The annual running of the Head of the Charles Regatta happened this past weekend with 8000 rowers racing a 3 mile course on the Charles River. My long-time doubles partner, Cindy Matthes, and I raced in the Master's Women's 2x, placing a respectable 5th place. Cindy and I were doubles partners in the Olympic Games back in 1992 and the days of setting course records and winning gold medals are long past - - but we have continued to row together, three times a week, our lycra sagging and our efforts not so pretty.
That being said, during the last part of the race, we passed Cambridge Boat Club coming into Eliot Bridge, hearing a deafening huge groundswell of cheers - - and my new favorite high school team, St. Ursula's from Ohio, they all hung over Eliot Bridge screaming my name and urging us to crank up the volume.
After my race, heartrate still full on, they put me behind the mike, announcing the remainder of the races for the day - heckling them was more like it. As my friend, Eddie Hewitt, the consigliere of row2k said, "at least you didn't go over the line too much."
To top the weekend, which was unusually sunny and calm, I was en route to the gym today for an executive workout (that would be a jacuzzi and a shower) - and was stopped by several people who remarked that we had received an extraordinary amount of coverage. When I opened The Boston Globe, there we were, in our full glory. But it was not because of our speed.
It was because Cindy and I teamed up with the irrepressible David Fialkow (a wild man venture capitalist) and the exuberant Wyc Grousbeck (owner of the Celtics and former Princeton rowing champion) in the 4x race, with Wyc and David having raised nearly $250,000 for the Perkins School for the Blind. David, a complete novice, had rowed only 2 months prior to the race - and Wyc, a strong athlete in his own right, had not rowed a race in 25 years. They set about raising money by challenging their friends to sponsor their training miles, joining us for workouts, without, remarkably, a single whine, whimper, or complaint.
Anyone wishing to donate funds to the Perkins School for Wyc and David's efforts can send checks payable to the Perkins School to Wyc Grousbeck, Owner- Boston Celtics Management, 226 Causeway Street, 4th Floor, Boston, MA 02114.