Q&A with ‘Diathlete’ Runner

Gavin Griffiths was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 8. Now 21, he has already completed numerous Ultra Marathons (35+ miles), including the ‘Round The Isle of Wight’ event (70 miles). He is a ‘Diathlete’.

Diabetes has never stopped Gavin achieving his goals, and some remarkable feats that would be almost impossible even if he didn’t have this condition. His achievements were recognised when he was selected to run with the Olympic Flame during the London 2012 Torch Relay.
On 27th April 2013 Gavin Griffiths embarked on a huge challenge to run the length of the UK, from John O’Groats to Lands End, covering at least 900 miles in just 30 days. GlucoMen were one of the sponsors of this incredible event and caught up with Gavin a couple of days after after he had finished for a chat.

 

Q – What is the official reason for this challenge?
A – I have Type 1 diabetes and I wanted to show people that it won’t stop me from doing anything in life. Hopefully it will encourage others to not let diabetes get in the way of their dreams and ambitions.

Q – How did it feel to finish?
A – I was completely exhausted, but had finished what I had set out to do and I don’t think it has set in yet about what I achieved.

Q – What was the best day of the journey?
A – The last day’s run which was over 40 miles (!) was amazing and it was brilliant to see the crowd at the end cheering me on. My run through Carlisle was also fantastic and a real turning point when I knew that I would complete the challenge of running John O’Groats to Lands End in 30 days.

Q – What was the hardest part?
A – The end of the first week was really tough. I was limping and sore and still had over three weeks and over 700 miles left to go.

Q – Did you ever consider stopping?
A – Never!

Q – How many times a day were you testing you blood glucose levels?
A – At least 10 times a day to make sure that I was safe. I had my GlucoMen LX PLUS meter and phone strapped to my arm for much of the challenge so it was there as soon as I felt I needed to test.

Q – How did the GlucoMen LX PLUS blood glucose help you?
A – It was easy to use and helped to keep control of my BG levels during the challenge. It also had the ketone testing facility if I had needed it so meant that I only had to carry one meter.

Q – How were your blood glucose levels during the challenge?
A – I only had 7 hypo’s for the whole challenge which I was really pleased about. I think that my blood glucose levels were very good when you consider what I was doing and the endurance and little recovery involved. I did have more high’s than expected but I had not done a challenge like this before.

Q – What was the official mileage that you ran during the 30 days?
A – A lot! Hard to say exactly as some days were more than 30 miles, so something over 900 miles!

Q – How much have you raised by doing this challenge?
A – Approx £6,500 online and hopefully that will continue to rise.

GlucoMen would like to thank Gavin for taking the time to be interviewed and wish him well on his next challenge. Click here to visit the Diathlete website or you can follow him on Twitter @diathlete

Click here to see Gavin’s challenge featured on the JDRF website

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