Women first to crack one million metres

By Anne-Marie McDonald

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Whanganui Prison's women's rowers after completing a mammoth million-metre row.
Whanganui Prison's women's rowers after completing a mammoth million-metre row.

A group of rowers from Whanganui Prison will soon be in possession of a world record - the first all-women team in the world to row one million metres.

The 20-strong team - whose members are all either staff at Whanganui Prison or partners of staff - began rowing at the Marist Rugby clubrooms at midnight on Sunday and finished just after 2pm on Thursday, taking turns to row in half-hour shifts.

Many of the women, aged between 28 and 64, had never rowed before they began training six months ago.

Now they have a six- to eight-week wait to receive confirmation from American rowing machine company Concept 2 - which verifies and collects indoor rowing records - that they have indeed set a world record.

Participant and team spokesperson Jodi Rasmusen said the team was "over the moon" with their achievement.

"We started off as colleagues, and we ended as close friends.

"When we finished everyone said they never wanted to touch a rowing machine again. But by [Friday] they were all saying, 'What are we going to do next?'"

Ms Rasmusen said they may consider doing a rowing event for a fundraiser.

She said the team wished to thank Crystal Valley for supplying water, Marist Rugby Club for use of the facilities, and all their families, friends and colleagues for support.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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