- Author Mark de Rond
I’ve had this book tucked away on my Kindle for ages (oddly, it doesn’t seem to be available for the Kindle anymore) but I dug it out in anticipation of the Boat Race this weekend. Mark De Rond spends the duration of the training period for the 2007 Cambridge boat crew, following them, guiding them, helping them, and documenting it all.
On the one hand, I really enjoyed following the journey of these amateur athletes, the pressure, the rollercoaster of training hard with no guarantee of making the final eight. The crew changes that occurred, the effect this had on the rest, the emotions throughout the whole period, this book provides a great insight to it all. On the flip side, I thought it went a bit too far, and was too geared towards the author at points. I’m not sure why we had descriptions of at least three dreams he had, or the section where he admires his naked self in front of the mirror. There’s also an awful lot of information about bathroom habits.
Having said that, the mundane detail isn’t always out of place. Finding out what the crew does on race day, from battling down some porridge in the morning, to watching the first season of The Office, these bits are interesting to me. Thankfully, the team won in 2007, so the book has a happy ending. And then, of course, the battle for supremacy on the River Thames begins all over again.