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Three years after making his debut at the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon, Britain’s Alex Flynn will finally bring to an emotional close his 10 Million Metre challenge when he competes in the 2014 event on January 24.
The 40 year-old from Henley is on the last laps of a global mission to raise £1 million in sponsorship for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust by covering a combined distance of ten million metres (or 10,000km).
And with 9,599,315m already behind him, Flynn will arrive in Dubai with 96% of his mission complete and the 10 million metre mark set to be crossed during the final few kilometres of the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon.
“Back in 2011, I ran Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon for the first time and got a huge amount of support,” said Flynn from his pre-race base in France.
“It gave me a massive boost in the campaign and after that I ran from London to Rome via Brussels and Paris, while in 2012 I was the first person to traverse 3,256 miles in America in 35 days. I did it through cycling, kayaking and running and although I wanted to finish it by swimming to the Statue of Liberty I was told that wasn’t allowed!”
Flynn returned to compete in Dubai again in 2012 but was forced to miss last year’s event on medical advice. This year, however, he’ll be back and ready to put the seal on a remarkable campaign that will be fully detailed in print when Flynn’s book is published in April.
A lawyer by profession, Flynn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease just five years ago. Since then, he has become a familiar face on TV around the world as he publicises a campaign that has will reach its grand finale in the magnificent setting of Dubai in the shadow of the Burj Al Arab.
“Before I was diagnosed, I was super fit and used to cycle 50 miles a day, run three half marathons a week, work out in the gym and run the odd marathon at weekend,” added Flynn. “If you are in doubt, the first challenge is to recognise there is a problem, take the steps and get diagnosed.”
Despite injury problems, Flynn is focused on the final hurdle of the Ten Million Metres Challenge. “Unfortunately, my training has been terrible as I suffered an injury in October and have only just got over it,” he said. “But I’m not looking to set the world on fire or setting a particularly fast time.
“This time I’ll savour it and enjoy the experience as this will be a very special event for me as the final marathon in the challenge. I’ll then have my book out in April, which is something people will enjoy and learn all about the ins and outs of my 10Million Metres Challenge.”
Held under the patronage of HH Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Dubai Sports Council, the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon is supported by the Dubai Sports Council, Adidas, Dubai Eye 103.8FM, Masafi, Dubai Holding, Dubai Police, the RTA and Dubai Municipality.
Runners can still enter for the Marathon and the 10km Road Race by registering online.
* To hear an interview with Alex Flynn, please visit our Media section