Monahan’s Many Miles

Ed Monahan setting out from his dock on Long Pond in Connecticut on his 5,848th row since he took up rowing in 1990. Photo: Betty Monahan.

4 September 2017

Göran R Buckhorn writes:

On 29 July, I happened to meet Ed Monahan, an avid rower and author of Rowing Retrospectives: A Personal View of New England Masters Sculling (2004), at the exhibition and sale “The Art of Rowing” at The Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport. Ed told me that he was close to reaching his interim goal of rowing 15,000 miles. Ed, now in his 82nd year, is looking for his next rowing goal. (Back in April 2011, when he reached 12,451 miles, which is half the circumference of the Earth at the Equator, he, in what he contends was a moment of lucidity, told one and all that he had NO aspirations of making it all the way around the Earth at the Equator!)

When I came back from my trip to Sweden the other day, there was an e-mail from Ed saying that on Tuesday, 29 August, he had reached his goal. Ed writes: ‘Already back on 23 May, I had reached an aggregate distance of 14,872 miles, which by my reckoning is the distance around the Latitude Circle that runs through Galway, Ireland, which is one of my occasional rowing venues.’

Ed waving when he knew that he had reached 15,000 miles. Photo: Betty Monahan.

In Ed’s early rowing years, he used time-based formulae to conservatively estimate his distance which he rowed each day. Much of Ed’s rowing mileage was done rowing in multi-seat shells with his friends in the Niantic River Sculling Warthogs. ‘One in our crew had a Garmin GPS and he came up with the distances for the usual practice courses we rowed on that river,’ Ed remarks.

Ed Monahan

With his wife Betty, Ed took up full-time residence on Long Pond, Connecticut, in the spring of 2006, ‘By August 2007, I had received my first Garmin from Betty and have been using it, or one of its successors, each time I have rowed on Long Pond since, i.e. for the past 10 years.’

When he ended his row on 29 August his total mileage by this reckoning was 15,001.96 miles, Ed mentions. HTBS wishes Ed good luck when he now sets out for his next distance goal, whatever it may be.


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