Firefighters will be spending a day cycling and rowing all without moving an inch.

A group of firefighters from Abingdon and their friends are set to cycle the equivalent of 716 miles and row 42 miles from Abingdon to its French twin town of Argentan and back.

All the time, they will be outside The Gym on the Fairacres Retail Park in Marcham Road, Abingdon.

Using three static bikes and a rowing machine, they will begin the marathon at 7am on Monday, July 26 and they hope to complete it by 10pm that evening. All the money raised will go to the Fire Fighters Charity.

The cyclists will cover the 143 miles from Abingdon fire station to Samphire Hoe beach, between Dover and Folkestone, then tackle the 215 miles from Cap Gris-Nez beach, the nearest point to Dover on the French coast, to the fire station at Argentan.

Meanwhile, the rowing team will also be putting their fitness to the test to complete the 21 miles across the Channel.

After a brief rest, the cyclists and rowers will return to action for a similar journey home, hoping to reach the ‘finishing line’ by 10pm.

The firefighters have organised a rota and some senior officers are also agreeing to join in.

The challenge, which will coincide with the opening of The Gym, has been organised by crew manager Emily Potter and firefighters Mark Holland and Brian Miller.

Mr Holland said: “We will using three static bikes and one rowing machine which The Gym has kindly loaned to us.

“Last year, we couldn’t do anything to support the Fire Fighters Charity because of Covid, and we thought this was a good opportunity to raise money.

“We will have a fire engine on site and a crew ready to answer any emergency.

“We hope people will come and say hello and cheer us on. While we are there, we also hope they will check out The Gym and consider making a donation to our charity fund.”

Donations can be made at

Alternatively, wellwishers can drop their donation into buckets at the event.

This is the second major charity event staged by the firefighting community in recent weeks.

In June, Mick Dunn, of Kidlington, who served at Oxford and Kidlington for 28 years before retiring last year, completed a 100km, 20-hour, non-stop walk around Blenheim Park at Woodstock.

He was raising money for research into Bett Syndrome, a genetic disorder which affects mainly girls.

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