Peking to Paris

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In 2013, two UBC engineers, Glen Duthie and Allan Cullen, will be entering the “Great Race”—a ten thousand mile race from the Great Wall of China to Paris—to raise money to find a cure for Parkinson’s Disease. Your donation will go to the University of British Columbia’s Brain Research Centre to advance brain research. 

The Race

In 1907, five cars set out from Peking on the first-ever transcontinental motor rally. Their destination was Paris. Four competitors completed the original “Great Race” to a tumultuous welcome in Paris and world-wide fame. The race—believed at the time to be impossible—was won by Prince Borghese of Italy in 60 days, in a 1907 Itala. 

In 2013 the Great Race will be run again. On May 28th the flag will drop at the Great Wall of China, and 96 cars will begin the longest and toughest challenge anyone can drive in a vintage or classic car—ten thousand miles against the clock through regions such as Mongolia and the Gobi Desert where petrol—if and when you find it—can have an octane reading of 70, not much better than paraffin. Participants will—if their car preparations, driving and navigational skills measure up—cross the finish line in Paris on June 29th.

Glen Duthie and Allan Cullen will be taking on the supreme challenge of making it from the Great Wall all the way to Paris, driving a 1939 Cadillac La Salle. They need a team of people behind them supporting them on this great expedition, knowing that every obstacle, every challenge and set back is in support of a larger cause – finding a cure for Parkinson’s Disease.

The Cause

In 1997, Marcia Duthie, Glen’s wife, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the age of 43. Glen has seen her struggle to manage the disease, unable to do many of the things she used to be able to, and has  committed himself to doing whatever he can to try to facilitate science to find a cure.

To support the search for a cure, Glen and Allan are partnering with the UBC Faculty of Medicine Brain Research Centre (BRC), a worldwide leader for research on diseases of the brain. By 2020, it is anticipated that brain disease will overtake heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death and disability in Canada. The BRC is home to specialists in neuroscience, neurology, and psychiatry whose interdisciplinary approaches to research are making a transformational impact on diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.

The Goal

The goal is to raise $250,000 by June 29, 2013, the day Glen and Allan anticipate crossing the finish line at Place Vendome, Paris.

Glen and Allan know that whatever challenges lie ahead of them in the middle of the Gobi Desert will be nothing compared to the challenge of living with Parkinson’s. Every mile they complete represents advances in brain research and when they cross the finishing line, brain researchers will be $250,000 closer to a cure. Please make a donation to support the greatest journey of Glen and Allan’s lives. 100% of your gift will support brain research at the UBC Brain Research Centre.

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  • Glen's rally car
  • Glen's rally car