Updated 11th February 2007
We were reformed in January 2006 to take part in the Cross Team Challenge

The Flyers were originally formed in 2001 on the old style US Forum.
The original Flyers I know of were Steve G, Paul Flack, Dave Parkinson, Rick Bayko, Jim Barry, Nigel Farmer, Dave Hislop, Andrew Dann, Scott Samuels, and Mel Harbour

Our membership is from the USA, GB, New Zealand, Finland, Australia, Thailand and the Netherlands. We have all abilities from beginners to CRASH B hammer winners and numerous BIRC medallists. We are all non elitist and welcome everybody.

Club Kit Order Form

Marc Blackburn (UK)
Forum Name: Leedsmeister

Hi i'm Marc, from Whitby up north but currently living in Crewe, Cheshire. I row for Whitby friendship ARC in the summer (we row gigs- those fat wooden cows) and enjoy playing instruments, cycling (not since my bike got nicked last week argh), rugby amongst other stuff. Doing a sports science degree at the moment at Manchester met and hope to go sub 7 pretty soon just as soon as my arm fully heals (broke it a couple of months ago on a night out in Leicester!).


Shirley Godkin. (New Zealand)
Forum Name: rowmyboat

After following my husband and children through all their sporting careers, boxing, rugby and various horse events for many years, picking up the pieces! - lots of travelling and many lunches later - I am now free to follow a sport myself with all the support of my family behind me. I enjoy the participation and they are happy being spectators as they keep humouring me that they wouldn't like me to beat them. I have managed to persuade my husband Tony to erg along with me at times for company so that's a start!!

Erging was part of a Keep Fit 12-week programme I did at the local gym in 2002 and at the completion of that course I had to put a challenge in place and chose to compete in the Indoor Rowing at the South Island Masters being held in my home town later that year. I've competed in the South Island and New Zealand Masters each year since except for Dunedin earlier this year as I suffered from a badly sprained ankle which took a while to come right. I also compete in the National Championships if they are held in the South Island.

To date my achievements are the NZ Records in my age group for the 100m, 300m, 500, 1000m, 2000m and mixed pairs (with Al Hallberg promoting the Forum Flyers) and the WR for the 500m and 1,000m. World Shortcourse records include the 300m and 100m but for how long?

I have my own Copy and Design Shop, so work full-time with my erging having to either be early morning (I'm not too good at waking up!) or mostly early evening when I leave work.

I think I have the only husband who doubled the size of his vegetable garden when the 'children' left home - but we both love fresh food straight from the garden and I spend my spare time in my extended orchard or surrounding gardens.

Over the summer we like to dust the cob-webs off the mountain bikes and we take to the back roads or enter some 'road' mountain bike races (not competitively, (er...sometimes) but mainly just to enjoy the scenery).

My aim at the moment is to improve the 2,000m until I know what I can perhaps achieve.

Tim McTighe (USA)
Forum Name: TPMcT


I inaugurated my athletic career as a mediocre high school basketball player (although I did have a great view of the court from the bench). I followed that with a stint as a mediocre LWT rower in college. Then I was, at various times, a mediocre tennis player and a mediocre runner. When I bought my Model C in April 2002, I saw the opportunity to reach that most cherished of goals: If I could just outlive everyone else, I could reach . . . advanced mediocrity as an indoor rower! If that isn’t enough, I’m wondering if, at 6’2”, I qualify as the world’s tallest 55yo LWT.


In real life, I’m a writer and the proud father of two sons, aged 27 and 25. They’re out of the house now, if not entirely out of my wallet. They also seem to think that I’ve gotten smarter as they’ve gotten older. How strange.

Name: Carsten Meiering
Forum name: Cars

I am a 38 y. old HWT at 184 cm, located in Germany and working in the Netherlands after spending some time studying in the U.S. and South Africa. I used to row in competitions until the 20's, but eventually went on to American Football, basketball, weight-lifting, long distance running and triathlon at a later stage. Then the college years were over and with a medical career and a family life at hand sports became the occasional weekly "run" and looking at the scale became rather unpleasant . Since this spring I own a Model D, enjoy the regular sessions and the perspective of starting in competitions once again.

The Flyers are a great bunch to share the motivation and enthusiasm for this nice sport.
Goals 06/07: Get back in shape. Participation EIRC in Amsterdam and West German Open in Essen without looking like a fool.

Ultimate goal: Selection for the German WIRC Team in 2 years (then 40+).


Chris Whale
Forum Nickname – Meerkats

Age 36, 12-13 stone depending on the time of year, 5’6”
Started rowing about six years ago whilst training for the London Marathon and an aid to giving up the wicked weed, now stopped smoking for 4 years.  Saved up the fag money and brought my own erg instead of giving it to the overpriced local gym.
Over 8 million m’s since, try to row as often as possible in between caving cycling and running (jogging more like)
Married to the lovely Tracy (see picky) expecting the first rug rat this September.  If it’s lucky it will be a damned site taller and make a great rower!




Dexter Mohr USA
Forum Name. Dex

I started rowing when the university crew invited me to spend some time with them.  The coach was pretty enthused when he looked at me, so I rowed for the ’68-’69 school year.  An academic advisor suggested that being on the water at 4 pm and staying in my 3 pm math classes seemed like a conflict, so I resolved that by napping before I headed to the river.  Neither Coach nor academic advisor was pleased about the academic suspension.  On the other hand, The Selective Service System appreciated it plenty.  Having been properly conditioned to sit on my butt and go backwards while somebody hollered at me, the transition to the Army was easy.  No boats, they made me run all the time and hurt my knees, but I stayed for 30 years anyway.

            In ‘95 I found a flyer for the Baltimore Rowing Club and reported for duty.  It was a little late in the season, but it let me find out what an erg was and I got to do the Baltimore Burn in ’96 before a reassignment.  I turned myself into a teacher when I was released, started fairly regularly to hit the erg on the way to work, and logged meters beginning in May 2001.  After logging the meters with the Flyers for a few years, it’s quite nice to see them re-invented.

            I plan for annual competition at the Mid-Atlantic Sprints and the Baltimore Burn just to get the head-to-head at 2K and to test myself at the hour rows.  I figure that’s good for keeping my weight down while I eat whatever I please.  Every now and then I pop off a pretty good 2K time, but I spend most of my effort burning calories and building sweat puddles.

BIRC 2005
David Hislop
Forum Name. Roadrunner.

Enjoy erging, eating ice cream, the occasional beer or two, racing as a 50+ LWT, part of the FF for a short while now but racking up the metres as usual. Not as many as I used to, but a shade faster on the long stuff.







I'm Petra Schouten, 36 years old, heavy weight, married with Wim, old rugby-player, now he's rowing to. We have two daughters, Iris is ten and Jessica is eight years old.
I started rowing and fitness after I broke my arm. I think one arm was stronger than the other. See what happen. I was rowing two times the E.K. championships( 2km 7.22). I did four times the Ergo Head in Amsterdam (6 km 23.03). I also did the marathon three times (2 hours 58 min.47sec.). In my youth I played soccer. Most of the
time I stand in the goal. When I was a little child I did gymnastic. My whole life I did on sport. So now I'm a rowing housewife





Grace Malacrida
Hometown: Edwards, CA
Bio: I'm Grace Malacrida, 42, heavyweight, married to a lighweight rower. We have two teenage sons. One son loves rowing and the other would much rather sleep in then go row. My 15 year old son is my mixed doubles partner for rowing.

I'm also the 2 seat in the 8 that Joan Van Blom stroked to victory at the Head of the Charles and at the Crew Classic this past year. I truly enjoy competing with the Long Beach women in an 8. However, I live quite some distance from the boathouse, so the erg is my friend. I use the erg 5 days a week in my home and get on the water once a week. Since I live in a house with a swamp cooler and the local temp has been in the 100s, I may be able to become a lightweight via sweating...well, maybe not.

For the past few years, Marlene Royle has developed my training program and helped me drop my 2k time quite a bit. I hope that these suggested workouts will help me lower it even further.


Mary Perrot
Seal Beach, CA
Bio: I am (yet) another of the Long Beach Rowing Association women's 8+, along with Joan Van Bom & Grace Malacrida. As a dye-in-the-wool, 125 lb lightweight, I'm bow - no surprise. Started rowing in the mid-'70's as an undergraduate at MIT, and have continued competing on the water ever since (a string of wins at the Head of the Charles and the Crew Classic are favorites). Many thanks to my LBRA teammates; we continue to learn from and push each other.

And considerable praise to Concept2! as they released us from the tyrrany of the Gamut & Gjessing ergs in transforming the erg from the occasional test machine into a real training tool that anyone could afford (a real blessing for time-pressed working moms). I was on the first USIRT in 2002, winning at the BIRC. Rowed at the CRASH-B's in 1984, 1987 and then every year from 1997 on. Have won a couple hammers and have a few silvers & bronzes.

My training plan is 6 days/week, 1 rest day on my longest day at work. The Wolverine Plan has been a well of information & inspiration - and so I do a few level 4 sessions, and 1 each of levels 3,2,&1 per week, with the level 1 sprint session done as a group at LBRA. Now usually rack up 14 to 19K per day, preparing for the Head of the Charles. The mix of workouts suggested for July seems very good for this!


Todd Carpenter (New Zealand)

I am 32 years of age, live in Tauranga New Zealand, and am married with
three kids (2 girls and a boy)
I have been indoor rowing on and off for about the past 10years. I first
discovered indoor rowing at the gym where one of the girls from the NZ
rowing squad happened to spot me rowing and asked me to try a 2k test. After
three attempts I had my 2k at 6:24 and thought this rowing thing was pretty
easy, that was when all the hard work started, how little I knew!!!
At high school I was into middle distance running and looked like a very
tall stick insect running around, I was ok at running, represented our
region a few times at national events but thats about as good as it was
going to get, once puberty kicked in I started to put on far too much weight
to be a competitive distance runner. I then went on to become a gym junkie
for a while, playing rugby for a few years as well. After my first official
indoor rowing comp I was talked into getting into a boat by the regional
coach, unfortunately they stuck me straight into an intermediate 8 with guys
who had been rowing for years, this was a really bad idea. I didn't have a
clue how to row in a boat and here I was thrown in the deep end with all
these guys who did, what’s more one of their crew mates was taken out of the
boat to accommodate me, I was not very popular and discovered just how
"clicky" water rowing can be, none of the other guys would even talk to me
so after a few rows I gave it up. A few years later I had a season rowing a
couple of times a week in a social mixed 4 which was a lot of fun, our boat
was so badly balanced with the smallest crew member being 5 foot tall and
45kgs to the biggest 6"5 and 105kgs, oh well we did ok despite all that.
These days it really helps that I have my own erg and weights at home, not
as much time to train anymore with the kids and all, so it makes it easy
just to pop out to the shed whenever possible to have a row. I held the NZ
500m record for a while until George Bridgewater and Mahe Drysdale (current
world champions) came to a comp and kicked my butt!!! Still currently hold
the NZ 100m record at 14.1 seconds. I don't really have any performance
goals for indoor rowing at the moment, gone are the days of putting huge
pressure on myself to pb, my main aim is just to enjoy keeping fit and
healthy, if the pb's come that’s a bonus. 


Paul Harris USA /UK
Forum Name PaulH

"I started erging in '99 while on a contract at a London bank that had a free gym. A friend (thanks Nik!) taught me how to do it vaguely right, and for six months of weekending I had nothing much to do in London except work and erg - that got me off to a good start with times that I've never quite matched.

Moved to Minneapolis later in '99, bought an erg immediately and for the next four years meant to learn how to row on the water, but didn't quite get to it. In that time I created the Nonathlon (www.nonathlon.com) along with Cran. In 2003 I signed up for a learn to row class at the Minneapolis Rowing Club (www.mplsrowing.org), where I am now Sport (i.e. recreational) Captain and Vice-President. That's all changing now as we're moving back to the UK.

I'm married to ClaireH, a reluctant erger who I've currently bullied into joining the Forum Flyers, have a little girl who likes erging for about a minute at a time, and a little boy who is less keen since he fell off the erg - luckily his head broke his fall. As well as rowing I cycle, with equally poor results. My lack of success is tempered by the Perthes disease that hospitalized me for a year as a 6 year old - I consider myself lucky to be able to do what I can, and unlucky that I can't do more due mainly to my crippling chocolate addiction and general sloth."

Dave Neilson 
Forum Name. Dave the Ref
For as long as I can remember, I’ve always been involved in rugby in some way or other.  I can still remember playing in a schools minis tournament with snow on the ground aged about 10.  

I carried on playing rugby throughout my teenage years, mostly at openside flanker with the odd game at scrum half.  I also played some hockey getting into my school first team for both.  I managed to avoid any major injuries until aged 17 when I dislocated my shoulder playing for my wing of the Air Training Corps.  That put me out for a while but I was back for the next season. 

At university (in Bath, where I studied Chemical Engineering) I carried on with the rugby and by now weight training as well and again managed to mostly avoid any serious injury.  It was round now that I began to enjoy playing less and the university teams depended on how your face fitted rather than things like training attendance and ability.  That soon picked up however when I did a year’s industrial placement living in Taunton. One of my colleagues introduced me to the local club and I had a season and a half of my most enjoyable rugby ever.  I also switched to inside centre which was a much better position for me.  Despite weight training 3 times a week and eating like a horse, I never managed to get above 12 stone. It soon began to dawn on me that I would be forever taking on not just big forwards, but increasingly large centres as well added to which, the bruises took longer to heal and my shoulder was now beginning to be less than happy at times.  

I then had a somewhat fortuitous injury when I went back to university to finish my degree.  I managed to mess up my knee, which put me out for around 10 weeks, just at the time that the local referees society was holding a laws course just around the corner from my house.  So I took the course, bought a whistle and haven’t looked back since.  I now have ten years refereeing under my belt.  

On graduating I joined Courtaulds, now sadly defunct, which is where I met Rekha, my future wife. We parted company a bit later, but then got back in contact and the rest, as they say is history.  We got married in 1999 and now have two children Rohan (2002) and Serena (2004).  We moved to Ely in 2005 following a job opportunity for me and it was here that my erging bug began, partly because I now had a large enough garage and I was increasingly finding that running on concrete wrecked my shins and ankles and I didn’t have time for gyms.  Low impact was a good way to maintain my fitness and I could fit it around the family at night or in the morning.  

I bought the erg in October and soon discovered the forum as a mainly useful and friendly collection of individuals who all had the same bug.  Six months later, I’m doing it at least three times a week and get itchy feet if I miss a session and have amazed myself with my self- competitive side pushing me ever faster.  Currently 7:35 for the 2K with a sub-7 target.

Al Hallberg New Zealand
 (alias Flymo) born March 1955 in Dunedin, New Zealand, now residing and working in Waikanae which is about 1 hour north of our capital city - Wellington.
I am married to Sue whom I have to admit has the patience of a saint, we have 5 children between us (yours 2, mine 2 and ours 1), out of all that we only have a teenager to go before the nest is empty.
Fortunately I grew up in a sports mad family and after having tried many sports I settling on Athletics (shot put, discus, javelin and hammer) and progressed on to Powerlifting, holding most of the New Zealand records for several years.
I competed internationally at Shot and Powerlifting back in the eighties, culminating in an invitation to compete in the 1983 Worlds Strongest man competition which I accepted not really knowing what to expect. 
At that time only 2 or 3 people worldwide had deadlifted over 1000lb, from memory 5 of us lifted over that mark with my lift being 1003lbs (455kg), this  was my own personal best until 1991 when I increased that to 1044lbs (470kg) at the NZ strongest man.
Retiring from Powerlifting (and weights) in 1992 relatively injury free, I set my sights on cycling and running, at a bodyweight of 127.5kg I knew I had some work to do, so after 18 months I had trimmed to 84kgs and was either cycling or running most days - I recall passing through that weight when I was about 15 years old.
I found that longer distance events were my forte, couldn't sprint to save myself but have finished most of the long distance cycle races including lake Taupo Challenge(160km) many times, Around Mt Taranaki(160km), Christchurch to Timaru(160km) and the 100km Flyer - Rototua to Taupo. Taupo is the biggest event for riders attracting around 10000 in 2005, I haven't broken the 4h30m mark yet so will keep trying.
Ongoing calf problems from 2003 and a torn knee ligament late 2004 I returned to the gym for strength training and inspiration.
1st May 2005 I was directed to "the rowing machine" and told to do a 10 minute warmup, I likened it to being sent to the school headmaster for a good telling off, I got through it, but my immediate thought was - this would have to be the ugliest exercise ever invented, who in their right minds would actually enjoy this - hadn't done any cardio for a while so was feeling it a bit.
Three weeks later and about 21000metres, a work colleague made the big mistake of mentioning that there is such a thing as  indoor rowing racing (I'm picking challenge here), I had actually heard of them but thought it was for current and ex rowers, and he went on to further challenge everybody to a 2000m race on his brand new C2 model D, a further 2 weeks later kicked his butt with 6m56.
By the end of July I entered my first big race - the long distance champs, I thought "I had rowed for an hour before, what was the problem", the programme was set down for three races - 5k at 9am, 10k at 9.30am and the 1 hour row at 10.30am, entered the whole three 17m36 for 5km - havent got near it since, 36m09 and 16179, needless to say I slept well that night.
My early goal was to do 3,000,000 metres for the year, early December I changed that to 4m and have averaged over 100km per week since then, managing 1 hour row at 16705m and half marathon 1h 15m 56, with future goals being  - sub 6m30 for 2km, 17000 for 1 hour and finish a marathon without stopping. 
Fred Dickie (USA)

Started Erging 8/4/98 First Million 5/26/99 Fifth Million 12/29/01 Ten Million 3/3/03.

Paul Galliford (Australia)

Beth Lawrence (USA)
Forum Name. Language Lady.
I am a speech-language pathologist in private practice (I do not teach dead
people how to talk, or talk TO the dead.)  I'm 36, married to my sweetheart
for 10 years (+ 6 years to make sure he was "the ONE.")  Kids: one white
Boxer who is a riot--Perdi(ta.)

I am a U.S. Army "brat," so have lived in many places, mostly Europe,
growing up.  Lived in Watford, England for 2 years, several years in
Germany, Texas, Washington State, Ohio, Illinois (Chicago-one of my favorite
cities,) Maryland (I settled back here again after a two year stay in
Bamberg, Germany as a speech pathologist a few years back.)

My 8 person family was the intellectual type, which is code for, I wince
anytime a ball comes near me, ducking for cover beneath my folded arms.  I
got into competitive amateur bodybuilding about 7 years ago, but that is an
UNhealthy "sport"/"activity" so I started Olympic weightlifting (well my
husband's team let me hang out with them and I got some pretty good coaching
from one of the US Olympic Team's head coach)  I am 5'11" and ALL legs (not
good for squatting,) and all I have in my body S-L-O-W twitch muscle fibers,
which is pretty terrible for most anything, including the Olympic Lifts, so
I don't take that very seriously--only do the things I think help me with

Thank God I found rowing, as there is no hand-eye coordination really
required.  After the bodybuilding stint, my husband Matt and I literally sat
down and went through the alphabet to find a new sport for me!!  After
passing over intriguing sports, such as lawn darts, horseshoes, curling,
figure skating, downhill skiing, rugby, and bowling, I found rowing.

I started rowing 4 years ago with Baltimore Rowing Club, and last year
stroked a mixed-8, women's quad and women's double with our Master's
competitive rowing team.  We were fortunate enough to have Steve Donaldson,
a Kiwi who was on the NZ Olympic team (shut out by the boycott that year!) 
Anyhow, he agreed to get his toosh out of bed at 4:30 a.m. for the likes of
us! I think we did okay last year, and are excited to try for "even better"
this  year.  Mike McGuirk has been helping me a lot this year, as well. 
He's a great guy!

I am happy to have the Forum Flyers backing me, it's a great group of folks!

John Stock (UK)

I’m 36 years old, weigh 86kg, 5ft 10 tall and have been rowing for 6 months.  Most of my previous training has been with weights, which is why I find rowing the shorter distances suits me best.   One of the things that attracts me to erg is that there are so many statistics available to monitor performance, achievement and competition.  My erging goals are a sub 7 minute 2km and 8km plus for 30 mins. 

I’ve been an Engineer in the RAD since 1990 and currently posted to Tactical Communications Wing at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.  This is an instructional post that involves Pre-Employment Training (PET) of all new personnel on the Wing.  As communications are a vital element in any operation it is imperative that all service men/women involved are able to carry out their duties effectively in any environment.  After classroom and practical instruction the students embark on several challenging exercises.  The final requires them to set up and maintain a forward communications site in an extremely hostile environment.  For a week they regularly come under small arms fire, aircraft and chemical weapons attacks (o yes and lots of sleep deprivation).  Which you would all agree is character building stuff (that’s what they told me when I did it).  If the student successfully completes the exercise he/she is classed as being fully operational and can be deployed Worldwide.  The lessons they’ve learnt during this PET are currently keeping them alive in some of the Worlds less desirable locations. 

I’ve been married to Susan for seven years and we have two wonderful children, Craig born Apr 03 and Kayley born Oct 05.  We livein Basingstoke, Hampshire which is 40 miles west of London.

Anne Badanes (USA)
Forum Name. anneoaks

My rowing history is probably the shortest-15 months. I turned 50 last year and a friend thought it was time I learned a new sport and put my height of 5'11" to work. So, he took me to an erg, showed me how to row and said I should be doing a 2K in 8 minutes. It was that easy. HA ! Little did I know how hard it would be to get below 8 minutes. I had some great help prior to the '05 Crash Bs in Cincinnati and managed 8:10. I spent most of 2005 rowing distances--kind of unfocused, but growing to like the erg and the exercise.  

My husband is also tall and has some medical problems. He had to stop running, so he began to erg as well....my idea of a fun date was to erg side by side to accrue meters....pretty pathetic--but certainly cheap! He is a bit faster than I am so it was friendly competition. We learned to row outdoors this summer on a river in Cincinnati called the Licking River (flows into the mighty Ohio). I rowed a few times on the Ohio at the crack of dawn before the mammoth barges arrived and  I also row on a single at a nearby lake. But, I prefer the erg in the summer as it is a quicker workout and I need to find time for golf and other escapes. 
In November, I got serious about breaking the 8 minute curse and enlisted help...some good workouts and cleaning up my lifestyle (Not too wild of a lifestyle-- a middle age woman in the Midwest American suburbs!!!-- get real!) Worked hard and made a PB of 7: 55.2. I am not sure what the next goal is.

As for my lifestyle (you can go to sleep now), I live in Cincinnati, went to college in Massachusetts, and have been married 26 years. We have 3 kids; one in DC now, one in college and one still at home. I worked as a head hunter (executive recruiter) and marketing consultant for new products. That work has taken me to the UK a bit and am hoping to return their soon. Other sporting interests are golf and hiking.  Doing the CTC is great fun...and I am just hoping someday that an age handicap is instituted...because then I'd give our rankings a boost! (The funny thing is that I don't think I am old!) Oh well, until then I will give it my best and cheer you all on!  

Jim Barry (USA)

I rowed in college in the late 80's. Nothing special. Our light 8 was a lot of fun and regionally competitive, but we never made much of ourselves at the national level. After school  I was mostly into Mt biking and downhill skiing which I got quite good at (moguls especially). I was not much for regular exercise (boring!) but one year where I just did not bike much (2000) left me about 30 lbs overweight and shopping for new pants and belts. Scary!  So I got an erg; I got into the forum; I met a lot of people, including many of the flyers here. I rowed a million meters in under a year, lost the weight and got fit again. I even got a chance to coach a few folks (including building a training program for Nik Fleming which led him to his only Gold Medal at the Crash-B's). I myself raced a few times at the Crash-Bs finishing nearly last and telling myself, "Well, it's not called the  World Championships for nothing." Regardless,  I have an addiction to understanding sports physiology and I am basically happy racing myself and denting the rankings a little. Ultimately, I'm still hopeful I can pull an athlete out of me here again one day. Lately, I'm finding more hope and relative success at running where I'm well built for it. (5'11 and 150lbs). If I can figure out a way to put in more than 30 miles a week and not get injured I should be "up there" with the better runners in the regional races and that's exciting. I can also do well enough at mt bike racing without much training for it. The three sports have my head spinning. I really love them all. 

In my normal life I'm a business director for a large insurance company. I do like my work and my work team which oversees the reporting services for large clients like Dell Computers.  I grew up just outside of Wash DC. Our family moved to Maine in 1977 where I fell in love with taking life a lot slower than most everyone else in America. In 1998 I married Marlene who is a good athlete herself. We love hiking/the outdoors and dogs. Right now we have essentially no real life as we devote quite a bit to our kids, Ben (5) and Emma (2). Slowly, but surely we are reclaiming our former lives and doing normal things like having a dinner conversation (don't know what you have til it's gone) .  

Great to get a chance to row with you all and span the world with our efforts. Steve, Rick,  Andy and I are ready to do our part for the LW element. It's really fun to mix it up with these really fine athletes.  

Dave Parkinson (UK)
Forum Name. DP

I have always been mad keen on sports, despite having little aptitude at them. My only real skill was speed over short distances. I rarely troubled the selectors of the school football and cricket teams although I played rugby regularly in my early teens. I really wanted to play as a winger, but was not fast enough, so plied my trade as openside flanker, blazing the trail for more successful exponents of the position, such as Kronfeld, Back and McCaw. J My speciality was the “late but not late enough tackle to be penalised” and many fly halves in the local area experienced being knocked flat just as the ball was reaching the outside centre! Happy days indeed, brought to a sad demise by improved refereeing standards and the realisation that I didn’t really like being jumped on, squashed, punched, kicked, studded etc. 

My late teens saw me as something of a pool-shark, and too many nights in the pub saw me leave school with the well deserved nickname of “Porky Parky”. I started at college and drifted into rowing, lured by the promise of “train hard, drink lots, stay thin and pull the girls”. The first three of these claims were quickly proven to be true although it took me until my final year to successfully woo Sue, who would in 1995 graciously consent to become Mrs Parky. Mrs Parky was a talented rower (unlike me) and her final race saw her partnering a future GB international as they stuffed all the blokes’ crews in a long distance pairs race.

The 1990s were largely devoted to cycling. Team Parkinson regularly competed in mountain bike orienteering races in the “mixed doubles”. There’s nothing like a navigational dispute on a bleak, wind and rain lashed hillside to test marital harmony! We won the odd trophy, but such is the minority nature of the sport that our best trophy was a can of GT85 bike lube. I still have the empty can somewhere in the garage. 

I drifted back into rowing in early 2000 when the gym I’d changed to acquired some model C ergs. I bought an erg for the house and started competing. My debut was BIRC 2000, where I demonstrated a rare talent for the “fly and die”. By this time I’d found the forum and there was a guy on there who appeared to know a thing or two about training. Jim Barry was his name, and I outsourced my training schedule to him. This proved to be a sound move as over the next year I did PBs for the 2k (6:37.6), 5k (17:28) and 10k (36:28). The 5k PB beat a time I’d set over ten years earlier and had resisted numerous assaults before finally yielding. I raced as a lightweight in the autumn of 2001 winning the 500m at Newark (as the only entrant!) and just dipping under 6:40 at the BIRC. Being a lightweight at 6’1’’ is not much fun particularly when you like food as much as I do. 

Life changed somewhat in 2002 as elder Little Parky arrived on the scene. Nigel provided considerable advice in the months running up to the “big day” and when I find the time I’ll get round to suing him. I just about hung onto my fitness and raced again as a lightweight at BIRC 2003, finishing 7th. I also finally breached the 16k barrier for the hour shortly afterwards. Since then, training has been a real struggle following the arrival of younger Little Parky – she of dubious sleeping tendencies – although like Jim, we are starting to “reclaim” a small part of our former lives, which in my case means having more time to train. I don’t imagine I’ll be indulging in conversation with Mrs Parky much this side of 2010! 

My aims at the moment are to beat Jim’s current 10k running PB, get back under 37 minutes for 10k and possibly compete as a lightweight again when I hit 40! I wouldn’t bet much on either of these, but I need some targets to keep me sane. 

In my normal life I work for a well known firm of accountants, specialising in the development, testing, audit and repairing of financial models. Thankfully, the world appears to be full of people who think Excel is easy and then come a cropper!

Steve Green (UK)
Forum Name. Steve G

I was a decent cross country and track runner at school, but never used to train, we thought it was uncool. From the age of 16 I did nothing, just the occasional game of football. It wasn’t until my 31st year in 1981 when my good wife Mrs G started running. Sod that I thought I could do that again. Luckily I was still a beanpole weighing in at well under 140 lbs.

My first run was round our block, a distance of 1.1 miles, I walked twice; it took me several weeks to master this mega distance run.  Next thing there was a local marathon advertised, which virtually passed our house, 3 months later we both toed the line. I ran with Mrs G for the first 6 miles, and then bade my farewell and finished in 3 hrs 34 minutes feeling fine. Susan did around 4hrs 40 minutes, and later went on to do 3hrs 30mins.

That was it for the next 20+ years, joined a club, road and cross country races at least twice a month, became a vet and won lots of prizes, it’s good getting old J 

Between injuries I started going to our local gym in 2000, quite happily messing around there, until that one fateful day. One of our top runners was on the erg, I sat alongside him, and he set me a challenge to go sub 8 minutes.
This was like a red flag to a bull to my competitive nature, 3 weeks later sub 8 was achieved, I then discovered the rankings……..I could do that I thought !!, and so began a love/hate affair with that infernal machine. 

Still running when I can between injuries, as well as cycling when it gets warmer, I have my own Concept2 in the garage, but still prefer to go down the gym and sweat all over their floor.
I have done the last 5 BIRCS, CRASH-B at Boston once, as well as countless regional races, still get just as nervous for each one as I did the first one.

Paul Baxter (UK)
Trained hard straight after Birc where I managed to achieve 7th place and got my first time under 6.40's with a 6.39.4.This year's English Championship seemed much earlier, and so I had to train with out a break through November to January. Through dark mornings, started to cycle to work, climbed steps, anything to improve general fitness.It just felt right and I beat my pb by miles with 6.35.1, which won by a margin of .1 It's the closest race I have ever been in, was presented with the medal from Sir Steve Redgrave. How do i trump that? Looking for 6:30





George Dunning (NZ)
Forum Name. George NZ.

I will be 48 May 1st 2006 so my age fits right in with the start of the Indoor Rowing season (so that must be fate)

I am about 197cm now and weight about 104kg (down from about 110 18 months ago.  Been married for 24 years and have 2 children a son (17) and a daughter (14), but I am the only crazy one.

When I was younger thru to my early 20's basketball was my sport and I represented NZ at an under 21 level but then other things started to take up more of my time and I drifted away from the sport tho I am still a great shot (just ask my daughter).  Through the intervening years I have done a bit of social sport, a few Tri's and a bit of running (furthest was a HM) but gradually tho the fires still burnt the body degraded.

About 4 years ago I had had enough of being disgusted at the sight of me so I started walking in the mornings and gradually lost a bit of weight and then after 6 months joined a local gym (5 minutes walk) and generally just worked on my fitness.  Some weights and some cardio, just general stuff and the 6 ergs I walked past were just that, spectators to my efforts (sat on them now and again but like most people found rowing hard work).  Initially I joined the gym for a year but half way thru they had a great deal and I joined for another 3 years (finishing next month), and so by late 2003 I was losing a little bit of motivation with no real goals THEN the gym owner put up some 'challenge boards' (chance to beat some young guys).  They had distances ranging from 500m thru to 20k and a place to put your name and times, that was me hooked then and there - a challenge!!!!  I logged some times, not the quickest in the gym, found the forums, found the sport and was addicted.  Now I am the gym crazy who rows forever and the one to beat, but I hope also that I am now able to give back some helpful advice to those that want to use the erg for more than just a warm-up.

By the end of 2004 I had rowed 3 million meters, I had competed 3 times in local comps, had gone under 6:30 once and was on my way - I dont think so life said !!!

2005 I rowed a lot of meters to start with, played around with stroke and drag and approach, and screwed myself up to the point where I really did not know what to do next, all my times were slower and I was going backwards.  By the end of year I was starting to get my headspace back and now I am feeling ok for the future.  My goal is still to row sub 6:20 when I turn 50 in 2008.

I guess my strengths in the sport are that I am tall, reasonably big, I seem to generate good power and always have (2004 was a 500m in about 1:23 and a 1k in about 3:04) but my weakness is my endurance which I intend to rectify over the next year or so.

I am a student of the sport and physiology on an amateur level but I like to know what I am doing and why and what my body is doing and why and I love to discuss it endlessly.  Never really short of an opinion [;o), and willing to help anyone that needs it if they are keen to listen to my ramblings.
So that is pretty much my history
Nigel Farmer (UK)
My sporting background is practically none and I was usually one of the kids left at the end when selecting a team at school. I did do well at sports day though and in junior school I won the sack race in 1973,1974 and 1975 but sadly this has never been accepted as an Olympic event so my athletics career went no further.
From leaving school in 1980 until around 1989 I did no sport or physical activity and so I decided to try running. My first run was about a mile long which left me struggling to get the key in the lock when I got back home and unable to get upstairs for another 30mins. Several years of training later and I was still a very average 7:20-7:30 mile runner and I eventually joined a gym.
After a few years of doing the usual gym training (10mins bike,10mins threadmill etc. ) there was a 2k competition. My first attempt got my 6:52 and from there it took several years to hit my pb of 6:29.5 though this was in 2001. Since then all my other times have got quicker and continue to do so but to go sub 6:30 again is the big one for me.
Paul Flack (USA)
Forum Name. Canoeist

Member US canoe and kayak team 1978 to 1986. Best finish - bronze medal C2 team race. (C2 stands for canoe, 2 person, sorry Concept!) B.S. U. of Md. 1977, MBA Carnegie Mellon 1988. Now retired and raising two children. Started erging seriously July 2000. Gold Medal BIRC 2001 and Bronze medal BIRC 2002 45-49H. Former British 40+ marathon and half marathon record holder.



Rick Bayko (USA)
Forum Name. Yankee Runner

My main activity from age 17 to 49 was long distance running, which accounts for my forever-lightweight body.  A left ankle injury from indoor track racing at age 42, which I tried to run with for 7 more years, eventually put an end to that activity. 
My wife Denise was the erger in the family, having taken a liking to it at the gym that we went to.  When we moved across town and were too far away to walk comfortably but too close to warrant driving, she began using an old piston rower that had been left by the previous owner of the house.  It was painful to watch, but she was persistent.  So after nearly a year of that nonsense I got the bright idea to buy her a new Model C when her birthday (August 27th and our anniversary August 28th) came around in 1999.  She actually cried tears of joy when she came home to find it set up in the bedroom. 

For me, after 2 1/2 years of athletic inactivity, having an erg in the bedroom was just too much of a temptation.  I began to tentatively get on and pull for a few minutes at a time in hope of doing something more strenuous than mowing the lawn and walking to work and back.  It took a few starts and stops before the ankle adjusted to it, but eventually I was on it almost every day.  Then I discovered that RACES WERE HELD ON THESE THINGS!!!  And the rest is history.  No more leg injuries.  Now I get to have back and shoulder and wrist injuries.  My life has been a attitude that if I'm not injured in some way that I must not be trying hard enough.  Tom's description of racing a 2km seems to be the motto of my life. "It seems that the way it works is you must go fast enough to want to quit,
and then you spend your time convincing yourself to soldier on."

Sadly, Denise fell on her right hip twice and has been battling a bad hip and back for the past couple of years.  She had to finally give up the erg, and has to settle for treadmill walking.  So far no one has been able to get her out of pain, but only keep it down to being miserable instead of excruciating. 

During the day, I own & operate a one-man business selling running shoes and apparel.  We have two grown daughters (one each previous marriages) w/3 grandchildren, and one 18-year-old son in deep angst.  He is both healthy and intelligent, so I'm sure that he will eventually figure out something to do with the rest of his life.

Henry John Streiker (Netherlands)
Forum Name. HJS

My sports history: I always loved being active and have been training almost
all my life. From the age off 15 up until 26 I was active in track and
field. I competed in the decathlon, I wasn’t too great ;-)) but always loved
doing it. My best events were the jump and throwing events. The pole-vault and
sprints were my weak points. A knee injury with lead to a back problem made
me stop. After that I tried to stay in form and kept on training in the gym.
There (in 1998 also) I came in contact with the ergo. In the years 2000/01 I
did some races and my PB's are set in those years. I only did
interval training in those years and never rowed more than 25 k. a week.
My back problem made me stop, as it caused so much inconvenience. In 2001 I
tried surgery to solve the problem. No luck.

Between 2001 and 2005 I never came near an erg anymore. But as mentioned
I am back into it. I now row more meters and stay away from the
sprinting stuff most off the time. I mainly focus on my middle distance
stuff. My goal is trying to improve my PBs in the season 2006/07. It will be hard
work but I think it will be possible

Ben Rea (USA)

I’m a 15 year old, 6'0", light weight rower...what more to say? I started rowing 2 years ago in a fall program and notice i had a passion for the sport. I am currently on my highchools varsity team as a sophomore. six seat and loving it. my best 2k to date is a 7:49, but im confident I can beat that. Erging is all i can do in the winter so im always trying to beat PB's. my best 300m is 1:00.2, which will hopefully get better so i can help out the Forum Flyers! I have played other sports in the past but i never liked them as much as crew (soccer, baseball, hockey).
See....I would say more, but I have only been alive for 15 years! and only rowing for 2! So all I have to say is.......GO FORUM FLYERS!!!!

Arno Calonius (Finland)

I am Arno Calonius from Finland although in the picture I am on top of Africa Kilimanjaro 5900m. I turn 60 next April. This gives me motivation to train a bit harder for coming competitions. I love different kinds of sports: Skiing, squash, canoeing, diving and now erging.
My wife and me we have 3 children and 6 grandchildren. My mother tongue is in fact Swedish but we speak still Finnish at home. I have had my own small company for 20 years. My company represents publications from BMA such as British Medical Journal and specialist journals as well as publications from The New England Journal of Medicine. We market these products throughout Scandinavia and the Baltic countries.  

I found the erg for 5 years ago and have the new model D in my garage besides with Dyno from Concept2. I have not had a regular training program and have erged totally not more than 3 million meters during the last 5 years. I have done a lot of short sprints mainly because that is what I like. I have been only once to a competition and that is BIRC in 2002 when I was very new to erging. I enjoyed it because I was able to follow my plan and could finish strong. This year I plan to participate in certain competitions, endurance still lacking though

In Finland we have only 5 million people. Those 5 million share 4 million mobile phones, 2 million saunas, 2 million rowing boats and almost 200 000 lakes. We have a lot of nature per capita and that is utmost valuable. I spend a lot of time at my summerhouse even winter time. In the evenings we heat the traditional old smoke sauna by wood. Such sauna has no chimney so all the smoke stays inside until it is ventilated prior to bathing. After the sauna we go swimming in the lake both in summer and in winter. People say we are friendly and reliable. We are also known by rather strange drinking habits which are characterized more by quantity than quality.  

For those who wonder how one can stay longer times in the countryside without erging I have to confess that I brought my old c model to the countryside after the one and only real original Finnish Santa gave me the new model D last Christmas.

Tom Rawls (USA)
Forum Name. Tom the Elder

Ever since I was a little kid, I have engaged in competitive athletics. I played countless games, but I never did this solitary, endurance stuff. I had a brother who was a swimmer, and it always seemed to me that drowning might be preferable to swimming those endless laps, up and down, back and forth, a little waterlogged, red-eyed yo-yo.  Now here I am, years later, a yo-yo myself, having long ago given up ice hockey (a wonderful sport in which one can succeed by knocking down small guys who are faster than you) and tennis (the birthplace of back spasms).  

I took up the erg in 2001, having grown into more of a man than was, perhaps, ideal. In 2003 at age 56, I reached my personal pinnacle, a sub-7 2k at the Crash-Bs, and I have gradually spiraled downward since, while watching w/ amazement and envy Bayko’s incredible run as the King of the Small Men. (Cap’n Steve may be laying plans to steal the crown.)
I live in Vermont w/ one wife and three dogs. Our son is a senior at the University of Oregon . His mind was taken over by aliens in his teens, but they have recently moved out and, I expect, have taken up residence in the minds of newly minted teenagers. We live surrounded by meadows and woods. My non-erging activity consists largely of working in our modest woodland, thinning the timber and hauling out logs, an activity that provides all our winter fuel and the occasional back ache.
I work as an energy and environmental policy consultant. In an earlier century, I was an editor at several small and mostly now-defunct publications. I don’t believe in the perfectibility of humankind, but I do harbor the conviction that if I could just come up w/ the right training plan, I could shave a few seconds off my 2k time and further delay the arrival of Middle Age

Marian Deakin
Forum Name : Kelebek

Most sports I was involved with at school involved water.  I swam when I was younger, backstroke primarily, but peaked at about 12 so my times went down from there.  My Dad is a complete yachting nut and forced his daughter to learn to sail in the vain hope I would one day be in a Whitbread Round The World Crew.  Unfortunately I didn't really appreciate getting my nose broken by the boom at seven and Dad gave up on me racing and let me 'muck around' with yachts instead. We lived by the sea so we had kayaks etc too so most of the time was spent on the water during the day and draining the shower of hot water at night!  

On land in the 1970's/80's in NZ you had to play netball if you were a girl - I refused to play because the skirts looked stupid.  We had a mixed volleyball team and I enjoyed that for a bit.  I also got into girls cricket but could only be bothered to hit 4's and 6's as it meant I didn't have to move off the stump.  

In 2005 I joined the gym and then the Team Million Metre Challenge came along in July.  I'd rowed about 2 minutes before that.  My first day on the team I rowed 6k with a lot of stops. In the end I rowed 165km in 26 days and just kept on going. I found I really enjoyed rowing longer distances and rowed my first marathon in late September, no planning or training - just hopped on and did it.  Bought my own C2D in December and the metres have gone up since being able to row on a good machine.  Currently working on one of the C2 plans to loose some weight.  Eventually I hope to enter a race - George Dunning keeps an eye on me and probably knows I am nowhere near ready for anything over 1K.   

I'm married to Richard, who's from the UK.  He's just got into running and is really passionate about it.  We live on the Kapiti Coast about a 5 minute walk from the beach.  We grow all our own vegetables organically and supply half the neighbourhood with their requirements too.  We are trying for a baby at the moment, hopefully this year we might be lucky. We have five 'fids' (feathered kids) - Basil, Parsley, Rhubarb, Custard and Crumble - a mad bunch of cockatiels.  Milly our geriatric cat makes the odd appearance for food but these days she mainly sleeps.   


Andy Darling
I’m 42, and spent my 40th birthday at the Crash-Bs, finishing 5th in the LWT 40-45 bracket. Good timing! That was my second erg comp, the other one being BIRC in 2001, when I notched up what remains my PB, 6-41.7. Number 10 resistance, obviously.
Sports-wise, I’ve a distance running and martial arts background, though the latter takes something of a backseat these days, what with hip joints disliking too much lateral movement and rotation when we bid adieu to our 30s. My marathon running PB is 2-31, and I’ve never dipped under 70 minutes for the HM: the year when it really ought to’ve happened was wrecked by a fall in Dulwich Woods, South London during my final training run before the Great North Run.

Erging, weights, running and cross training are on rotation as my exercise activities; this whole Forum Flyers business and the CTC have upped my erg enthusiasm levels to some tune.

Away from the PM3, I’m a semi-full time Dad to my daughter Lily, 4, and I juggle her (she doesn’t mind) with work as a Psychotherapist (I’m of a Psychodynamic persuasion), Journalist (I write and edit Healthy For Men magazine and do freelance work for The Guardian and various other august publications), a TV scriptwriter and pundit, and Personal Trainer. This is either ever so glamorous, or the sign of a distinct lack of focus….Once Lily is in full time education, my working potential should increase. I do, however, spend rather too much time on the C2 Forum, diarizing and getting all slack-jawed at some of the, um, debate. My lifetime ambition is to usurp Arno from FF Boat 1.