A rower who became the fastest woman to cross the Atlantic solo says her record-breaking feat was fueled by Terry’s chocolate oranges and cans of Irn-Bru.
Miriam Payne, 23, completed the 3000-mile Talisker Whiskey Atlantic Challenge – dubbed “the world’s toughest run” – in record time last week.
He was forced to eat frozen pasta, curry, chicken and rice for every meal and even ate it instead of a traditional Christmas dinner.
But she ate a Terry chocolate orange and had a can of Irn-Bru as a reward for every 500 miles she rowed, which she said she “relyed on her sanity” until the end of the challenge.
Speaking for the first time after completing the grueling challenge, Miriam told SWNS: “When I hit each 500 mile milestone I would have an Irn Bru and a chocolate orange.
“I think my logic was based on that until the end. I think I must have had about six or seven total.
“But I really struggled with all the food, especially at the start of the race because it made me feel quite sick.
“After the halfway mark I was fine because I was so hungry I would have eaten anything – especially in the last week.”
It set off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands on 12 December and arrived in Antigua in the Caribbean 59 days, 16 hours and 36 minutes later on 10 February.
Miriam also broke the race record for the fastest solo female rower in the challenge which she described as “so great” and “pretty special”.
He said: “It was so tight with the record the last few days that by the time I finished I was ready to give up. But it feels great.
“My parents and my brother were the first to greet me at the finish and then my aunt, uncle and some other family friends came.
“It was nice to see some of the rowers who had already finished and were hanging around Antigua and came to see me as well.”
Miriam said that despite enjoying the challenge, the final week was the hardest because the “conditions weren’t really good”, which took a toll on her mentally.
The former astrophysics student said: “I think the last week has been the hardest because it’s so close so far.
“It was so up in the air for the record because the conditions weren’t really good and the weather wasn’t either.
“So it was very up and down and I was doing so many hours of rowing but I wasn’t making the progress I wanted at the time.
“I was so close to basically doing it, but I just had to finish it, so it was pretty tough mentally and physically as well.”
She is flying back to the UK next week and said she can’t watch to catch up with her friends as she has missed all the “gossip about what’s going on at home”.
Miriam, of Market Weighton, East Yorks,. she said: “It’s been really nice and great to disconnect from social media and everything like that.
“But with your close friends, you miss the gossip about what’s going on at home.
“Also, I have no idea what’s been going on in world news for the past two months.”
He also said he had difficulty walking because he often spent 18 hours a day rowing, sitting in the same position.
READ MORE: This is what rowing across the Atlantic in 42 days will do to your face
Miriam has raised over £16,000 for two mental health charities – Mind Hull and East Yorkshire and Wellbeing of Women which she said is “really great”.
The former Glasgow University student added: “The £16,000 is really great and people have been so kind and generous.
“I’m aiming for around £20,000 so hopefully we can get there.”
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