Terence Steinberg is aiming to set a new American world record for the 3000-mile crossing
London Business School (LBS) MBA student Terence Steinberg plans to row solo across the Atlantic in December 2019. Originally from the Adirondack Mountains, US, Steinberg is aiming to set a new American world record for fastest solo crossing and to win the solo class.
No amount of training could fully prepare him, he admitted. But he is nevertheless working hard, physically and mentally, to prepare for the Atlantic Challenge, a 3,000-mile rowing race from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean.
Competitors in the ocean race must be self-sufficient, carrying enough dehydrated food on board to survive, solar panels and a desalinator to produce water to drink, cook and clean with. The world record is 49 days but it can take up to 100.
Terence, a Schmidt MacArthur Fellow in the circular economy and Global Shaper in the World Economic Forum, is realistic but cheerful about the physical and mental task in store. “I’ve always loved being outdoors, even in miserable weather – it gives me energy,” he said. “And I enjoy the perspective you get from solitude.”
“We’re all a lot stronger than we think we are,” he continued. “I’d like to be a role model, to help people see that they can do more than they imagine is possible. People are scared of doing things they want to do and it doesn’t have to be that way.”
“I want to challenge myself, to use my body to self-propel to a place that’s really hard to reach. And I’m curious: I want to know what it feels like to be hundreds of miles from the nearest person. What’s it’s like to know there’s two miles of ocean beneath you and 1,500 miles on either side between you and land?”
Already super-fit (he has completed two Ironman triathlons, making the top 5%), Steinberg is taking part in ultramarathons to develop the mental strength for when the going gets tough in the Atlantic crossing.
He recently came second in a London-to-Brighton 100 km race and will run 145 miles nonstop from Bristol to London in July. “I don’t have any evidence to suggest I can do that – I’ve never run that far,” he said. “So that’s the training I’m doing: learning to trust myself to do something I haven’t done before.”
He is looking for corporate partners to work with him on the project as sponsors and collaborators, covering the costs of the race so he can then focus on raising money for a worthwhile charity.
Steinberg started running nine years ago to deal with depression. “It really helped. I had no idea that one day I’d be attempting to run 145 miles at a time,” he said.
His MBA classmates are enthusiastic. “Immediately, people say, ‘How can I help?’ There’s a great deal of trust and affinity within the LBS community. People quickly lend a helping hand. You don’t feel like you’re in competition with one another – it’s seeded in the classroom and spills over into the social environment.”
Follow Terence's journey