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Row row row your boat – across the Atlantic!

The make someone’s day sports story today is about rowing – rowing over 3000 miles across the treacherous Atlantic. Solo. As reported by the Good News Network, 23-year old Mariam Payne became the first woman to row across the Atlantic, taking 59 days, 16 hours, and 36 minutes, before arriving in Antigua last Friday. The extraordinary feat was accomplished to raise money for an east Yorkshire charity.

For those who follow my stories, I like reporting on “ordinary” folks who complete amazing athletic endeavors for a noble cause. But this was no easy task. The Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge is described as “the toughest endurance event on Earth. No support is allowed—all food, water, and other necessities must be brought along. Sleep deprivation, hallucinations, hunger and the ultimate test of body and mind will be balanced by sighting incredible marine life, witnessing the breaking of a new day and sun sets that cannot be viewed by land.”

According to the Good News Network, Payne rowed 15 hours per day alone in the vast Atlantic Ocean during 86°F days with strong winds. She spent Christmas Day rowing, and during parts of the journey was closer to the crew on the International Space Station than to anyone else.

“The week before last, I thought I wasn’t going to get the record anymore because the wind dropped and I was going nowhere,” she told The Guardian. “There was one day where I rowed for 18 hours and I got less than 10 miles, so that was pretty demoralizing. I could just feel the race record slipping away.” But she got a burst of energy when she could hear the screams from her family and friends waiting for her as she approached Antigua. May we all get that burst when we need it the most, and congratulations to an incredible athlete.

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