The Mills College Crew team is getting ready for their 16th annual Erg-a-thon, where team members will continuously row on ergometers throughout the day in Adams Plaza.
On Nov. 17, current head coach Sara Nevin and the team hope to use the Erg-a-thon to raise funds for equipment expenses and competition travel costs for their spring season. The relay-style fundraising event created in 2004, has become a tradition for the Mills crew team.
“This is the first year we are doing it in the fall so we don’t disrupt the spring training plan,” Nevin said.
Each team member will row from 500-1000 meters at a time alternating with other teammates, totaling approximately 320,000 meters, or 200 miles; this is the distance from Oakland to Lake Tahoe. The number of rowers participating on any given ergometer – a machine used to mimic the movement of rowing – may vary depending on individual availability and class schedules. Each athlete will attempt to row as strong as possible during their strokes on the ergometer.
As their Fall season wraps up, the Erg-a-thon will serve as the first of many training sessions for the team as they prepare for the upcoming season.
Since the crew team make their daily 5:30 a.m. departure to their training grounds at the Briones Reservoir, most students do not have the opportunity to see the crew team train. According to a few sources, some of the crew team’s equipment was recently stolen and this event is one way for them to fundraise money and increase visibility. Nevin thinks that the Erg-a-thon is a chance for the team to demonstrate their hard work and level of dedication to the sport of rowing.
“There are two goals for the Erg-a-thon,” Nevin said, “to fundraise for the team and to show people what we do.”
Junior Marilyn Claes considers the event as a way to give the opportunity for students who feel curious about the sport of rowing a chance to witness the team environment first-hand. Crew members will be able to teach anyone who is interested how to erg on the spot; there will be an additional ergometer available all day for people who want to try it, get instruction on using it properly and to show support. Claes hopes that the Erg-a-thon will receive numerous pledges.
“Some individuals are pledging for every mile someone rows; others are pledging a single amount regardless of the outcome. Everyone will be able to purchase t-shirts to support us,” Claes said.
Due to class schedules and academic commitments, different team members will be visible at different times throughout the day. Junior Gabriella Ramirez has participated in the Erg-a-thon all three years of her time on the Mills crew team and is excited to demonstrate the commitment level the Cyclone rowers have while fundraising for boathouse equipment and for competition travel.
“I will row whenever I have gaps before and in between classes,” Ramirez said.