Row, Row, Row your boat…

Rowing you say?

For the past couple of months I’ve been searching for something different to do this summer. I thought of climbing Mont Blanc, entering the Hellespont/Dardanelles Open Water swim, undertaking an enduro-mountain bike event or entering my first Adventure Race. All of these things are on my ‘To Do’ list but one thing over them all ended up landing in my lap!

As well as looking into what to do this summer I thought about planning into 2016 and sent an e-mail to Chris Martin at New Ocean Wave about the possibility of taking part in the Great Pacific Race. After an exchange of e-mails I calculated the cost I felt a little crest fallen as there was no way I’d be able to raise the funds in time to take part!

NOMAN 2013

A few days later Chris sent me an e-mail telling me about another, shorter ocean rowing race from Ibiza to Barcelona called NOMAN – participants would have almost everything they’d need supplied and in return would raise funds for the NOMAN Campaign. NOMAN raises awareness about the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) related cancer epidemic in men and women, and campaigns for universal HPV vaccination – the HPV virus is the cause of 5% of all cancers and a simple vaccination can stop this epidemic in its tracks! Please click the logo below to find out more about the race and the campaign.

NOMAN Campaign

I looked into HPV and the NOMAN Campaign and thought it an absolutely vital and worthwhile cause to raise funds and awareness for – my desire to row an ocean quickly changed from a merely selfish pursuit to find my limitations to something more than that and I signed up to take part!

I’m really excited to be a part of Team NOMAN and I’m looking forward to getting out there on the Med and pushing hard – not just to try and win the race but to raise funds for the NOMAN Campaign and awareness of the HPV virus and vaccination! I think it’s absolutely vital that boys should be given the HPV vaccination and that girls should continue to be given it too. I knew very little about HPV or its cause and effect before I decided to take on this race but I know now that for short term expenditure countries across the world could make long term gain in terms of overall health of their populations and a decrease in the likelihood of premature death or reliance of sometimes hard pushed health and welfare systems.

I always say I like a challenge and this is definitely my biggest one to date: I’ve never rowed before, I have suffered with sea sickness in the past and the immensity of the ocean and all that lies beneath is enough to make the adrenaline flow!

The journey

The race begins on July 18th out of Porto de Ibiza and should end about 3 days later in Porto Olimpico, Barcelona. That’s 200 miles worth of rowing! There will be two teams of 4 departing at the same time, in identical boats and the most likely tactic to be employed will be for two people to row for two hours at a time before swapping out for a rest – it should be a really close race and you’ll be able to follow via a GPS tracker on the NOMAN website.

Before the race, however, I will be switching my training from running trails and roads to spending a fair amount of time on a rowing machine and in the pool. Therefore, ‘26.2 & Beyond’ will be changing slightly for the next few months – I’ll still be posting all of my workouts but they will now begin to chart my journey from runner to ocean rower! I would really appreciate it if you would click the links below to Like my Facebook page and follow my dedicated Twitter account.

Facebook: Al Rows the MedTwitter: alflowersrows


I am 100% committed to rowing across the Mediterranean on July 18th and I would love to be able to raise at least £3,500 for the NOMAN Campaign.

For those of you who are reading this and who know me, I will be putting on a fundraising party before and after the race at a location (very likely a decent pub!) yet to be decided. Over the course of the next few months I will also be setting myself additional challenges or forfeits for reaching certain fundraising targets!

So, to get the ball rolling, as soon as I reach £250 I will immediately stop shaving and grow my beard until I have reached Barcelona under my own steam, via the sea!

Please click the link below to donate whatever you can afford! Once I reach £250 the pirate beard will begin to grow and then I’ll set myself another forfeit for reaching £500…

BT mydonate: Al Rows the Med

2 thoughts on “Row, Row, Row your boat…

    1. Al Flowers Post author

      It is amazing! I can’t quite believe I’m a part of it – I’m really up for the race but as a very inexperienced and novice fundraiser I’m a bit worried about that aspect!!

      I’m still planning to race a 70 mile ultra ten days after the row too 😆


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