Dubai: Alex Flynn is no ordinary runner. In fact, many with his condition wouldn't even think of running, leave alone doing the gruelling 42k full marathon. Diagnosed with Idiopathic Parkinson's Disease in 2009 while he was training for the Marathon Des Sables, the 38-year-old Englishman will now be taking part in the Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon on January 21 to complete one million meters in his quest to raise funds to find a cure for the ailment.
So far he has completed 963,805m and his mission is to raise £1million by running 10million metres by 2014.
Speaking to XPRESS after finishing the Goring and Woodcote Lions 10k run, Flynn said: "It's too cold in England and I had real trouble in the race. It took me an hour to finish. Moreover, I didn't want to wear myself out especially with the Dubai Marathon to come."
Full of spirit
So, how does he hope to run 42k with his condition?
"Look, I have realised my days of running non-stop are over. You know how things are with this disease. After a while, I don't have control over my legs, they start behaving oddly. But I still intend to finish the Dubai Marathon, even if I have to walk, or even crawl," he said.
Flynn revealed that it will be his first time to Dubai. "I have never been to this place, but I have heard wonderful things about it. I know about the Dubai Marathon though and what a top-class field it has every year. It's a shame Haile Gebrselassie won't be there this year, but that said, it will be a great place to do my millionth metre," he said.
Since June 2008, Flynn began to think about what he wanted to do in life and he has finally found the way. "I really want to help people who are fighting this disease. I want them to hold their heads high and not feel embarrassed about it. I am really positive about doing something and this is the path I have chosen. I really hope they find a cure in my lifetime," he said.
Next five stops
1. Dubai Marathon
2. Thames Trot
3. Trans Europe
4. Challenge Henley - Ironman Distance Triathlon
5. Trans USA
For more on Flynn and his charity efforts go to www.alexflynn.co.uk