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Rowing to the Top – Jack Nunn is 2013 Fan’s Choice Masters Athlete of the Year

by Ed Moran, ed@usrowing.org | Nov 13, 2013
Jack Nunn’s Long Beach, Calif., rowing and fitness training center, Roworx, was doing well until the economic downturn began cutting into his business. Nunn operated two locations, one inside the Long Beach Rowing Association boathouse and at a second location in a warehouse in downtown Long Beach where he taught indoor rowing and indoor cycling. When he started, his business was called Power House Fitness and as he began to lose clients he decided that the way to bring them back was to do something inspiring.
Jack Nunn’s Long Beach, Calif., rowing and fitness training center, Roworx, was doing well until the economic downturn began cutting into his business.

Nunn operated two locations, one inside the Long Beach Rowing Association boathouse and at a second location in a warehouse in downtown Long Beach where he taught indoor rowing and indoor cycling. When he started, his business was called Power House Fitness and as he began to lose clients he decided that the way to bring them back was to do something inspiring.

So he began training for an Ironman competition. Nunn is the son of 1968 Olympic bronze-medalist John Nunn, and rowed at Long Beach Juniors, the University of California and on the United States Under 23 National Team. He felt the best way to train was to row, which led to entering races.

Last year Nunn went on a tear, winning first his age group at the 2013 C.R.A.S.H.-B. World Indoor Rowing Championship satellite regatta in Long Beach, which served as a regional qualifier, and then won the men’s pair, double and four at the Spring Regatta in Long Beach. Rowing with his father, Nunn won the masters B eight and club B eight events at the 2013 San Diego Crew Classic.

And to finish off the year, he traveled to Italy with a group of athletes to the 2013 World Masters Games in Lago di Candia, and won gold in the C eight, A eight, A four and A single and well as a bronze medal in the 30+ triathlon and gold in the 30+ duathlon.

For his many accomplishments, Nunn was voted the 2013 Fan’s Choice Masters Athlete of the Year. He will be honored next week at the third annual Golden Oars Awards Dinner on Wednesday, November 20, at the New York Athletic Club in New York City.

“It’s great,” Nunn said of the recognition. “I was recommended by a few of my members and (two-time Olympic silver medalist) Joan Van Blom, so it was pretty cool. This year was pretty substantial. I wasn’t planning on doing all this, but it ended up that way. Winning with my dad at Crew Classic as well as winning two other events and also going to Italy with a group of guys and doing well there was great.”

“The inspiration came from my business. I had two locations. I had a warehouse and the boathouse for my indoor rowing fitness centers and I had a five year lease that was finishing up a couple of years ago and the economy took a hit and I was trying save my business and one way I thought I could inspire clients was to train for an ironman. This was like a year and a half ago.

“I trained as hard as I could, trying to save the business and all that training kind of propelled me into doing more rowing events and then going to Italy for the Worlds Masters Games. I didn’t want to let my members down.”

Nunn’s efforts did not result in his being able to keep the warehouse location, but under the new name Roworx, his business is thriving, he said. Getting help from instructors like his father and Van Blom, and other former and active national team athletes, including Tom and Peter Graves, Nunn is teaching people how to row and spreading the word about the sport.

“To have people like that teaching classes is pretty amazing,” he said. “It’s just a really cool thing that we have going and it’s really solid in this one location now. This year, all the stars just kind of aligned with all the training and all the opportunities.

“Rowing has given me so much over the past 20 years, and I have always felt I owe it something back,” said Nunn. “It has given me the chance to travel around the world and has brought me close to my father and friends.

“Rowing has given me an identity, and I'm honored to accept this award and teach people more about this amazing sport. I encounter people everyday who know very little about rowing at Roworx. I am honored to spread the knowledge of the muscle endurance and power that rowing can give you while teaching proper technique.”

Click here for a link to past Fan's Choice Award Winners.
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