On Sunday 12th September, 8 intrepid challengers took on LYR’s inaugural ‘Centurion Challenge’.

Rowing clubs from across the country nominated rowers of all ages to row 100km in 24 hours, to help raise thousands of pounds for local outreach programs and the development of rowing in their region.  

The concept of Centurion Challenge was borne exactly two months earlier, on June 12th, when ultra-marathon rower Lucy Radley, who lives with Multiple Sclerosis, rowed for 12 hours continuously and somehow managing to cover 100km - all in aid of the Boston Rowing Community Programme.

Inspired by Lucy’s herculean feat, LYR's Andy Triggs – Hodge  founded the ‘Centurion Challenge’. 8 challengers, nominated by rowing clubs across the country, were to emulate Lucy by rowing 100km (either on erg or on water) in 24 hours.   

The Centurion Challenge was devised to help raise the profile of ordinary people doing extraordinary things, at clubs around the country. From the phenomenal 13-year-old junior rower Darcy Murphy, representing Star Club Rowing in Bedford, to 70-year-old Mark Venn, rowing for Gloucester Rowing Club – each challenger would take on the 100km challenge to fundraise for their clubs local outreach program. 

  Making up the list of Centurions would be Darcey Murphy from Star Club, Bedford; Sophie Milman from Tyne Rowing Club,   Newcastle;  Will Darlington from Globe; Callum Gathercole from Mosely; Quinlan Dunne and Charlie Ford from   Warrington   Rowing Club; Mark Venn from Gloucester Rowing Club; Sam Winton from Here for Sport, Coventry and Robbie MacFarlane for   Agecroft, in Salford.

 From as early as 5am on challenge day the Centurions kicked off their quest to conquer 100km in 24 hours, with Andy Triggs Hodge crossed the   country to visit as many of them as possible. 

 Early in the day Andy saw Sophie, in Newcastle, and Robbie, in Salford, take to the River Tyne and the River Irwell respectively, as they  took their   challenge to the water. He then stopped by to see Sam Winton row effectively non-stop for 8 hours outside the Coventry   Building Society Arena, and joined up with other Team GB Olympians to congratulate childhood friends Quin and Charlie at Warrington   Rowing Club who completed their row in a tandem!

 The hugely impressive Darcey Murphy was able to split up her mammoth row over the Saturday and Sunday, as she was by far the   youngest competitor in the  field and in many ways the most impressive as she stormed through the 100km on Sunday afternoon surrounded by a cheering cohort of family, friends and members of Bedford's Star Club.