Starting on January 31, JDRF Ambassador Eric Tozer will be participating in the 2019 World Marathon Challenges–7 marathons in 7 days on 7 continents. But unlike every other person who has taken on this ultimate test of endurance to date, Eric, a native of San Diego, will be the first person to do it with type 1 diabetes (T1D).
“Running over 183 miles around the globe in the span of the week is intense, and adding T1D on top of that magnifies the intensity,” says Tozer. “But I know that in the toughest miles–wherever those miles might be during the 7 days–the T1D community will be with me.”
The challenge begins on January 31 in Novo, Antarctica. From there, participants will run marathons in the following locations:
- Africa – Cape Town, South Africa
- Australia – Perth, Australia
- Asia – Dubai, United Arab Emirates
- Europe – Madrid, Spain
- South America – Santiago, Chile
- North America – Miami, USA
“As a fellow runner and person with T1D, Eric is attempting an incredible feat,” says JDRF Chief Mission Officer Aaron Kowalski. “Anyone completing this challenge is an achievement; adding T1D to the equation only makes it more impressive. His determination and commitment shows that people with T1D truly have no limits and can do anything.”
Tozer, an experienced athlete with many triathlons and marathons under his belt, is used to training and preparing for intense physical challenges. But the World Marathon Challenge brings its own unique set of obstacles.
“I’m doing my best to prepare my body for what 7 days of marathons will feel like, “says Tozer. “I’ve been slowly upping my mileage by 5% each week. With the race two weeks out, my training will taper off but over the past few months I’ve been running up to 20-30 miles on the weekends, followed by a long run the next day. Weekly mileage has been between 30-80 miles per week.”
He’s also meticulously planned how to manage his T1D on the run. “I’ve worked with my endocrinologist and used the knowledge I’ve gained through the JDRF PEAK Program to plan as best I can. I know what I need to eat during a run, how much to decrease my post-run boluses by, and what adjustments I will need to make to my basal insulin as the race progresses. There’s a lot to keep track of and I’ll need to be able to make real-time decisions during the race–but I’m certainly up for the challenge.”
While this race will mean a lot to Tozer personally, more than anything else, he’s looking forward to showing that people with T1D can do anything. “Being able to have a lasting and hopefully profound impact–changing the way people view this disease and their disease–that’s so much bigger than me or the 183 miles. We can make a real impact on this generation and future generations of people with T1D. That’s what I’m most excited about.”
Thank you to foundational partners Medtronic, Ford, Talking Rain, Garmin, and Hanes for making this possible.