Monster Erg 2020

Sunday, February 09, 2020 - By: Milla W, Allard ‘21

Last Sunday, our Brentwood crew took to the ergs at the University of Victoria to race a 2km against many top-notch athletes in the area. This provided the opportunity to watch collegiate and national team athletes compete in riveting neck-and-neck races, which had us all on the edge of our seats. Along with this, we watched a few of Brentwood’s finest compete in the Masters Men category. Congratulations on your fantastic races Mr Wismer, Mr Smith, and Mr Burton!

Bob B, Eills ‘20 summed up the event pretty well in saying, “Monster Erg has a great atmosphere, comprised of amazing people and athletes!” The climate is always bustling, with athletes moving in and out of warm-up areas and onto the race platform, accompanied by the cheers of everyone around. But, while most competitors are enthralled by the action, others dread the day they must compete in Monster Erg. Holly B, Allard ‘21 told me she, “felt tired and sore and my piece wasn't great, but it definitely feels like a huge weight off my shoulders to know that it’s finally over.”

Now, I know the exact feelings of Holly, as I experienced them firsthand in my novice year. The piece was incredibly nerve-wracking on its own, not accounting for the many spectators judging you from a distance. Thankfully, our novices this year seemed to have no such troubles. “This is my first year rowing and my first time attending Monster Erg, but the atmosphere was surprisingly upbeat and was a pretty enjoyable environment to race in. Overall, I'm really thankful I went and put myself out there even though it wasn't my best time” reflected Grace B, Hope ‘21.

Sarah G, Allard ‘21 said, “The entirety of Monster Erg was arranged differently this year, from the gym setup to the location of the warm-up. Not only was the setting changed but all of the athletes had an altered approach to their 2ks this year compared to last year. This enabled some to PB and others to miss their target. But hey, it's a learning experience!!”

Boy, what a learning experience it was! As soon as we walked into the gym that I am usually so terrified of, I couldn’t think of anything besides how they had changed the layout of the competition to account for MORE ERGS. However, despite my initial shock and sense of dread, I managed to follow my race plan with Mrs. Biesenthal right behind me, guiding me the whole way through.

As Solveig C, Allard ‘21 states, “Monster Erg was optional, however, optional is not in the vocabulary of the dedicated athletes who wake up at the crack of dawn for practice and push through every practice after a full day of school. Monster Erg is where we first get to showcase all the hard work we put in day after day and each athlete went into the day with a fighting mentality and powered through the hardest 2km to-date. No matter the outcome, we got up off those ergs with our heads held high and calmly walked away, leaving the theatrics for the musical.”

For me, this is a wonderful example of the grit our crew pushes through in order to find joy in our results and the bonds we have made along the way. We have chosen to be here and we are not going to let some ergs damage our spirits!

Some of the club's best results included Mr Wismer winning the 30+ Masters Men, Mr. Smith capturing gold in the 40+ category, Grace B winning U19 novice women's sprint, Cuchulain C winning the U17 novice men, Bridget B finishing third among the U17 women, and Eva T, Anna R, and Anika E finishing within 0.3 seconds of each other to place second, third, and fourth in the U17 novice women's event.

Milla W, Allard ‘21

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