Rowing miles and miles to raise cash for hospice

James Sexton takes on 'The Biggest Losers' in the rowing challenge
James Sexton takes on 'The Biggest Losers' in the rowing challenge

A weight loss group took on a fitness fanatic in a race to see who could row the most for charity.

Gymspace manager James Sexton raced The Hospice of St Francis' 'Biggest Loser' challengers in a rowing contest at Sportspace Hemel Hempstead.

The challenge was to see who could row the furthest in two-and-a-half hours.

James rowed continuously and the challengers took part in a relay, each rowing 10 minutes at a time. The challengers achieved a highly commendable 26,980 metres, while James managed a staggering 30,000 metres.

In total, the teams combined could have rowed the 35 miles from Hemel to Oxford, and more than 3,000 calories were burned during the contest.

The Biggest Loser Challenge is a 12-week fat-loss and fitness challenge which aims to encourage participants to learn to live healthy lifestyles and to lose fat - as well as raising as much sponsorship as possible for local patients and their families who are supported by hospice care.

The group have raised nearly £8,000 so far, and are aiming to reach the £20,000 barrier.

Speaking about the challenge, Jame Sexton said: "We put together a relay for the participants and I’d row either 10 minutes with them or 2,000m, whichever came first. I regretted this idea after about 40 minutes!

"They did a fantastic job. Considering the majority have only been exercising regularly for a month, they all completed their allotted time slots - some even went twice - and managed to hold a conversation with me whilst doing so, which is never easy on the rowing machine.

"It’s humbling to be able to support The Hospice of St Francis and give something back to the community, and to see the participants take on this challenge with such drive and enthusiasm, it makes being involved with the Biggest Loser really enjoyable."

The hospice, in Berkhamsted, needs £5 million every year to provide care and support when it matters most to families facing life-limiting illness across Herts and Bucks.

If you'd like to donate to the Biggest Losers, please text ‘LOSE17’ and the amount you’d like to donate to 70070.