"Adversity causes some men to break; and causes others to break records” - William Arthur Ward.

Author: Jade Wolfenden   Date Posted:2 July 2013 


If you haven’t already heard Richard Wassell broke a 100km Row world record over the weekend in the Adaptive Category - LTA (Legs, Trunk and Arms) , with a total time of 10:34:23.5 which was 1hr and 20minutes faster than the existing record of 11hours 54minutes.

An astonishing effort from the 47 year old, father of three from Perth, Western Australia, raising over $700 in donations for Variety charity – An outstanding effort!

Richard trains at Southern CrossFit and has been a valuable member since February 2012.

Richard suffered a stroke back in April 1994, which affected the right side of his body and his speech. Richard had to learn to walk and talk again and still has no use of his right hand and limited use of his right arm.

I asked Richard if he had a strategy for the row and he said “I tried to hold a consistent pace around 60 Watts (3:00 per 500m) but fell away in the last 30km and finished with 3:10 per 500m.” What was going through your head at the half way point? And how was your body feeling?  “I got to half way pretty comfortably but knew the hard part was still to come and was concentrating on keeping the pace consistent, my fluids up and taking on food in the form of Gels, I expended close to 7000 calories during the row and lost 4kg in weight.”

The most challenging point for Richard he says was around the 65km – 85km mark he had a few lapses in concentration which disrupted his pace and he stopped a few times for no apparent reason, his hips were sore and head was telling him to stop, however “If Crossfit has taught me one thing it never ever quit, just keep chipping away” and with so much support from the crossfit crowd around him he knew he couldn’t let them, or Variety the Charity whom he was raising money for down.

The next day he said his hand was a little swollen and forearm was sore making it hard to grip anything- everything else was good, better than expected.

So I had to ask this amazing man will you do it again?  – “Probably if someone breaks the record which I hope they do to prove that adaptive indoor rowing is getting stronger, but I’d like to attempt the 24 hour record first – timing is the issue however as my wife and I are expecting our 4th child in September, due the same day as the Australian Indoor Rowing Championships (Sept 14th) which I’d also like to compete in, after all it’s only 500 meters”.

This is what Richard had to say on completion of his broken record – “Thank you Crossfit Community I’m Absolutely Speechless by your acts of generosity, encouragement and support –and the way you brought me home will live in my memory forever.”

Jade Wolfenden.

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