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Back in August the DDW team of Diana Tombs, Karma Fields and head trainer Adam Atkinson began training for the BIRC – the British Indoor Rowing Championships. Attended by over 1500 athletes from around the globe, including team GB rowers, national champions and world champions, the championship races take place on Concept 2 machines, the Olympic standard. Although the event is attended by elite athletes and Olympic medalists, it is hugely inclusive, with schools, teams and 80 year olds all competing side by side. As well as open categories the races are divided into age groups, so anyone can take part.
Taking place at the Lee Valley Velodrome, site of the London 2012 Olympic track cycling, the racers compete in the olympic standard 2000m race, the 500m sprint, adaptive races and relays. The 2000m is known throughout the sporting world as the hardest, most challenging physical feat you can face. It’s basically a sprint that you have to hold for 6-9 minutes, taking athletes to the darkest recesses of mental and physical toughness. Several competitors on the day were stretchered out of the arena. Many were left writhing on the floor.
Diana Tombs overcame a lightening start from her main rivals to reel them in and come home in gold medal position with an excellent time of 8:16.2. She then clinched the silver medal just a few hours later in the women’s 60-64 masters 500m sprint with a time of 1:52.2. She adds the gold and silver to the silver won at the 2014 English Nationals. All the more remarkable is the fact that she has only been rowing for 5 years and only came to sport and fitness shortly before that. You can see more of her journey on our success stories page.
Karma Fields smashed her personal best 2000m time (an 8:07 done in training in November) posting an amazing 7:56.3. This bettered her previous best attempt by some 10 seconds. She came a very respectable 16th place in one of the most competitive categories, the women’s 40-49 masters; all the more impressive as she is only in her 1st year of rowing. A definite top ten (and more?) in future British Indoor Rowing Championships. Last seen writhing on the floor of the Olympic velodrome.
Diet’s Don’t Work founder Adam Atkinson also managed a personal best in the hugely competitive men’s 40-49 masters, with a time of 6:33.9. A great 18th place among a field of world record holders, giants and extras for the next Lord of the Rings movie. Also last seen prone on the race floor, he maintains that he was first in the pit pony category.
A huge well done to all that took part on the day both competitors and organisers alike.