Swansea Half Marathon Pre-Event Meet Up

If you've been following my social of late and over the weekend, you'l have seen that I've been busy working with friends to help bring people with diabetes together for the Swansea Half marathon. The back story to which is that my friend and fellow type 1 Paul Coker, started this journey a good few months ago. He has been living well with type 1 diabetes for 40 years and he wanted to do something to celebrate this, so he decided he was going to run 40 half marathons in celebration.

Furthermore he would be doing this 'For Dude', which is a foundation started by the Baldwin family to raise awareness of the symptoms of and the condition type 1 diabetes. To which they devastatingly lost their son Peter to and have been campaigning tirelessly for ever since, and who have also become our good friends. The Swansea Half marathon marked Paul's 40th run and so he decided that it would be great for other T1's to join him. Working with Diabetes UK he also realised this would be an opportunity to go for breaking the world record for the most people with type 1 diabetes running a half marathon. There were 30 runners with type 1 diabetes signed up to run and Paul had the wonderful idea of providing some sort of goodybag together, which I loved the idea of and said I would help support this.

For the last few weeks we have been working non-stop to bring everybody together the night before the race to be able to give goodybags and give everyone an opportunity to meet each other which took place this evening. We were overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity of the sponsors who provided diabetes related essentials for the runners. Toe Tec, the company for which I am a brand Ambassador provided every single runner- both with type 1 and without in our group, with specialist diabetes running socks. Many people commented on how thrilled they were to receive these and how much they were looking forward to racing in them and then continuing their running journey in them afterwards.

Paul also had the idea of identifying every runner in the race, by them wearing the same competition vest. These were kindly donated by Anna of the Scandinavian brand Anna PS, for which I am the UK Ambassador. These not only enabled the race organisers to count up the record breakers when they ran, but it also helped identify the incredibly important causes for which the runners were competing. Anna has diabetes herself and it shows in the design of clothing, because each vest had a pocket on each side specifically designed to be able to securely feed the tubing for and hold an insulin pump in. Or for those not on a pump it was also a secure way to carry insulin pens and for both sets of people, they could carry gels, dextrose and a blood glucose testing kit- essential when attempting such a feat.

We were also incredibly grateful to Diabetes UK, JDRF UK, DRU Cymru, Diawipes and Tesco who helped us provide information packs, leaflets, wrist bands and accessories for the runners. Whilst Blue Circle Diabetes Support Group contributed the running bags themselves, that contained the goodies for the runners and also bananas. The meet up itself was brilliant and was a wonderful chance for the runners to meet each other and each other's families, swap stories about running and diabetes and to soak the atmosphere ahead of the big event tomorrow.


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My blog takes you through a daily look at sport, diabetes and everything in between. As an athlete that lives with type 1 diabetes I want to let you into news, views and all that is important to both of my passions.

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