Breaking Boundaries for Parkinson’s Disease at the 4 Deserts Ultramarathon Series

August 2019 Alex Flynn was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2008 at the age of 36. Despite the initial setback, his diagnosis became the catalyst in his life for showing people the possibility of creating positive change in the face of adversity. 

In 2020, Alex will take on the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus – racing 1,250km / 780 miles unsupported on foot across some of the most inhospitable landscapes in the world.  

To achieve the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus participants will need to:

➢ Start the challenge in the oldest desert in the world at the Namib Race in April

➢ Follow in the footsteps of the Mighty Genghis Khan at the Gobi March in Mongolia 

➢ Enter unchartered territory in the Great Caucasus in Georgia

➢ Survive the driest desert on earth and the Valley of Death at the Atacama Crossing in Chile

➢ Then finally reach the final frontier of Antarctica for The Last Desert 

Only eight people in the world have ever completed the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus – Alex Flynn is set to join this unique group of super athletes while being the first person with Parkinson’s disease to ever to attempt any RacingThePlanet / 4 Deserts ultra. 

Alex’s 2020 RacingThePlanet challenge will be chronicled in a docuseries from leading Hollywood Talent Management and Production Company Zero Gravity Management together with U.K. development fund Butch and Sundance Limited. The media team will follow selected 4 Deserts Grand Slam athletes as they prepare and race more than 1,000 kilometers on five continents to complete this grueling race series. 

Endurance challenges are not new to Alex. He has completed marathons, ultra endurance races and triathlons, but nothing quite as challenging as racing 1,250km / 780 miles self-supported in such extreme climates and terrain. 

Other incredible challenges Alex has achieved include:

➢ Covering more than 6,200 miles to meet the 10MillionMetres challenge he had set himself.

➢ Completing the Marathon des Sables (a 250km race across the Sahara Desert).

➢ Travelled 1,457 miles from London to Rome in 30 days under his own power.

➢ Becoming the first person to traverse the 3,256 miles from Santa Monica to New York using four disciplines. He achieved this distance in 35 days.

➢ Crossing 200km of the Amazon jungle, climbing and running 90km in the Dolomites, and traversing 236km across the Colorado Rockies, achieving all three within an 8-week period.

➢ Reaching the final 9 out of 1,000 people in the Men’s Health USA Ultimate Guy Competition.

➢ Completing 3,762 press-ups in 18 days to raise funds and awareness for PTSD which affects military personnel and first responders.

➢ Attempting to complete a 450km expedition in the Arctic Circle along Sweden’s Kungsleden (Kings trail) in freezing temperatures. 

RacingThePlanet’s 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus poses Alex’s biggest challenge so far. Not only will temperatures rise well above 40C in the oldest desert in the world and well below freezing in Antarctica, but Alex will also be crossing the world’s highest sand dunes, waist deep rivers, fighting through sand storms, racing above 10,000 feet and being at the command of Mother Nature in Antarctica.  

Alex has been featured on prime-time television, honored by the former UK Prime Minister, David Cameron, and met the Pope. Sir Ranulph Fiennes OBE said: “Rarely does one hear about such an inspirational and heroic Briton as Alex Flynn. The challenges he has successfully undertaken would be considered seriously hard by anyone’s standards and are, in my view, independently worthy of recognition.” 

However, Alex’s driver is to raise funds for and awareness of Parkinson's disease. He can be found doing some of the more complex, unexpected and surprising challenges across the planet to raise more than £1 million towards vital research to find a cure while inspiring and educating people along the way.  

“I’ve decided to do this as there has to be better treatments, or even a cure, for a disease that robs young and old alike of their independence, their ability to move, talk, swallow, have sex, write…in fact everything most people take for granted. If I told you that the youngest person diagnosed was a 2-year-old boy you might come close to experiencing the anger I feel towards this disease. We have to do something! 

“I want a cure for millions around the planet and hope you do too. Together we can make change happen!” #KeepMoving  

Alex Flynn is living proof that Parkinson’s disease is not an obstacle for success! 

Alex Flynn

Find out more: Alex Flynn 


Instagram: @alexflynn

Facebook: @10MillionMetres

Twitter: @alexflynn01




Instagram: @racingtheplanet

Facebook: @racingtheplanet

Twitter: @racingtheplanet

YouTube: @4desertsraceseries


Contact Us for More Information

Alex Flynn: [email protected]

RacingThePlanet: [email protected]

Zero Gravity Management: [email protected]


About the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus:

RacingThePlanet's  4  Deserts  Ultramarathon  Series  -  the  most  prestigious  footrace  series  in  the world. Ranked by TIME Magazine as the "World's Top Endurance Races" and profiled on  BBC, ESPN, NatGeo, CNN, ABC, and NBC Sports.

A world-class race series that each take place over 7 days and 250 kilometers / 155 miles in the largest and most forbidding deserts on the planet. Elite and non-elite individuals and teams race self- supported in the most inhospitable climates and formidable landscapes, they must carry all their own equipment and food but are provided with drinking water and a place in a tent each night to rest.

The 4 Deserts Grand Slam is a title reserved for those who complete all 4 Deserts Ultramarathons within one calendar year. Taking it one step further the 4 Deserts Grand Slam Plus is the completion of all 4 Deserts ultramarathons plus the RacingThePlanet Ultramarathon of the same format that moves to a new location each year.


Alex Flynn 4 Deserts Grand Slam