British Indoor record broken as four row marathon distance

Four friends have successfully rowed the marathon distance of 26 miles and 385 yards each – a total of more than 100 miles – in order to raise money for the North West Lung Research centre, based at the University Hospital of South Manchester.

Gael Tavernier, who has worked at the Lung Research Centre for 12 years, organised the charity row-athon which took place this morning using indoor rowing machines. Gael commented, ‘We are absolutely delighted to have managed the full distance. The public support has been incredible and has really kept us going when the going got really tough! Knowing the amount we had already raised before starting and knowing that we could only raise more if we finished was a fantastic focus.’

Also taking part were Sian Henrys, Val Edwards and Brian Bailey. In addition to completing the distance, Brian attempted to break the British record for the marathon distance for his age group (70-79 years old). Brian’s preparations for the event went so well that he broke the half-marathon record in training. It is believed he has now set a new record of 3 hours 13 minutes 46.9 seconds.

Of Brian’s record, Gael said ‘Brian beating the British record for his age group is truly awesome… He is an amazing athlete and had put so much training into it and he is the one who wanted to do it for charity. It just goes to show that having fun, keeping fit and beating records is not just for the Olympians!!!’

All four participants are members of the nearby Warrington and Runcorn Rowing Clubs. Gael and Val have had a formidable season on the water; their double sculls partnership is undefeated as they have taken gold medals in the National Veterans’ and Henley Veterans’ championships.  Both are British Indoor Rowing Champions in their respective age classes.

Although all four participants also row outdoors, indoor rowing can be done without any experience of outdoor rowing. Indoor rowing machines provide an excellent whole-body workout and are safe for people of all ages to use because they are low-impact.

The North West Lung Centre is the major referral centre for respiratory disease in the North West. The centre is financially supported by the North West Lung Centre Charity. A wide range of research projects have been undertaken by the research centre over the past 10 years including the study of risk factors for the development of asthma and allergies, the evaluation of various treatment regimes in the management of lung cancer and research into lung transplant rejection.

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The event has been kindly sponsored by PS sports ( and All sports (