Monday, March 11, 2013
With high spirits, low splits and a tsunami of adrenaline, the Mercyhurst EnduROWthon shattered two Guinness World Records on March 7 and 8.
A team of 10 student athletes from the Mercyhurst University men’s rowing team rowed 451,879 meters, establishing a record for the greatest distance rowed by a lightweight men's small team on an indoor Concept II rowing machine in a 24-hour period. That figure converts to about 280 miles – just shy of the distance as the crow flies from Erie, Pa., to Grand Rapids, Mich. In addition to setting a Guinness record, the men’s team also set a record adjudicated through Concept II.
“I don’t know if my body’s ever been to this point before,” said senior exercise science major Jake Schuppe, who rowed the final leg of the 24-hour endurance event. “With the atmosphere that my team created, we pushed ourselves so far past any perceivable limit we thought we’d even get close to. My body is in shambles – but, you know what? It was phenomenal. And I’d happily do it again.”
Meanwhile, the EnduROWthon set another world record for the most people – exactly 600 – to row 500 meters on a single erg. Mercyhurst students, faculty and staff were joined by members of the Erie community to take part in the feat.
Through donations, sponsorships and raffles, the event helped raise funds for Project Kenya and the John C. Kanzius Cancer Research Foundation. Proceeds from the EnduROWthon will also help fund the team’s national and overseas travel during this year’s rowing season. Nearly 300 people packed the Mercyhurst Athletic Center to see the grand finale of the EnduROWthon – the first time a world record has ever been set in Erie.
"It feels almost euphoric,” said coach Adrian Spracklen. “I feel very proud. I feel proud for the rowers, I feel proud for the school – because we’ve done something that no one else has done, and we did it at Mercyhurst.”