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Tadley man aiming to break three-legged Guinness World Record for Parkinson's UK

Gary Shaughnessy puts out call for people to sign up to challenge

Jonathan Ashby

Jonathan Ashby

jonathan.ashby@newburynews.co.uk

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01635 886637

Tadley man looking to break three-legged challenge record for Parkinson's UK

Andy Tucker and Gary Shaughnessy (right)

A TADLEY man is attempting to create the world’s largest remote three-legged challenge to raise awareness of and funds for Parkinson’s.

Gary Shaughnessy, who was diagnosed with the disease in 2015 and is now chairman of the board of trustees of Parkinson’s UK, is targeting more than 768 pairs to smash the record.

The three-legged challenge will involve friends and family picking a partner from within their household or support bubble, tie their legs together and race at least 200m, wherever they are.

The challenge will take place this weekend.

Mr Shaughnessy said: “Those who know me will know that I have never let my Parkinson’s hold me back.

“In fact, it’s spurred me on to do more, setting myself bigger and better challenges each year, from cycle rides to marathons.

“This three-legged challenge is a fantastic event to get involved in.

“Getting Parkinson’s better understood is hugely important and I hope this will also inspire others to take on their own fundraising challenges in the future so we can develop better treatments and a cure for Parkinson’s.”

The condition affects around 145,000 people in the UK. It is a progressive nervous system disorder that affects movement.

Mr Shaughnessy has previously raised thousands of pounds for Parkinson’s UK, including a 1,340km bike ride from Zurich in Switzerland to his home in the UK last year, raising more than £26,000.

This year, Mr Shaughnessy and his friend Andy Tucker had planned a trio of fundraising challenges over 24 hours in May, but because of the coronavirus pandemic these could not go ahead as originally planned.

However, the pair didn’t let that stop them.

They decided to champion an attempt to create the world’s largest remote three-legged race, which needs 768 pairs.

Not only that, but the duo will be doing their own three-legged run challenge over 24 hours with a mannequin tied between them – ensuring that they stay socially distanced.

Participants in the challenge can start at any time on Saturday and Sunday and should comply with local social distancing guidelines.

The event has already had participants sign up from all over the world, including Argentina, Japan, US, Spain, France and Turkey.

Parkinson’s UK chief executive Steve Ford said: “Gary’s determination to improve the lives of everyone affected by Parkinson’s is inspiring.

“Whether it’s through incredible fundraising challenges or his efforts as chair of our board of trustees, Gary continues to be a passionate advocate for the Parkinson’s community.

“We are incredibly grateful to him for championing this exciting event to help raise awareness of Parkinson’s.

“There are over a million people in the UK affected by the condition, either by living with Parkinson’s themselves, or as a family member, friend or carer of someone who is, but sadly it remains a much misunderstood condition.

“Getting Parkinson’s better understood is vital if we are to accelerate breakthroughs in research, as well as support those affected by the condition.

“We want to say thank you to Gary and best of luck with the challenge.”

To sign up to the challenge, visit www.parkinsons.org.uk/events/three-legged-challenge  

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