(Pocket-lint) - Hydrow, the rowing equivalent of Peloton, has launched a Race to the Thames fitness class in the run up to the famous Putney Boat Race on Sunday 3 April.
The annual race has seen Cambridge and Oxford universities duke it out for last 192 years. Now Hydrow subscribers can take up a similar challenge to virtually row down the Thames from Putney Bridge to Chiswick Bridge over 22-minutes.
And, unlike the usual interval classes the service offers, with pep talks of college rows and anecdotal stories from sunnier destinations like Miami or LA, the Race to the Thames class sees two eight-person sculls of world-class rowers go head-to-head to give you as close a race vibe as possible.
These include a mix of Hydrow athletes, Olympic rowers, and former boat race winners from around the world.
It's the first time the company has recreated the famous race within the service and the first it has returned to filming on UK shores since 2019.
I've been a Hydrow rower for about six months. I've also been a fan of the Putney Boat Race for a couple of decades, having both lived in Putney and had many friends who've attended either Oxford or Cambridge over the years.
I've always been intrigued as to how tough the race was and while Hydrow doesn't deliver a true on-water experience, having two Olympic coxswains shouting at you as you follow the boats down the river is certainly an experience and really gets you into a grove.
In my boat race attempt, I managed 5,170 meters in the allotted time of 22 minutes. That's a far cry from the 6,800 meters and 17-20 minutes winning times, but I'm already keen to not only have another go, but see if the service plans to offer other famous races that I can tackle in the future.
Members can complete the row to earn a bespoke Hydrow badge for bragging rights, and see how their results stack up against the Oxford and Cambridge teams on race day.
Hydrow offers a connected rowing machine and around 4,000 exercise classes with virtually all of them taking place on the water rather than in a gym or classroom. This allows you to row in sync with the instructor taking the class.
Hydrow is priced at £1,995 with a £38 monthly subscription in the UK. Read our full review of Hydrow.
If you love tracking stats and crunching the numbers on your latest outdoor activity, you'll love The Gear Loop. Our new sister site is here to bring you the freshest news, the most honest reviews, informative guides and inspirational travel features that cover all outdoor active lifestyle pursuits, from sea to summit. Whether that's running or cycling, winter sports or water sports, The Gear Loop has got it covered.