Ten million metres and still rowing away
Jumping on a rowing machine at the gym is something many people can relate to.
But Noel Reardon has taken the exercise to extremes after becoming the first person to row 10 million metres at the central city YMCA.
Mr Reardon says he first began rowing during 2001 in a YMCAsponsored programme that supported two New Zealand transatlantic rowing teams.
The Mt Eden resident enjoyed the challenge so much he made rowing his number one activity at the gym.
“It’s very hard to get into, but once you’re into it, it’s very addictive,” he says.
Originally Mr Reardon planned on getting to one million metres as quickly as he could, but just kept on going after noticing the health benefits.
“You can push your body a lot harder than running.
“I found it a lot easier on the joints,” he says.
After reaching the nine million mark, Mr Reardon says he had to set himself smaller goals to keep things fresh. This included rowing a marathonlength 42km in three hours and three minutes to knock off the 10 million metres.
“I was trying to break three hours but didn’t quite make it,” he says.
The 51-year-old says now that he’s reached 10 million he will keep rowing, but not as competitively.
Mac Robson, who sits in second place on the city YMCA’s ladder with around 9.2 million metres, says Mr Reardon is a “hard man to catch”.
But he is confident of cracking Mr Reardon’s record eventually.
Central City YMCA administration manager Helen Hugglestone thinks Mr Reardon’s achievement is “absolutely great”.
She says there is a lot of competition among male rowers at the gym to break the record, with members regularly checking the record book to see how far off they are.
“You hear them in the morning asking each other ‘how much did you do today?’
“Then you find them the next day going hell for leather.”
Row, row, row your machine: Noel Reardon, front, shows off his rowing skills as Mac Robson, back, and Bob Magowan try to catch him.