Row Raiser 2018

In 2015 Jason Bienko was a one-man wrecking crew when he completed a half marathon on a rower to support Special Olympics.  In 2016 we kicked it up a bit with 60+ athletes rowing an entire Marathon in groups of 7 – 10.  In 2017 we had 80+ athletes. Our goal for 2018 is 100 athletes!


CrossFit Defined is one of the 19 official Row Raiser locations this year. 7 – 10 people per team will work together to complete either a Marathon (42,195 meters) or a Half-Marathon (21,097 meters) on a rower.  Split the work up any way you can, the goal is to work as a team and get it done.  The Row Raiser event is open to everyone. CFD members, other gym/affiliate members, friends, family, and neighbors.  We just want to get 100 kick ass motivated people together to raise money and awareness for Special Olympics of Chicago.

The details:

When: Saturday, July 14th at 9:00a sharp (the gym will be open at 8:30a for warm-ups and check-ins).

Where: CFD Lakeview – 3834 N. Broadway Ave. 60613.

Why: To raise money for your local Special Olympics team and sneak in a heck of a workout.

Cost: $50 per person.  Register Here (register as an individual and then select CFD as a host gym).

Who: anyone who can sit on a rower and do some work. No skill/experience needed. Just the ability to work hard and be a team player. You can sign up solo or with some friends. We will help everyone create teams of 7 – 10 the day of the event. Don’t worry about having a team. Coach David, Jason, and the CFD coaching team will work together on the day of the event to create teams.

Registration: Sign up here (register as an individual and then select CrossFit Defined as a host gym).

Distance: A marathon – 42,195 meters (split up between teams of 7 to 10 people).  We will have a half marathon option as well. It seems like a ridiculous distance to finish, but with a huge team and some incredible energy, getting to the finish line is easier than you think.

Day of: We will gather all the athletes that have signed up and put them on teams at about 9:10a and then get started right at 9:15a. All you need to do is register and show up.  We will take care of the rest.  For those that have teams or would like to row with certain people, we will make sure to keep you and your group together.  The event will take 2 1/2 to 3 hours depending on how fast your team rows. If you have any questions please contact us at

History of the Event:

The first Row Raiser was held in Quincy in 2015. Organized by CrossFit athlete Sam Dancer, the first event raised $10,000 for Special Olympics Illinois. This year, the Row Raiser is being held in 12 Illinois cities with the goal of raising $100,000.

Since partnering with Special Olympics Illinois Southwestern/Area 11, Sam Dancer and his staff opened their hearts to training a few “special” athletes. This has made QTOWN CrossFit a model of inclusion for the CrossFit community. As the relationships grew, so did the desire to impact more Special Olympics athletes through raising funds and awareness statewide. This is where YOU come in.

Registration: Sign up here (register as an individual and then select CrossFit Defined as a host gym).

The 2016 Crew!