World record breaker completes marathon row in support of local-based charity

A Solihull woman celebrated her 50th birthday with a world record breaking marathon row in aid of national organisation The Brain Tumour Charity.

Taking part in the charity’s Row for It campaign, Ann Atkins achieved the 26 mile distance in just 3 hours, 24 minutes and 21 seconds, placing her at world number one ranking for her age and sex.

Completing the row on a static machine at Langley Academy in Alton where her daughter Iona is a pupil, Ann was joined by members of the school rowing team who participated alongside her in ten minute intervals for the duration of the marathon.

Ann said: “Iona was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2007 and since then I’ve looked to support organisations such as The Brain Tumour Charity in any way I can. I rowed my first marathon in support of the charity last year and I’m thrilled that I’ve been able to beat the current record this time around.

“Sadly the only way that the prognosis and treatment of brain tumours will improve is if more people commit to raising awareness and money to fund the necessary research. I hope that my involvement with the ‘Row for It’ campaign will inspire others to do both.”

The event, which was attended by Solihull Mayor, Cllr Joe Tildesley, also saw a coffee morning take place in aid of the charity. The total funds raised from the coffee morning and donations to Ann’s online fundraising page equalled close to £1,000.

Jen Boilestad, community fundraiser at The Brain Tumour Charity’s Solihull Office, added: “We’re extremely grateful to Ann for the support she’s shown us over the years. She’s extremely passionate about volunteering so it’s fantastic that she has been able to achieve this record as a result of her work for the charity.”

Inspired by Ann’s efforts, the Row for It campaign is officially set to take place in May and asks participants to challenge themselves to row between five and 21 kilometres, completing the distance on either the water or a static machine. Supporting the campaign even further, Ann and five friends will complete an additional marathon row at Touchwood Shopping Centre on Saturday 19th April.

For more information about the Row for It campaign, please visit or call the team on 0121 744 1444.