Type 1 Ultra

endurance sports in the weird and wonderful world of type 1 diabetes

Big Red Run, what a brilliant week in the desert by Roger Hanney

The trouble with being type 1 is that you do the things you do to more or less deny the constraints of type 1 diabetes from having any power over your life and the choices you make. But, at the end of the day, if that strategy works – and perhaps moreso if it doesn’t – it’s necessary to acknowledge the role that your D plays in your choices and actions, and discuss its effects, or absence, in your outcomes. Why? Because even though there is a rapidly growing movement and body of information out there, existing to empower and activate more and more type 1s who might otherwise be cocooned in the false belief that full lives are not for them, there is still a majority opinion in practice that type 1s are somehow less capable of great things than the rest of the world’s pancreatically-enabled thrillseekers.
My hope is that other type 1s working in and around endurance sports will contribute to this site, so that it may become part of a growing network of information repositories, easily found and used by newly diagnosed and longstanding diabetics alike, families, friends, and parents recently stunned by an entirely unanticipated diagnosis, and any of the many political, regulatory, and health-based institutions still malignantly purveying the lie, “You can’t”.

run, eat, sleep, run.

Before reading any further, if you are living with type 1 diabetes, please know that you aren’t allowed to use it as an excuse – for anything. Hitting the ‘Quit’ button because you have type 1 is the biggest mistake you can make. Regardless of what health practitioners might try to tell you, the risks posed to you by inactivity and lack of fitness, lack of will-power, and lack of self-reliance are far greater than those posed by your condition alone. Anything is possible, if you choose to really do it.

Like every multiday desert run, and every Racing The Planet 250km event that we’ve run and loved in the past, the Big Red Run finished last week by bringing us back to the place where we began. This time, it wasn’t San Pedro, or Cairo, or Kashgar, or even Ushuaia. It was Birdsville. And like every other time we’ve…

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