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February 12, 2019 4 min read

It’s almost a month since Big Boss Pam smashed her marathon charity row, so we thought it was a good moment to cast our minds back (back, back….) to that most memorable of days…

Imagine the scene… it’s the 19th January, a few days after Pam’s Birthday, and it’s all quiet at CrossFit Iron Duke HQ in Waterlooville…. Not for long though because at 11am, Pam arrived to take her place on one of the twelve rowing machines and between then and 3pm, 80 more people (yes… 80!) joined in to do their bit and they all rowed their socks off!

Crossfit Iron Duke charity row for Big Crocodile

When Pam first came up with the Marathon Row idea, she was imagining a far more solitary affair, but the reality of the event totally blew her away.

Not one training session was spent alone - every time at least 1 person (if not six) turned up to row alongside her. When Pam’s friend and training buddy (Iron Duke Founder and Big Crocodile model Toby) came up with the idea of having additional rowers who would donate to join in, she was not expecting such a mammoth rush of enthusiasm either. All the rowing spaces quickly filled up, with donations and support coming in from all over the place. Kerry from Crossfit Iron Duke was a brilliant wingwoman, hosting the event, getting the gym set up ready and making sure all those involved were fully fed and watered at all times (as well as hopping on and off a rowing machine at regular intervals). It was Team Big Croc collaborating with Team Iron Duke in the best possible way.

Big Crocodile charity row

Friends, family, Big Croccers and Iron Dukers (plus a few random people who heard about the row on the grapevine and are now firm friends) turned up to support Pam.

Rowing for 15 minutes each on 1 of 8 rowing machines, cheering Pam on from the sidelines and enjoying the copious amounts of cake provided to keep everyone sweet (and to raise a little bit more cash). The mileage clocked up by the minute and there was even a special rower for the junior volunteers who racked up a marathon of their own too - brilliant. The activity wasn’t limited to the rowing machines either. With marathon runs and marathon bike rides all happening too there were a whopping 18 marathons achieved in total! The gym was buzzing, the tunes were pumping, the bunting was flapping and it was all in aid of a marvellous cause. 

Big Crocodile Marathon runnersRunners Rowers and Cycling

Pam was there to row a full 26 miles.

Having been in training under Toby’s guidance (thanks Toby!) since November she was definitely pretty well prepared, but a marathon on a rowing machine is a very long way. She started out on the row, kitted out in Big Crocodile sportswear and full of smiles, flanked by awesome, musclebound team mates Toby and Harry (who both rowed full marathons too). Toby and Harry helped set the pace and spur Pam on but there was no doubt that the going was tough. 

Big Crocodile Marathon Row sport team
Throughout the marathon attempt, there was sweat, there was laughter, there were tears (mainly of relief) but most of all there was an unbelievable feeling of camaraderie and a very heartfelt show of support, willingness and enthusiasm from everyone there on the day. Once Pam had reached her target (in a super impressive 3-and-a -half hours) and everyone gathered for a group photo with Pam and Ellie, it was clear that Pam had never expected her little fundraising plan to scale such astonishing heights. A thoroughly humbling experience for Pam and a fantastic example of what a community can do when they pull together. Also a top performance from Pam herself of course (though she’s very modest about it). With barely a dry eye in the house a giant cheque (in both size and value) was handed over to Ellie and there was nothing more to do than celebrate… with more cake of course.

Big Crocodile sportswear charity event

Our Big Crocodile special edition row t.shirts went down a storm throughout (great idea, Toby ;-) and the sea of blue around the gym was a clear indication of everyone’s desire to be part of what proved to be the making of some unforgettable memories for Pam. 

The inspiration behind the Marathon row event was Pam’s friend, the marvellous Ellie.

Her strength and stoicism in the face of a particularly aggressive form of breast cancer has had a profound effect on Pam, and that combined with knowing far too many people affected by the disease, made Pam want to do something tangible to help improve some lives.

Big Crocodile clothing raises money for Osborne House

The Osborne Trust is the charity which all the proceeds from the Marathon Row have been donated to.

A national charity which provides support for children who have a parent undergoing treatment for cancer, the money raised by Pam and her super supporters (almost £4000 at the last count!) will directly fund trips for children, days out, books and cuddly toys to help take their minds off mum or Dad’s cancer, just for a little while - and to give them some well-earned ‘me time’.

Big Crocodile Rowers

It only remains to say a massively ginormous THANK-YOU to everyone who supported, sponsored, rowed and rocked up to Pam’s marathon row.

Without getting all gooey, it’s fair to say she (and Ellie) appreciate you A LOT. 

Big Crocodile marathon Pam

PS. If this inspires you to make a little donation to the incredible Osborne Trust, then why not pop over here.

PPS. Friend of Big Crocodile, Drew from Drew Irvine Photography kindly gave up his day, free of charge to take photos of the day. For more pics, head to his FB page here.

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