This Team Took on a 24-Hour Rowing Challenge

By | March 2, 2021

Laurie Shaw is always up to take on a new fitness challenge. He trained intensely for 30 days doing Muay Thai, transformed his body with 30 days of calisthenics, taught himself to do a backflip in 3 days, and even ran a mile everyday for 30 days. He usually sticks to his goals for a month, it seems.

So when his friend Ollie Perillo approached him with a new challenge to keep a rowing machine spinning for 24 hours straight with a crew of four to raise money for a charity called EndEd (End Eating Disorders), he was in.

The goal: to row over 240km (about 149 miles). The guys decided to divide their ‘shifts’ into 1-hour increments.

“After a full 60 minutes, I was sort of ready to stop,” says Shaw. “The idea of another 5 hours each sounded absolutely ridiculous. How on earth am I going to keep up the pace with no sleep?”

In between sets, the guys refueled with good food, dips in the water, and rested. Eight hours in, they had logged 90km. By 9 hours in, the exhaustion had hit.

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“This was going to be a long night,” he says.

The guys decide to move the rower in front of a TV and throw on some movies. At 16 hours, they were at 150kms. The night was long and rough, but as the sun came up, the pace picked up. And 21 hours in, they were at 250km, smashing their goal with 3 more hours to row. So they set a new goal of 300km. And the 1-hour shifts really started to hurt.

“I feel like this is the longest hour yet,” says Shaw.

But the guys kept pushing through. In the last 2 hours, they switched to 15 minute shifts. By the end of the challenge, they rowed a total of 299.5km, barely missing their second goal.

“It felt good to have completed the challenge. Although it was definitely a tough challenge, it was good to know we were doing this to support such a good cause,” says Shaw.

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