SPORTS enthusiasts have been challenged to row a marathon in March as part of a fundraising effort for Cancer Research UK.

In partnership with the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race, now known as The Cancer Research UK Boat Race, the charity is encouraging people in Lancashire to go the distance and cover 26.2 miles in stages or in one go, anytime in March.

Would-be rowers can take on 'The Great Row' as part of a team or they can sign up for a solo effort.

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 Great Row.

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."

To download a training plan and fundraising pack, visit:

To find your nearest Better leisure centre, visit