Setting off from La Gomera in the Canary Islands this week, the endurance event will be a far cry from the East Yorkshire farm where she grew up, says her dad and Pocklington member, Christopher Payne. But it’s an ambition she has had for several years after getting the rowing bug while at university.
“More people have climbed Mount Everest than have rowed the Atlantic,” he said. “She will face tremendous physical and mental challenges, but couldn’t have done more to prepare.”
Rowing for two health and welfare charities
Partly in response to the challenges of the race – which will see her unable to accept any repairs, food or water once underway – Miriam has chosen to raise money for two health and wellbeing charities: Wellbeing of Women and Mind.
Both charities, she says, are close to her heart as both champion physical and mental health issues that are typically misunderstood and under-funded.
With 50-60 days of rowing and more than 1.5m oar strokes ahead, Miriam is not surprised when people ask her why she is taking on such a feat of endurance.
“I know it will be unbelievably tough and I will have to trust my training, preparation and mental strength, but ultimately not much happens that’s interesting when you take the easy route!
“I am so grateful for all the support I have had to make this dream a reality – from the generous sponsorship to the two mini Christmas cakes my mum has made to help keep me going.
“They will make all the difference when I am mainly getting my 5000 calories a day from rehydrated meals!”
NFU support for Miriam's quest
The NFU’s York East County team has supported Miriam’s quest and county chairman, Angela Kirkwoood, says she will be following her progress as she drives for the finish line in Antigua.
“This is a remarkable solo, unassisted effort but I’m sure she will complete it in style,” she said. “We all wish her all the luck in the world and will be so proud to see one of our local farming community taking part in such a gruelling event.”
Follow Miriam's progress
As Miriam sets off on her epic journey, you can follow the race on the Talisker Whisky Atlantic Rowing Challenge website
Miriam is also posting throughout her row on her various social media channels: Instagram Facebook and TikTok
Miriam also has her own website, with more information about the challenge and about the charities she is supporting.
For obvious reasons, Miriam is trying to raise as much money as possible for her two charities: