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71-year-old Parchment woman rows 85k meters a day

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) A 71-year-old woman from Parchment is burning up the competition in a worldwide rowing competition, rowing up to 85-thousand meters a day.

Alice Taylor is trying to help Borgess Health and Fitness Center win the World Erg Challenge, a team contest put on by Concept 2 Rowing.

More than 100 health clubs all over the world take part in the one-month challenge, each gym trying to rack up the most meters rowed and ultimately win a brand new rower.

For the past three weeks, Taylor has been on the rowing machine seven hours a day, six days a week.

They call me crazy, the crazy lady. But I think it's awesome, Taylor says. I think it's awesome that at my age I can do that!

Since the challenge started three weeks ago, Taylor has rowed nearly a million and a half meters.

I still have a week to go! Taylor laughs. Im trying to get that two million!

Right now she's the top female in the world and I think she's just beaten the top male in the world, says Borgess fitness attendant, Abigail Overbeek.

Taylor says she typically gets to the gym around five in the morning to jumpstart her daily routine.

I do the first 20-thousand meters, then I get up and walk around, Taylor explains. Then I might eat a banana or a peanut butter sandwich and then I come back because I want to get at least 50-thousand meters done in the morning.

Since her rowing journey began, Taylor has become a bit of a celebrity around the gym. 

Posters and fliers featuring her picture are hanging throughout the health club.

I don't think there's anyone here who doesn't know who she is, Overbeek adds. Shes an amazing lady, super smiley and happy, always making everyone laugh and yelling at everyone to come over and row.

Taylor says, not only does she feel energized by her new workout regiment, she has also dropped ten pounds.

The only thing sore is my bottom! The rest of me feels great, Taylor laughs. I don't feel like a 70-year-old, I feel more like a 39-year-old. Everyone asks, What's your age? And I just tell them 39!

If Taylor wins the individual challenge, she will receive a prize.  But the overall contest is a team event.
    
Borgess is in third place at the moment with about 7 million meters rowed.  The team in first place is from Indiana and currently has about 14 million meters.
    
The competition ends next Tuesday at midnight.

For more information on the World Erg Challenge, click here.