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Morgan County, Colorado woman sets world record rowing boat in Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii


DENVER (KDVR) — A Colorado woman is set to be recognized for a world record after she rowed, with a teammate, across the Pacific Ocean from California to Hawaii.

Jayme Linker of Brush, Colorado, trained six to eight hours a day to prepare for her trek across half of the Pacific Ocean.

The rowing took just over 45 days, and it was not her first trip across an ocean. It was all to raise awareness about a very serious medical condition.

“The only thing that propels these ocean rowing boats are us, the motors,” Linker said.

She had crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a row boat before, from Spain to the Caribbean. That trip qualified her to take on a longer trek.

“While someone’s on the oars, the other person’s resting, sleeping, eating, whatever,” Linker said.

Records and amazing physical feats aside, Jayme shared her experience on the water.

“Every time I’m on the oars, I’m putting every single ounce of effort I’ve got into it. So it is like a two-hour sprint, every single time,” Linker said.

That sprint had to be fueled by a specific number of calories per day.

“You eat as quickly as you can because whatever time is left is your time to sleep or go to the bathroom,” Linker said.

Answering nature’s call on the water, Linker said, is a task all its own.

“You pray that nothing crazy’s going to happen, especially in the big waves, you’re like ‘can I hold it?’ but you can’t,” Linker said.

After 45 days and several hours of the journey, it ended with a celebration and a new record: the first American woman to cross half of the Pacific Ocean, entirely by rowing.

“I miss being out there because it felt like overnight, we were already there,” Linker said.

With one incredible journey over, she said she was ready for the next.

“Even now it’s like how am I back to my normal life already,” Linker said. “What do I do now?”

The row wasn’t just a physical accomplishment for Jayme, it was a cause close to her: raising awareness for eating disorders, a condition she experienced in years past.

“I went to the hospital, almost died,” Linker said. “It was a really bad experience and after that, I was just like, life’s too short, right? I don’t want to not do what I want to do in life and so I started training.”

She conquered her own disorder, then she went on to conquer entire oceans.

It’s all on board, her broader mission of making a recovery plan for others experiencing eating disorders, tailored to their own needs.

“I want to find a way to work with each person,” Linker said. “What’s going to work best for them, and let’s find a way to do it so they have the best possible option for success.”

For more information about her cause, you can contact her at bearmoosehideaway@gmail.com.

Linker is attending a ceremony in London later this year where she’ll officially be recognized for her record-setting trip.

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