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Former teacher from Orpington with motor neurone disease sets wheelchair record

PUBLISHED: 09:30 11 June 2019

Marcus and Phil enduring appalling weather to shatter the world record for wheelchair pushing by males in a half marathon. Picture: Guinness World Records

Marcus and Phil enduring appalling weather to shatter the world record for wheelchair pushing by males in a half marathon. Picture: Guinness World Records

Archant

An former teacher from Orpington who has motor neurone disease has helped break a world record.

Friends Marcus Green, 33, and Phil Rossall, 66, overcame the odds to set a new world record for a half marathon wheelchair push.

After a patient wait for it to become official, they have now received their verification from Guinness World Records.

The pair completed the race in an amazing one hour 29 minutes 38 seconds, six minutes faster than the existing record.

Phil, formerly head of modern languages at Darrick Wood School and head of German at Langley Park School for Boys, Beckenham, was diagnosed with motor neurone disease three years ago.

At the time he was expected to live only one or two years.

Since then, he has raised over £28,000 for the Motor Neurone Disease Association.

He is totally reliant on a ventilator for breathing and has now lost the use of his muscles.

Marcus had to brave the rain and strong winds to push Phil for 13.1 miles.

A member of the Winchester and District Athletics Club, he has Crohn's disease and wanted to highlight the good work the charity For Crohns does.

The pair love running and met at Age UK. Marcus said: "We wanted to challenge ourselves and at the same time raise awareness of the great work our charities are doing.

"Phil, who still works for Age UK, had been a marathon runner and wanted to show you are never too old or too ill to achieve something amazing.

"As Team Phil we had fantastic support on the day from friends, family and the organisers of the Worthing Half Marathon.

"A special mention goes to Nick di Paolo, who had the unenviable task of keeping up with the record pace whilst carrying Phil's spare ventilator weighing about five kilos."

And Phil added: "All I had to do was just sit there, keep breathing and let Marcus do all the work.

"Mind you, I did cross the finish line first!"

However, they both agreed on two things: firstly that Age UK provides fantastic support for older people and, secondly, that they will never do anything like this again.

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