December 13, 2019
Rob Brown on running an ultra-marathon with Type 1 diabetes | Membership | Diabetes UK

Rob Brown on running an ultra-marathon with Type 1 diabetes | Membership | Diabetes UK

So I have Type 1 diabetes. I was diagnosed when I was 13. I can remember the phrase the nurse who told me I had
diabetes used, was that I could still live a normal life. To me normal meant
ordinary. It made me think that adventures I thought I was gonna have
weren’t open to me any longer. When I first did a marathon if somebody had said to me that you were going to do six of these in the Sahara Desert, I would have thought they were they were having a laugh The Marathon des Sables
is a multi-day foot race across the Sahara Desert. It’s about a marathon a
day for six days, through the largest desert in the world. I do realise it is nuts. What if i did give up, what if I couldn’t complete it
and that was the thing that really kept me awake at night while I was out in the
desert. Some of the sand dunes were like mountains, they were monsters. Can’t
remember who it was that said it to me when I was in the desert, three words and
it was: ‘do what you can’t.’ That’s four words. I was so worried about having a
hypo and being pulled out of the race. Although diabetes is a serious
condition that can have a big impact on your life it needn’t stop you from
chasing your dreams. So you have to carry all your food, all
your clothes, everything but your tent Having spare insulin pumps, spare insulin
blood testing strips. All the extra paraphernalia you need with diabetes is
extra weight that you have to carry in your bag. So I had to change my pump
twice when I was in the desert and that was always a bit stressful. A year ago I
was running long distances and I managed effect pricking my fingers while I was
running. Having a continuous glucose monitor you really can’t underestimate
what a revolution that is. A century ago if your pancreas stopped working
you would die quite quickly, now we can live as long and happy and fulfilled
lives as anyone else and that’s why I ran the Marathon des Sables and that’s
why I want to run something else I don’t know what it will be. I can’t remember
her name, I can’t even remember what she what she looked like but I can remember the
way she said: ‘You can’t do this you can’t do that.’ And it was that word can’t and
as I crossed the line that word “can’t” got swapped for “can”. It was like I was
sticking a finger up at diabetes really which felt really good

1 thought on “Rob Brown on running an ultra-marathon with Type 1 diabetes | Membership | Diabetes UK

  1. Question-
    How do you avoid blood sugar levels shooting up?
    I’ve given up on running bc my blood sugars always go high. I’ve been T1D for 8 years

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