A New year resolution to get fit became a reality for a father who rowed 2002 miles to raise money for charity.

Thirty-seven-year-old Richard Jones succeeded in the challenge to raise more than £6,000 for Amnesty International, Barnado’s and the Surrey Association for Visual Impairment.

Richard spent 180 hours of last year sweating it out on a rowing machine at the gym at Sun Microsystems UK, Farnborough, where he works.

He told the News it was worthwhile, but said he was relieved his ordeal was over.

“For most of the time I was getting fitter but felt tired the whole time.

“It was a bit too much for me really. I started off with an hour or so a day.”

He said the charities he chose were ones favoured by family and close friends.

“One of my school friends was a big Amnesty fan. He died of a brain haemorrhage, and Barnado’s was my father’s favourite charity.

“Also Sun Microsystems does a lot of work for Surrey Association for Visual Impairment.”

He said the idea to do the year-long marathon row started last New Year’s Eve.

“I was out with friends and said I’d do it. I decided to get fit and it certainly worked.”

Richard said he completed the final 26-mile stint shortly before Christmas.

“It was a bit of a killer. I won’t be doing that in a hurry!”

To date he has raised £3,000 in sponsorship and this has been doubled by Sun Microsystems.

Anyone who would like to sponsor him can visit the following website for details: www.lardysost.com