Brentwood GB athlete's team reclaims pedalo world record

Alex Gibson on pedalo

Alex (front left) and his team smashed the Guinness World Record. L-R: Andy Long, Alex Gibson, Alun Thomas and Joe Reed - Credit: Richard Cannon

A disabled Brentwood man has reclaimed the world record for the fastest time travelling down the Thames in a pedalo.

Alex Gibson, who was diagnosed with motor neurone disease (MND) in 2018, set off from Lechlade on his way to Teddington Lock via the river on Wednesday (June 16).

Challenging MND team

Alex Gibson from Brentwood travelled down the Thames in a pedalo for his motor neurone disease charity Challenging MND - Credit: Challenging MND

The team - made up of Alex along with ex-England Rugby Union player Andy Long, colleague Alun Thomas and Royal Marine Joe Reed - completed the challenge in 51 hours, 59 seconds, beating the previous record by seven hours.

In autumn last year, the men first broke the world record by one day, 21 hours and 47 minutes, completing the journey in two days, 15 hours and two minutes.

However, just three weeks later, another team - Daniel King, Dominic Clark, Joshua Shaxson and Tom Hartley - did the journey faster in two days, 10 hours and two minutes.


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Alex is thrilled to have been crowned winners once again, and be the first team to complete the journey non-stop.

Moments after he finished the gruelling challenge, the 43-year-old athlete said: "No doubt about it, it’s been a tough event to be a part of but it's going to make our record extremely hard to beat.

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"Any challengers out there, good luck to you!

"It was incredibly challenging going through the nights and torrential rain in the last few hours, but we kept positive and kept going."

training in pedalo

The team trained in a pedalo to break the Guinness World Record - Credit: Challenging MND

The Brentwood athlete has represented Great Britain in decathlon events and played rugby for Barking and Brentwood.

He founded Challenging MND following his own diagnosis four years ago, has raised £220,000 for charity and received a personal letter from Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Alex said: "I noticed my speech had become really slurred, and it is a major concern for me to lose my voice completely.

"My balance was also bad, and I remember walking out of my house one day and slipping over. I gave myself a black eye.

"There were all signs of the disease.

"I now want to turn up and help others, it has given me a real sense of purpose."

MND is a rapidly progressing neurological disease that affects the brain and the spinal cord.

It can leave people unable to move, talk, swallow and eventually breathe.

The team has already raised £22,000 for their event.

To donate to the Thames Pedalo World Record II, visit: https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/AlexGibson16

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