An average day will begin at 5am, with competitors training around five-hours-a day, seven-days-a-week.
"It's of the highest importance to us -- we sacrifice six months of our lives for 16 minutes," Nash said.
"I'd say there's definitely lots of cases where the boat race has caused many a break-up."
Since old school chums Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge, and Charles Wordsworth, of Oxford, first challenged each other to a rowing race in the early 19th century, the competition has gained legendary status in Britain, attracting millions of TV viewers each year.
Fabled stories such as the "1877 dead heat" -- where judge "Honest John" Phelps had his view of the finish line obscured -- add to the almost mythical character of the competition.
Tradition continues to loom large in the race which begins with the toss of an 1829 gold coin and ends with throwing the winning cox into the water.
Today that strong sense of history sits happily beside state-of-the-art sports equipment and up-to-the-minute media coverage.
And while opinion remains divided on its merit -- Telegraph journalist Tom Chivers described the boat race as "fantastically boring" -- there's no denying its enduring place in the nation's history.