BY JAMEY BULLOCH
“What’s in 200 days?” Steven Dowd asked his wife Helen, who sat beside his hospital bed.
“Um, December 22nd, why’s that?”
“Give me until Christmas Day and I’ll be back to normal,” Dowd promised.
Steven Dowd was involved in a traumatizing cycling accident that paralyzed him from the neck down. He’d opted into an experimental spinal cord surgery and found success. He fulfilled his promise and walked the Christmas turkey to the dinner table. Since then, Dowd has followed a strict 200-day goal with each challenge: Boxing Day that same year, he gave himself 200 days until he got back on the same bike that injured him; and he took 200 days to learn to run again.
“In 200 days from now, I’m going to build the world’s biggest, fully-inclusive, indoor rowing event for charity,” said Dowd about his newest charity challenge.
On February 6, 2021, EnduRow was born. It aimed to raise awareness for spinal cord injury research. The event raised £27,000, featured 1,000 athletes from 11 different countries, and totaled an estimate of 16 million meters over the four-hour period.
“We had an opportunity to get everyone everywhere to do the same thing at the same moment in time, no matter who they were, no matter where they were – you could be a six-year-old kid, you could be an Olympic medalist, you could be someone with no legs or it could be my nan and we can all be on the same team at the same time together, doing something wonderful together,” said Dowd.
The event featured the Champions Rowing Club all the way from Port London, South Africa. Their club aims to remove school kids from dangers like gang violence, drugs, and prostitution and focus their time on rowing. Dowd heard about the team through their founder Jean Ellington and sent EnduRow gear to their team who now represent at their practices and events.
“It was so wonderful that the kids needed something and EnduRow gave them something that they could pull together with,” said Dowd.
The second annual EnduRow Challenge will be held on February 5, 2022, and hopes to include even greater participation than ever before for an indoor rowing event. Dowd seeks anyone with the passion and time to reach out as he builds a team to run the challenge smoothly. The next event will assist in fundraising for the Para Rowing Foundation.
The event is promoted using its slogan: “Everyone. Everywhere. Pulling together.”
For more information about the event or to pre-register visit EnduRowChallenge.com.