HONOLULU--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Meredith Loring and Sami Inkinen, a married couple based out of the San Francisco Bay Area, began their unsupported rowing expedition on June 18 out of Monterey Harbor, rowing more than 60 miles a day to cover their 2,800-mile Pacific crossing to Honolulu in 45 days and four hours. While they set the new pair’s speed record for a Mid-Pacific crossing, the couple’s expedition was largely an effort to bring attention to the dangers of sugar and to help decrease raising levels of childhood obesity and Type 2 diabetes.
Inkinen, who is also the co-founder of the online real estate company Trulia, and Loring are both formidable athletes, with Inkinen an age-group triathlon world champion and Loring the winner of her category in the Mount Everest marathon in June. However, neither had ever rowed when Inkinen came up with the idea last year. Inkinen was intrigued by the challenge of surviving in the miles of emptiness in the Pacific on a non-sugar and real food-based diet, and later convinced Loring to join him on the expedition.
During their six-week plus row, the couple survived on a diet of fat and protein with no processed carbohydrates – largely nuts, dried fruit, dehydrated vegetables, meats, fish and oils, while abstaining from the staples of energy gels, granola bars, and sports drinks that often go hand-in-hand with ultra-endurance efforts. By packing their boat with about a million calories of healthy non-sugar-based products, the couple was able to thrive.
According to Inkinen, “We are delighted by this accomplishment, and we are even happier that after such a long, solo endeavor, we will continue to remain married.” He added, “But joking aside, this has been an adventure of a lifetime, and we really wanted to demonstrate that you can not only survive but thrive during this sort of adventure by eating only real whole foods.”
For Inkinen, who additionally is the first Finnish person to ever row across the Pacific, the anti-sugar cause comes from a personal level. After learning he was pre-diabetic a few years back, despite being a 6-time Hawaii Ironman finisher, Inkinen decided to eliminate all sugar and most processed foods from his diet. In resisting sports drinks and energy bars in the current-filled waters of the Pacific, Inkinen added, “We are thrilled with this accomplishment and our ability to continue to highlight a cause so near to our heart and inspire many others to consider what is a truly healthy diet.” For now, the record holding couple will head back to their home in California and get back to work on finding new ways to reach audiences about the dangers of sugar. Loring recounts, “Despite my focus, it was incredibly hard to find products with no added sugar, so I really feel for people who are time constrained and trying to keep sugar out of their diets.”
The couple has worked closely with UCSF professor Dr. Robert Lustig & their chosen charity partner Institute for Responsible Nutrition towards relaying new research to the public with the goal of eliminating the childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes. They have raised well over $200,000 for the non-profit as a result of the rowing expedition.
To learn more about their journey or to help support their cause, visit their rowing expedition website at www.fatchancerow.org.