Hal Appleyard and Fund4Trees

Helping People Helping Trees Helping People

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Super fundraiser Hal Appleyard is attempting to row 1.5million metres between May 2020 and April 2021 to raise money for several charities. Using an indoor rowing machine in his garage, he will be rowing the equivalent of three marathons every month for a year. Fund4Trees is among the charities that will benefit from Hal massive personal challenge.

Hal Appleyard and Fund4Trees
Hal Appleyard and Fund4Trees

The benefits provided by urban trees to people’s lives and importantly those in recovery/under-going medical treatment is well-documented. Indeed, the theme of this year’s Arboricultural Association’s national conference is Trees and Society.

To raise funds for Dementia UK, Admiral Nurses (DUK), and the registered tree research charity Fund4Trees (F4T), Arboricultural Association registered arboricultural consultant Hal Appleyard will be attempting to row 1.5million metres between May 2020 and April 2021. Using a Concept 2 Indoor Rowing Machine – set up in his garage – this is equivalent to 125,000 metres or approx. 3 marathons every month and equates to a total distance between Brighton and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew to the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh and back again.

Via Just Giving pages, Hal’s target is to generate £1,500 for each charity. As the funds come in, for every pound donated to F4T, a pound will be raised for DUK. This means that by donating to F4T, the donor is also making a real contribution to DUK and healthcare as well. As the mega-row gathers momentum, the £3k target may well be reached before the end of the challenge, in which case, Hal will continue with his funding efforts all the way to the end.

Hal will provide monthly progress updates, the first being at the end of May. For verification, monthly images of the recorded Concept 2 monitor will be provided to show the row distance achieved.

If you can afford to, please consider donating to Fund4Tres via Hal’s amazing personal challenge:

Visit the Just Giving fundraising page


Hal’s Back Story

I have always been active, being a tree climber until I was about thirty and played sport to a reasonable level but which diminished with intensity from my mid-thirties to playing a bit of tennis and squash. At fifty, I was given some home-truths by my doctor during a routine health-check. I was firmly on a trajectory to a debilitating stroke or something more final! The solutions to avoid this looming outcome were simple, reduce intake and move more. The exercise I was getting was not sufficient to substantially increase the heart rate or break much sweat. For the first time in fifty years, I stepped into a gym. The ‘life-style advisor’ of that gym showed me around the aerobic machinery including the indoor rowing machine. Part of the routine prepared for me included a 1 kilometre row (1,000 metres). I found that I physically could not complete 500m, let alone the full kilometre. I could not breathe, my legs felt like jelly and my head was spinning. That was seven years ago. I made it my mission to conquer the rowing machine. I took part in my first British Indoor Rowing Championship (BIRC), held every December at the Olympic Velodrome in 2017. I have been twice now. The 2 kilometre race is a long sprint, which inflicts as much physical pain as the body can take. Not satisfied with that, there is a very painful 500m short sprint too. Weirdly, the BIRC is my main sporting focus of the year. In order to keep relatively fit for these and other events during the year, I need to complete at least 1,000km per annum. This year I am pushing myself for 1,500 km. I have not conquered the rowing machine, but we have learned to get along with each other! I am much healthier as a result.

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