2012 Canadian Sculling Marathon

By Hugh Fletcher

A group of intrepid Hanlan rowers headed off to Ottawa to participate in the annual ONEC full and half marathon events this past weekend. Four quads were registered - JC Marley and crew planned on doing the full marathon and everybody else opted for 21Km. The Saturday night dinner at Pub Italia got everybody carbo loaded and ready to row.

Then disaster struck. Brian Singleton had gallantly undertaken the mammoth task of doing his family laundry the night before we left for Ottawa and this completely exhausted him. We were all joking around but it turned out that his back was so bad that he had to back out (no pun intended). This was going to be a problem but fortunately Avtar Dhanota had decided to head down to Ottawa at the last minute with a single. We were lucky that he agreed to take Brian's place in the quad but as he had not trained for the full marathon distance the safest bet was for all four quads to participate in the half marathon.

Our nemesis for the full marathon every year was a bit disappointed that we would not be challenging him this year. He tells us he trains on the erg every winter yelling "Hanlan" to spur him on. As it turned out, he and his partner rowed their fastest time ever so they would have been hard to beat. His partner this year was somebody that had only just started rowing during the season!!!! Impressive. However, he rows a double which is a faster boat than the touring quads so not quite apples to apples.

The event took place in the best conditions we have experienced to date. Not too hot or too windy and the water was calm. The Cigarette Boats stayed ashore this year; maybe because a police boat was out patrolling the course. We all started together with a mix of singles, doubles and quads. JC and crew got by everybody at the fiback rst turn except for an  annoying single that kept moving across the bow. A hard 20 solved that problem and they were off - never relinquishing the lead. Not surprising as they had trained for a full marathon and were just getting going when the race was over. Somebody had put the bow seat in backwards and nobody noticed, so poor Avtar finished with a very sore posterior but kudos to him for not complaining until it was over.  Other crew members were Hugh Fletcher and Eric Hall.

Adrian Cornelissen and crew finished a bit ahead of Cynthia Warn's boat in spite of her threats of dire consequences to anybody that beat them. Kevin Gillan also had his back lock up half way through so he was not able to row properly down the stretch. Margery Roden and crew crossed the line not far behind. Altogether a good showing for Hanlan and a good time was had by all - even Brian enjoyed himself in spite of his back. Good row followed by good food and a celebratory drink at a local brew pub on the Quebec side. The finishing times have not been posted yet on the ONEC web site but will be there shortly along with some photos.

The full list of participants were: JC Marly, Eric Hall, Brian Singleton (ret), Hugh Fletcher, Ildiko B. Jurina Cleary, Megan Sim, Cynthia Warn, Ken Tsang, Josipa Paska, Sandra Sokoloff, Petra U, Margery Roden, Maureen Williams, Grace Patterson, Sarah Ward, Fiona Hickey, Adrian Cornelissen, Lissa Mangano, Kevin Gillan, Dennis Winters, Avtar Dhanota.