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Preston firefighter’s 24-hour row to raise money for children’s charity

Posted on - 1st August, 2020 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Ashton-on-Ribble, Charities, People, Preston City Centre, Preston News
Greg and Marcus
Greg (L) and his friend Marcus (R) who is completing a 24-hour challenge alongside him Pic: Greg Dunnings

A man from Fishergate Hill is completing a 24-hour row to raise £250 for children’s charity Rainbow Trust.

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Firefighter Greg Dunnings, 29, was inspired to complete the fundraiser after seeing others on social media completing 24-hour watt biking and tyre flips.

The army veteran will be completing the challenge alongside his friend Marcus Harrison who is completing a 24-hour challenge on the air bike.

Greg will be doing 50 minutes rowing followed by a 10 minute break, 24 times, to allow him time to get a drink and have some food and a small break.

Read more: Preston’s Walk in the Dark event goes virtual for 2020

Greg said: “I’ve always liked challenging myself and doing different things.

“Initially I was thinking I would do five kilometres on the hour every hour, but when I was speaking to Marcus I thought I can’t have 40 minutes rest while you’re still pedalling away.

“Luckily at three o’clock in the dark hours I will have a little bit of company.”

Greg has been making sure he’s well prepared for the challenge.

“I keep myself pretty fit anyway because of my job and I play for Preston Grasshoppers,” he added.

“I’ve just upped the ante the past couple of weeks doing plenty of runs and plenty of time on the rowing machine at work so I train at work when I can.

“I think a lot of its going to be a mental battle, 80 per cent mental and 20 per cent physical.

“My body is going to hurt but it’s ignoring that and saying crack on.”

Greg joined the army at 18 and served in Afghanistan, but was medically discharged after his leg was ‘blown-up’ in November 2009.

The injury shattered his knee and ripped out his shin down to the bone. Greg was originally told that amputation was a consideration, however doctors were able to save his leg with screws and plates.

Greg in the Invictus Games
Greg won Gold and Silver at the Invictus Games Pic: Greg Dunnings

In his two years of recovery, Greg went into adaptive sport in which he represented Team UK in the Toronto Invictus Games in 2017, winning Gold and Silver in indoor rowing events.

Greg was completing a sport coaching degree with a view to become a PE teacher, however, just before the final year of his teaching qualification, he saw that Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service were recruiting.

Greg has always wanted to work for the fire service, and his original plan was to complete 12 years in the Army and retire into the fire service.

Read More: Hutton schoolboy’s first book raises over £2,000 for local NHS hospital

He said: “I just thought, you don’t buy a ticket you don’t win the lottery, so I applied and I got through and it’s just my absolute dream job.”

Greg with the silver axe award
Greg won the silver axe for best recruit on his fire service recruits course Pic: Greg Dunnings

The Rainbow Trust is a charity that offer support to supports families who have a child aged 0-18 years with a life threatening or terminal illness.

Greg said: “I’ve got a two-year-old son and since having him your whole perspective changes.

“You can’t even imagine what parents and children must go through when in that situation.

“With everything that’s going on right now in the world I thought it would be good to do something for a worthy charity.”

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The challenge will be taking place from 9am on Saturday 19 September until 9am the following day at Ultraflex Gym on Shelley Road in Ashton.

Read more: Ashton bridge painted in rainbow colours in tribute to brave keyworkers

You can donate to Greg’s fundraiser on his JustGiving page.

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What do you think of Greg’s fundraiser? Tell us in the comments below.

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