A GREENWICH man is nearing the end of a year-long 3,038,040 metre row in memory of his wife Natalia, who died in June 2011, aged just 34.

James Shenton, 37, took on the 12-month challenge to raise money for Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice and Children & The Arts in December 2011 and expects to complete the feat on his Concept2 indoor rowing machine on Friday, 30th November 2012.

His target is to row the equivalent distance of 72 marathons, or over three million metres in a year when a typically experienced rower might aim to complete one million.

“I generally needed to improve my health, and I decided to throw myself into exercise, initially just to help me sleep,” said James. “My evenings were lonely and isolating after my daughters went to bed, so I wanted to find a form of exercise that would keep me occupied and which I could do at home.

“I am so proud to be doing this challenge and to be supporting two charities that are close to my heart,” said James.

“Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice cared for my wife towards the end of her life, and I will never forget the kindness and support we received from the staff who work there. It is a very special place.”

“It has been immensely challenging, finding the time to fit in so much rowing around my duties as full-time dad to my two beautiful daughters, and having a full-time job,” said James, who works as a business analyst at London-based Octopus Investments.

“People who know me know I don’t do things by halves. I wanted a challenge that would help beat the grief. Having a full-time job and being a full-time dad outside of work means that I really have to stay organised and focused to keep on track.”

“I couldn't have done it without all the wonderful support I have received every single day from friends and family who have followed my progress via my blog http://3000000m.blogspot.com .”

James has raised over £6,000, and hopes to double this figure by the end of the year. Two thirds of his sponsorship will go directly to Greenwich & Bexley Community Hospice.

To sponsor him, visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/3000000m .