Posted: Tue, 06 Feb 2018 13:38

Take on The Great Row and get fit for free at Better leisure centres across the UK

Cancer Research UK is calling on the nation to take part in 'The Great Row' and row a marathon this March to raise money for life-saving research.

In partnership with the renowned Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, now known as The Cancer Research UK Boat Race, the charity is encouraging the nation to take on an indoor rowing challenge that can be conquered in stages or in one go anytime in March.

To help participants off the start line, Better leisure centres across the UK will open their doors and give free access every Friday in March to everyone who has signed up to take on the 26.2 mile challenge.

Track your rowing on the Workplace Challenge website, app or connect to Fitbit to automatically add your activity to the challenge leaderboards where you can compete for fun against other individuals and workplaces.

Andrew Hodge OBE, treble Olympic Champion rower and Cancer Research UK supporter, said: "Rowing has been a passion of mine since university and it's been amazing to see the increased interest in the sport over the years. Not only is it rewarding and great for overall fitness, it's accessible and fun too. You don't need to be at Olympic level to get involved in The Great Row, you can complete it in manageable chunks. And what better incentive to get moving than raising money for Cancer Research UK's work to beat cancer."

Frances Milner, executive director of philanthropy and partnerships at Cancer Research UK, said "The Great Row is a flexible challenge accessible to people of all fitness levels. It doesn't matter if you've never used a rowing machine before or you think you can power through a marathon in one go, you have the whole of March to complete it in your own time. Rowing is a great way to keep fit and not only will you feel a sense of achievement on a personal level, all the money raised will fund life-saving research that will save lives."

The fitness fundraiser is part of a wider partnership with The Boat Race following BNY Mellon and Newton Investment Management's decision to pull together and generously donate their headline sponsorship rights of the event in January 2016.

To download a training plan and fundraising pack, visit: and to join the conversation, follow #PullTogether on Twitter.

The Cancer Research UK Boat Races return on Saturday 24 March. For more information, visit:

To find your nearest Better leisure centre, visit

To find out more about how you can get involved in rowing and start indoor rowing with Go Row Indoor from British Rowing check out the information at

Tags: The Great Row, CRUK, Challenge, Rowing