A former lawyer-turned-fundraiser and adventurer from Oxford, who says his body often feels as though it is “encased in concrete” due to Parkinson’s Disease, has completed the final stage of an epic, four-year challenge.
Alex Flynn, 42, on reaching the finishing line of Friday’s Dubai Standard Chartered Marathon, hit his target of covering 10 million metres – a staggering 6,214 miles – by running, kayaking, climbing or cycling in order to raise funds for research into the degenerative disease against which he’s battled since 2008.
For most, the 26.2 miles of a marathon is, rightly, enough of an accomplishment. But today Alex notched up a little more than 237 times that distance.
As he heroically strode across the finishing line, an emotional Alex said: “It’s been so hard, I don’t know whether I should laugh or cry. I’m really overwhelmed. It’s been four years of my life, in which I have experienced some amazing adventures and I’m incredibly lucky. ”
“I probably feel as proud as I can right now – it’s cost a lot of broken bones, ripped tendons, pain, and huge effort – and I’m in huge debt to my sponsors, including deVere Group, who are one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory organisations. Without them this quest would never have been possible.”
For his part, Nigel Green, founder and chief executive of deVere Group, comments: “We’re absolutely thrilled for Alex for completing this unbelievably gruelling challenge, which is part of his personal fight back against this cruel disease which affects millions around the world. Alex’s incredible achievement of running, cycling, climbing and kayaking 10 million metres is testament to his strength of character and passion for life.”
Part of Alex’s mission has been to prove the benefits of exercise in keeping Parkinson’s symptoms at bay. “I think it’s proof,” he says, “that the human body, along with the human spirit is capable of strength beyond measure.”
Highlights of Alex’s adventure have included a 150 mile crossing of The Sahara, traversing the USA and running across the Amazon jungle. When challenging terrain and extreme climates are added to the mix, the story is beyond remarkable.
What’s next for Alex Flynn? He still wants to increase awareness and has funds to raise. To do this he’s going to sit down for his next challenge. He won’t be behind a desk though, he’ll be in a small boat rowing a big ocean in the inaugural Great Pacific Ocean Race which takes place in June 2014. He’ll be joined by Darren Taylor, an old school friend with a seafaring background. Together they will be the only male pair in the race, rowing a state-of-the-art British boat – with a very good chance of picking up a world record or two.
For more information on Alex visit: www.alexflynn.co.uk