A Show of Strength with Connor’s Erg Challenge

On March 9, the University of Wisconsin and Stanford University crew teams once again battled it out for brain cancer in the second annual Connor’s Erg Challenge. Connor’s presumptive summer school (he was accepted to Stanford just before his diagnosis) and his home state university at Madison, Wisconsin, got together albeit virtually to compete for the coveted Connor’s Cup.

The premise: the fastest team to reach 100km on the erg machine wins. Sweat and good fun, all in the name of Robert Connor Dawes Foundation and their dedication to brain matters.

Dressed in Connor’s Erg Challenge tanks, the teams kicked off the race toward the finish line, Stanford Cardinal’s in Palo Alto California, the Wisconsin Badger’s at the Porter Boathouse in Madison.  Through live video streaming each school could watch the other’s progress.  This year both men and women’s crew teams along with the women’s lightweight crews got involved.  The aim was to raise awareness of and support for brain cancer, the US #1 cancer killer of young people: do some good, and have good fun at the same time.

‘It’s been great how the team’s come together,’ one happy Wisconsin Badger, Anna Leach said. ‘We love competing against Stanford. And it’s been great to come together in the name of a young man who really gave rowing his all.’ Connor can no longer do it, but these rowers will continue his legacy.

Just over an hour later, with 5 ergs for the men and 6 for the women working in a relay fashion, the Wisconsin team claimed the coveted prize. But with over $15000 raised in support of brain matters, it’s fair to say everyone’s a winner.

Wisconsin winning times:

Men – 5:14.55
Women – 6:25.29