Preston personal trainer takes on personal challenge

A personal trainer’s early mornings and late nights on a rowing machine helped him to a £1000 kilometre target and over £1,000 for his local hospice.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 13th June 2019, 3:05 pm

Craig Williams rowed the distance between Lands’ End and Scotland’s Loch Lomond to raise funds for St Catherine’s Hospice.

He devoted more than two hours on an indoor rowing machine daily during May, at DW Fitness first in Preston, after his mother-in-law received “fantastic” care from the Lostock Hall charity.

The 44-year old dad-of-two, from Walton-le-Dale, said: “I had to keep at it every day so was getting up at 5.30am some days and rowing at 10pm on others.

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“I compete in the indoor rowing national championships so I do have an affiliation with the sport, but I’m used to doing short intervals at a very fast pace. Rowing for two and half hours completely goes against what I’m used to, so it has been a tough challenge.

“It took a lot of planning...I was really pushing myself quite hard. I listened to podcasts and audio books, and watched films to keep myself entertained.”

Craig’s mother-in-law, Trish Donaldson, was cared for at St Catherine’s in the summer of 2017 after being diagnosed with peritoneal cancer.

Craig added. “We visit The Mill café in St Catherine’s Park as a family and we enjoy walking around the grounds, and I wanted to do something more to support the hospice.

“Rowing is slower than running, but it’s encouraging to see the miles you’ve covered on the map each day.”

Hayley Jackson, community engagement officer at St Catherine’s Hospice, said: “Craig and the staff at DW Fitness First in Preston are really great supporters of our charity.

“A team from the gym is taking on our Manchester to Blackpool Bike Ride on July 7, and they’re also hosting a Body Pump and Body Combat session in our summer marquee in St Catherine’s Park on July 2, for the hospice.

“We simply wouldn’t be able to continue offering our specialist palliative and end-of-life care to local people here at the hospice as well as in people’s own homes without the continued support of people like Craig and his colleagues.

“We rely on the fundraising efforts of our communities to generate a staggering £3.8m of our annual £5.6m running costs, so I’d like to say a very big ‘thank you’ to Craig for everything he’s done.”

To sponsor Craig, visit To find out more about St Catherine’s Hospice fundraising events, visit