The event is lots of fun and open to anyone of any skill level, so we encourage you to join and help us support Doctors Without Borders!
There are three easy steps to registering for the event. First, register as an individual athlete. Once each team member has registered individually, register your team. Then set up a fundraising page with MSF using our step-by-step guidelines. Once you've raised at least $200, we'll send your team an email confirming its entry in the event. Registration closes two weeks before the event. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
Step One: Individual Registration
Step Two: Team Registration
Step Three: Set up a fundraising page
To participate in the event, every team has to raise at least $200—but how? This may seem like a daunting sum at first, but if you follow our tips, you'll raise it in no time! Fundraising closes a week before the event.
1. Split up the amount. If you have 4 team members, each person has to raise $50.
2. Your friends and family are an important resource! Go up to your parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and ask if they would donate to the campaign. Tell them about how Doctors Without Borders works to deliver medical aid in war zones like Syria and South Sudan, when disaster strikes in the form of earthquakes in Nepal or the Ebola crisis in West Africa, or in other places like the Mediterranean, where refugees seeking a better life still make dangerous voyages from Turkey to Greece. They'll donate in a heartbeat.
3. Be outgoing, not shy! Everyone you talk to, even if they can't donate, will be impressed with what you're doing. Guaranteed.
4. Any amount is appreciated. Don't pressure anyone to donate lots of money, because then they won't donate anything.
5. Use the fundraising page your team set up. Copy the URL of your team's fundraising page and share it with everyone who's interested in donating. Tell them to press the white "Sponsor Me" button in the top left corner. If they don't use the right page or donate another way, we can't see that your team has raised the minimum amount, and it won't be registered in time for the event.
6. Follow MSF's fundraising guidelines that you agreed to in creating your fundraising page. You can find them here, along with some more ideas and tips!
The event is in two parts—a long part and a short part, both of which will be done in teams and based off of the total distance rowed in a fixed time. We strongly recommend that you compete in teams of 3-4 athletes, otherwise it becomes quite hard! Here is a breakdown of the event, along with some tips and tricks!
Part 1: The 16-minute piece
Although it may seem long, in teams of 3 or 4, this is not a very long distance, about 4 minutes per person. How you split up this time is up to you, but we recommend 1 to 2 minutes an athlete at a hard, but sustainable pace (rate 28-32 strokes per minute). Smooth and fast transitions are also important to maximize time spent rowing. Decide the team's order of athletes before you start the race and keep it consistent throughout.
Take this time (about ten minutes) to recover and prepare for the next part of the race! Stay hydrated on drinks that contain electrolytes, like coconut water or Gatorade, and maybe have a small snack—save the meal for after the race.
Part 2: The 5-minute piece
This is the piece where you "empty the tank!" Since 5 minutes split across 3-4 people is so short, you should be pulling as hard as you can, at a very high rate (35-40 strokes per minute). We recommend intervals of 20-30 seconds. Smooth transitions between athletes are crucial to gaining those few extra meters—they should only take about 1 second each, and you should practice with your team before the competition! As well, in this section of the event, you will be racing against only one other team: the team that finished closest to your team in the 30-minute piece. The fastest-seeded teams will race first. This section guarantees to be intense and exciting, so make sure you bring some spectators to cheer your team on!