When Alex Flynn crossed the finish line at Friday’s (24 January 2014) Standard Chartered Dubai Marathon it marked the end of a long four year journey. For most, the 26.2 miles of a marathon is enough of an accomplishment. Alex will have travelled a little more than 237 times that distance by the end of this week. He will have ran, walked, climbed, cycled and even rowed (just a little) 6214 miles.

This distance completed equates to 10 Million Meters - not so coincidentally also the title of Alex’s first book recounting his adventure, due out in the Spring.

What makes this project all the more incredible is that Alex - a former lawyer from Oxford in the UK, married with three sons - has Parkinson’s disease. Recently turned 42, he was diagnosed six years ago at 36. At that point a regular figure at the gym and no stranger to marathon running, Alex was determined that his diagnosis would not slow him down. He decided instead to take a more positive, proactive approach and supporting The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and TeamFox started to raise awareness of the condition and funds for charities in the UK and States who seemed most focussed on finding a cure.

“10 Million Metres has been an epic challenge,” says Alex. “It’s taken me far beyond anything I could ever have expected.”

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 continues, “that the human body,along with the human spirit is capable of strength beyond measure.”

With the financial backing and positive support of his sponsors deVere, with Alex since 2011, his 10 Million Metres has taken him across the globe.  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.

“deVere put their faith in me, as sponsors,” says Alex. “They made all this possible.”

Dubai’s heat should hold no fear for Alex in the final hours of his challenge. Having run the Dubai marathon in 2011 and the 10K in 2012, he know what to expect and wants to savour the experience.

“It’s an honour to be back in Dubai,” he says. “Like the climate, the people have always shown great warmth towards me. I’m sad that 10 Million Metres has come to an end but I’m delighted that the final distance will be covered here at the marathon.”

As to what 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.

PHOTO CREDIT: Bjoern Lauen