FRIENDS of two Telford rowers, who both passed away in recent months, have vowed to raise thousands of pounds for Severn Hospice by putting their own fitness to the test by running and rowing in long-distance challenges.
The members of the indoor rowing club, Wrekin Rowers in Wellington, want to raise money in memory of fellow indoor rower Marc Christian who lost his battle against Glioblastoma Multiforme – a very rare and aggressive form of brain cancer and Gary Richards, one of a team of four who completed a 3,000-mile row across the Atlantic, who died aged 57 after being diagnosed with terminal duodenal cancer
James Dowdall, a member of Wrekin Rowers, will be kicking off the fundraising today by attempting to run the T50 route – 50 miles around Telford – but will be running it not once but twice – making it a 100-mile challenge!
Mr Dowdall, 43, a member of Wrekin Rowers, will be leaving his home in Nevil Road in Wellington at 8am on Thursday and hopes to complete the two circuits of the 50-mile route in around 24 to 26 hours.
His support crew through the day and night includes his wife Jude and running friend Steve Hill.
He has a number of checkpoints throughout the route and people will be able to follow his tracker too.
Jim Mostyn, who runs Wrekin Rowers with his wife Sally at Wrekin College, has also organised an indoor rowathon whereby 13 rowers will row the distance of the London Marathon as runners take on the route through the capital city on April 23rd.
All funds raised from Mr Dowdall’s run and the indoor rowathon will go to Severn Hospice in memory of Marc and Gary.
Mr Mostyn said:
“James is doing both the 100-mile run – twice around the T50 route in Telford – and also our 26-mile indoor row.
“Marc was a stalwart of Gym Mostyn rowing, circuit training and Jimbo (core stability) for over twenty years.
“He was one of the mad three who rowed 100,000 metres overnight, he was a regular on the local running scene and even last summer he was part of the crew which won the Severn Hospice Dragon Boat race. Already we very much miss his smile, his sunny nature and his enthusiasm for exercise.
“Many of our members knew Gary and we celebrated his epic Atlantic row with the team. I personally have worked with Gary prior to the row with regards to his training and technique. He was a wonderful man and also shared the same determination and love of fitness as our beloved friend Marc.”
Before setting off on the clockwise and anticlockwise laps of the T50, Mr Dowdall said:
“I know people have run the T50 route but I don’t know of anyone who has run it twice within the same 24-hour period!
“I really want to complete it in 24 to 26 hours – it won’t be fast and certainly won’t be pretty but I am determined to complete it and would love people to come to the checkpoints to cheer me on and keep me going – and maybe hand me some refreshments!”
There are still places for any indoor rowers who wish to take part in the London Marathon distance indoor row next month. Anyone interested can email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a place.