John’s epic cycle around Iceland to raise Parkinson’s cash

John MacPhee, from Perth, cycled 843 miles around the country in under 57 hours.

Adventurer: John MacPhee cycled around the Icelandic border.
Adventurer: John MacPhee cycled around the Icelandic border.

A man bravely battling Parkinson’s disease has completed an epic adventure to raise funds for charity.

John MacPhee, from Perth, cycled 843 miles around the Icelandic border in under 57 hours for The Cure Parkinson’s Trust and The Michael J. Fox Foundation.

Mr MacPhee, who was diagnosed around seven years ago when he was in his mid-40s, joined a team of nine others – which included his wife Yvonne – to take on part of the WOW Cyclothon, the longest and largest road race in Iceland.

Half of the team – aptly named Parkinson’s Power – have been diagnosed with the condition.

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They had a maximum of 72 hours to complete the challenge, but smashed the course in just 56 hours and 57 minutes between June 26 and 29.

Mr MacPhee said: “The Parkinson’s Power Team’s Icelandic adventure was quite simply one of the most challenging but rewarding things I have ever been involved in.

Superb: The team smashed the challenge in under 57 hours.

“The intensity of the event tests many aspects of an individual, not just their cycling ability but physical and mental strength too.

“Now it’s finished there is a strange mix of feelings which seesaw from euphoria to despair that it has finished, and it is unlikely the team will ever be in the same place again.”

Superstar: Mr MacPhee raised money for charity.
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The ten-strong team was made up of fundraisers from across the globe, including Scotland, Ireland, Iceland, Canada and even the Isle of Man.

Mr MacPhee added: “The cycling itself was superb. A standout moment was around 3am on Friday morning; the weather was awful at that point and I had to take over the cycling.

Michael J. Fox: Money has been raised for the actor’s foundation.

“I cycled hard for nearly half an hour up a steep mountain side with a tremendous headwind and very strong side gusts too.

“At the top of the climb was a mile-long tunnel; my legs ached but this was the start of a massive downhill. Beating that hill was a real highlight.”

The Michael J Fox Foundation was created to help advance research to cure the disease, including embryonic stem cell studies.

It was established after the Hollywood actor, who starred in the Back to the Future trilogy, was diagnosed with the condition in the early 1990s.


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