to hurt I couldn't even use my foot to help pull me forward, as it was loose in the shoe. I am sure that Emma could see it in my face every time she said to me "Sit up...sit up". Believe me I was trying to. When she realized that I had a problem she quickly yelled to everyone "Right bow 7 lets help Carol, keep it long, keep it strong! Let's all back her up" and with that I could feel the boat lift! All of a sudden I heard the finishing line horn, the most beautiful sound in the world, especially if you are in absolute agony...it's over. I quickly looked at my watch and then looked ahead for the other crews. It took almost 3 and a half minutes for the next crew to cross the line...that was a good omen, but we had to wait to see what the boats at the back had done.