On Saturday the McMaster Marauders hosted the 11th annual 2X4 Challenge which drew a total of 36 teams in various divisions.

The McMaster 2X4 Challenge is an indoor rowing event which consists of teams of four rowing on an erg for a combined total of 8 kilometers. It is a grueling test of strength mentally and physically as well as an endurance for all that competed, which included high schoolers to university students.

There was also a men’s open club team that was comprised of rowers from the Leander Boat Club and the Canadian Touch Rugby team.

First up were the Club Mix and University Novice Men teams. In the Club Mix the Brock Badgers took first place, setting a new record of 23:01.2, besting the old record by 5.7 seconds. McMaster would finish second just over three minutes later while the students from Westdale Secondary finished in a time of 30:19.6. For the Novice Men, the Marauders finished first in a time of 23:21.1 with the University of Guelph just over a minute later.

Next up were the University Lightweight Women which also saw a new record posted for the event. The Guelph Gryphons would complete the 8km row in a time of 25:47 setting the new record by the slimmest of margins, beating the record by 1.6 seconds. The Marauders would cross the line for the second time on the day in second place, finishing in a time of 28:06.2 with the University of Toronto 21.5 second back in third place.

For the third straight race a record fell, this time in the University Lightweight Men’s event. The University of Toronto would row their way to victory and the record in a time of 22:12, besting the previous mark by 16.1 seconds. They were followed by Western who finished 35 second back and then by McMaster.

Taking to the ergs next were the University Varsity Women. Western would take home the victory in this division with a time of 25:11.5 with Carleton University just over a minute back and McMaster finishing in third nearly two minutes behind the winners.

In the final race of the day, the University Varsity Men took to the ergs with the team from Western duplicating what the women did, pulling out the win in a time of 21:15.2. The University of Guelph were the next to finish, 52 second back of Western. Next to cross the 8km finish line was McMaster in a time of 23:05.1, good for third place and finishing 20.8 seconds ahead of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Also testing their endurance on the day were the junior varsity women from Guelph University who finished in a time of 27:09.9. Unfortunately, during the event one of their members fell ill and was removed from the competition. In the Club Open division, the Leander Boat Club finished in a time of 22:20.3. LBC’s time was better than time posted by two of the varsity men’s teams.

Overall, the McMaster Women’s team would take home the varsity and team trophies while the men took home the team trophy and the Western Mustangs won the varsity men’s trophy. For the high schoolers, St. Mary’s were the top team in the men’s races and the Westdale women were the top team in their races.

With the conclusion of the event, it marks the unofficial end to McMaster’s indoor winter rowing activities as they prepare to start getting back out on the water for regattas.