PICTURED: Alex Gibson, front left, with Joe Reed. Rear: Andy Long, left, and Alun Thomas
ANYONE who’s ever ventured out on a pedalo knows how tough it can be. Well, here’s something to think about next time you’re huffing and puffing on the water.
A team of four friends have not only smashed their own Guinness World Record for travelling the River Thames fastest in a pedalo, they are also now the first team ever to complete it non-stop.
Travelling through the nights and battling torrential rain, the Challenging MND team led by GB decathlete Alex Gibson, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease four years ago, completed the challenge in 51 hours and 59 seconds – smashing their previous record by seven hours.
Alex, 43, was joined by ex-England Rugby Union player Andy Long, Alun Thomas and Joe Reed.
Alex said: “I hope achieving this really boosts awareness of motor neurone disease – this is at the heart of what we do at Challenging MND. I’d like it to send a message to anyone living with MND to say that that despite your diagnosis, you can always do much more and deliver much more than you think you are able to, so go for it!
“It’s been fantastic to be part of such a superb team, and all the support we’ve had has been amazing.”
Throughout his life Alex has had a huge interest in sport and fitness, representing Great Britain in the decathlon and playing rugby for Barking, Brentwood and Loughborough University. So far, he has raised over £220,000 for charity.
Alex’s adventures have already included:
- Cycling on an incumbent bike across the Outer Hebrides (185 miles).
- Walking 100 miles in one weekend.
- Cycling to Guildford RFC (70 miles) and back to Brentwood RFC the following day (70 miles).
- Averaging 17,000 steps each day, despite using walking aids. He has done this consecutively for over 600 days, and even managed it the day after walking 52 miles!
- Scaling the 3 Peaks (Ben Nevis; Scafell Pike; and Snowdon) and cycling the 480 miles in between over the period of a week! https://youtu.be/ciSo0YsMbNU
- Walking a double marathon (52 miles) in one day. https://youtu.be/v-kBzaTS3eE
Challenging MND, tel 01258 813950.
- MND is a rapidly progressing neurological disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord.
- It can leave people locked in a failing body, unable to move, talk, swallow and eventually breathe.
- There is a 1 in 300 chance of developing the disease and up to 5,000 adults are living with MND at any one time in the UK.