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Date: 24 Mar 2010 10:31:26
Title: back on dry land

Hello everybody!

So we are back on dry land, and yes, its lovely if not a bit strange.

We had a great reception at Gatwick after, what was actually, quite a nice flight and had another great welcome when returning home. And since then, its been go go go. I actually, to my better judgement, decided not to work this week so its been slightly less stressful that i thought it would. But, sitting in a traffic jam or getting on the train, reality has really kicked in.

The final few stages of the race were hard. That final day, we pretty much rowed all we could, two up the whole time. I have to say, i really did feel that my batteries were empty by the end but as we crossed the finishline (which is just a boat and so abit of an anti climax) we were greeted by Ben Fogle, which was a great suprise.

Returning to the dock side, having imagined we would be greeted by just a few, there must have been 100 plus other people. Although it was a bit of a daze, it was equally amazing. Past rowers, family and friends, and then the best, milksakes and burgers. In insight, i probably should have finished without a t-shirt on to show the weightloss but then im not sure how comfortable i would have been with all the cameras. Not knowing where to turn, hannah found me and pulled me over, the relief was overwelming and yes, you guessed it, i started crying again!!!

Nothing suprised me on the physical element of the row and how i coped other than my back being fine. I was suprised how i took the challenge mentally. I found it far harder than i thought it would be, BUT im proud to say that when we were not on anchor, neither myself or tom never missed a shift, including the time that i was very seasick. But my god, how long were we on anchor.......!!!

I really dont think the enormaty of the challenge has actually set in yet and i dont think it will until all the boats are done. I still have friends out there and until they are done, i wont be able to relax. The manchester fireman had a great finish to finish 2 days behind us as the winds changed the morning after we arrived. But what an effort by them. 11 places they gained in a week, quite brilliant.

So, thats about it from me, i just want to say a massive thank you to everybody and especially hannah. Its been her journey as much as mine and i just feel bad that people are now congratulating me and not her, i dont know whether i would have given up, but without her on email/text or down the phone, i dont know what i would have done.


So, thank you.

We should have all our photo's up on the website very soon, but, if you cant wait, message me on facebook, they are all there.

I hope your all well, saying good bye, not from a hot and steamy cabin, but from a nice airy house infront of the tv. What shall i watch next.

rich



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