Winner Emily Tench meets Mark Hunter!
Emily Tench won the Mark Hunter Challenge where she submitted her fitness plan! She tells us her story of her experience meeting with Gold Olympian - Mark Hunter
"I was lucky enough to get the chance to meet Mark Hunter after winning the mykindacrowd challenge to design a training program for someone trying to get fit. I am a keen rower and adapted the training plan that I follow for this competition. I decided that I wanted to include a wide variety of different activities to develop the three main components of fitness: stamina, strength and flexibility. My sessions included: circuit sessions, core stability work, water work, ergo sessions, weights circuits and plenty of stretching. These are some of the sessions that I have done in the past and so were ideal for this training plan. Obviously, when I found out that I had won, I was absolutely thrilled as I have always wanted to get the opportunity to row with an Olympian.
I arrived at Dorney Lake and looked nervously to see how the lake was behaving on that particular day. Dorney is renowned for having unpredictable conditions at the best of times but luck was on our side as the lake appeared remarkably still. As an added bonus, the sun had even decided to make an appearance. Everything was set for a perfect outing.
I met Mark and was delighted to find that he was just as nice in real life as he appeared on the television. After posing for a few photographs with him (fine – a lot of photos!), we got out the double scull from the boat house and set out on our outing. The experience was invaluable as he gave me lots of technical tips so that I could improve my own rowing. We did one loop of the lake and then stopped again for a photo break on the water. On the second loop, I chatted with Mark about how he got involved with rowing and his experiences throughout his rowing career. He started rowing at the age of 14 at Poplar Rowing Club and then proceeded to compete at a local, national and finally international level. He said that his first experience of international rowing was the annual GB vs France match, a competition which I hope to qualify for in the coming months.
Towards the end of the session, we decided to increase the power and practiced some 15 stroke bursts. The boat speed was incredible and it made me realise what a really fast boat actually feels like. I hope one day that I will be able to replicate such power but it will require a huge amount of dedication and training to do so.
After finished the session, Mark showed me his Olympic medals, thus giving me a final chance to have some photos taken. He was such an inspirational figure and the experience has further fuelled my desire to row at the Olympics one day. Thank you to mykindacrowd, Room54 and of course Mark himself for creating such as wonderful experience for me. I know it is clichéd but it truly was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity."