Phil gets a row at the office

IT'S the 24-hour rowing feat that's made a splash in the record books.

The activity has taken Phil Craze nearly 200 miles without ever leaving the comfort of his Edinburgh office.

The IT manager challenged himself to break the world record for greatest distance rowed in 24 hours - all without taking to the water.

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And the 36-year-old surpassed his wildest dreams by scooping a hat-trick of indoor rowing records.

By the end of the day he had hauled 313,248 metres on the ergometer - beating the previous world record by little more than 100 metres - to earn the world record for 24-hour indoor rowing, the world record for the 30-40 age group and the current British record.

The day-long trial was hosted in the offices of Aegon life insurance and pensions company at South Gyle with co-workers and relatives providing support. The row-athon has already raised more than 7500 for the Stroke Association and Multiple Sclerosis Society Scotland.

Phil, who stopped only briefly for toilet breaks, said: "I am absolutely thrilled. I had set out initially to do a 24-hour challenge for charity and I said at the start, if my training went well I may make an attempt at the British record. Now, on reflection, to have broken the world record as well is beyond my wildest dreams. I'm still on a buzz. It has been an exhausting but exhilarating 24 hours. I have received an overwhelming amount of support and I am really grateful."

Phil, who has previously competed in national rowing races of between 500 and 2000 metres, had a messages of support from five-times Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave.

In an e-mail, Sir Steve said: "Over the years I have spent a lot of time on rowing machines. I have done all sorts of challenges, from the longest time spent on a rowing machines to a million meters three times, but this has all been part of a team.

"The longest time I have done individually is 100 minutes. I would never consider doing a 24-hour solo challenge. This would be tough both mentally and physically. I wish you the best and hope you get the record and raise as much money for your two charities as you can. Good luck!"

The father of two, from Chirnside in the Borders, burned a staggering 20,000 calories, losing around four to five pounds in weight. "I'd recommend it to anybody out there who wants to lose some weight," he said.

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Adrian Grace, chief executive of Aegon UK, added: "Everyone at Aegon congratulates Phil on this fantastic achievement."

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