For those who have not heard of the Duchenne Dash MAX, it consists of the main Duchenne Dash, a 24-hour bike ride from London to Paris in aid of Duchenne UK, the MAX team then continue to Monaco totalling a distance of 1,500km. It was devised by Alasdair Robertson, whose son, Felix, suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD), to push beyond the limit of the Duchenne Dash- in the hopes of raising, even more, money for the charity. DMD affects 1 in 3500 boys, it is a fatal muscle-wasting disease and is the biggest genetic killer of kids on the planet, yet is often neglected by drug companies and authorities – evident from the lack of widespread public knowledge of the disorder.

Team Photo 2016: second from left; Rob Lewis, fifth from left; Chris Mcleod and seventh from left; Alasdair Robertson.

Last year the Duchenne Dash MAX took off from John O’Groats, Scotland before joining up with the rest of the riders in London and continuing on to Paris; resulting in an impressive 1600 km ride for those really looking to challenge themselves for the cause. The riders also received some well-earned support from some very well-known faces from the likes of Tim Peake, British Astronaut (who managed to tweet from space) and J.K. Rowling, world-renowned author. The ride raised over a staggering £150,000, which was added to the £400,000 total of the standard Duchenne Dash. This year the target has been raised for the Duchenne Dash Max and Ali and his team want to raise an important £250,000.

Both Rob and Chris completed the Duchenne Dash MAX in 2016, battling their own challenges in order to endeavour to experience the daily difficulties of the young boys that bravely fight against their DMD every day. Speaking to Rob, it is evident that although there are many challenging aspects of the race from the long hours in the saddle, battling the elements and surviving off minimum amounts of sleep. There is a real sense of comradery surrounding the team with a shared purpose to raise money in the name of Felix and others in his position. The slogan used by Duchenne UK ‘World’s strongest boys’ couldn’t be more accurate and by completing these challenges hopefully, a cure can be found so that these young boys no longer have to fight such battles.

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Written by
Georgia Plumbley

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