It’s a strenuous, full-body workout with a little bit of fun sprinkled in for good measure.

Winnipeg’s annual Community Rowing Challenge attracted some of the best rowers in the city on Saturday at the Winnipeg Rowing Club.

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This year’s event featured 13 teams from around the city, most of which were made up of four rowers, riding canoes technically referred to as “rowing shells.”

“It’s tougher than you think,” said rower Zach Peters, who was a part of one of True North Sports & Entertainment’s teams. “You think it might be a sport that, ‘Oh I can do that, I can get in the boat and row,’ but I think it’s tougher than you think, just sort of the rhythm of it.”

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A typical race is two kilometres, but the races in Saturday’s competition were about 500 metres, down a stretch of the Red River.

The teams involved went through an eight-week training program prior to the competition to learn the required skills.

“It’s a nice introduction to the sport,” said organizer Stacy Huard. “They get the dedicated coaching which is important because rowing is not…you just don’t get in and paddle. You have to learn how to row so that you can actually do this.”

One of the keys to a successful team is balance.

“On the first day they teach you that your paddles, your ores are what keep you up,” said rower Brent Prusak. “So if your ores are out, you’re good, but if your ores are in, you’re upside down.”

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It’s also a fairly strenuous activity that works all the muscles in your body.

“The most power is coming from your legs, so if you have strong legs you’re good,” said Peters. “But then you are leaning back and it’s in your back and your arms as well.”

The Winnipeg Rowing Club has been hosting the event for more than a decade.

“You gotta do it,” said Prusak. “Good workout, good team building, lots of laughs, lots of fun.”


© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.


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