7 Marathons? Check.
7 Continents? Check
7 Consecutive Days? Check
We checked in with Eric Tozer to ask him about his experience running the World Marathon Challenge, which he became the first person with T1D to complete a few weeks ago.
How does it feel to have completed the World Marathon Challenge?
It feels great. The whole experience was a whirlwind and so far outside the realm of normal that it’s hard to distill it into a few sentences. But it feels incredible to have finished and achieve what I set out to do–to show that people with T1D have no limits and can do anything.
How did T1D management go during the trip?
It went really well! There were a lot of factors: the toll on my body, time zone changes, unpredictable food, sleep, etc., but I was able to adapt. My endocrinologist and I guessed that I would need to lower my basal rate during the race, and that proved correct.
But I cannot overstate the critical role my CGM played. It made T1D so much more manageable.
What was the biggest challenge?
The whole experience went pretty much according to plan. There were hiccups here and there, like extra long customs lines in some countries to the food totally agreeing with my system, but it went well.
I trained for the running for months, so my body was prepared. It was tricky to know how hard to go at each individual race because I had never run 7 marathons in a row before. I was conservative during the first few marathons but during the last marathon, I had enough fuel in the tank to run my fastest marathon of the them all by about a half hour.
What was the highlight?
Finishing with JDRF and my family was something I will never forget. It was really special to be with my daughters at the finish line.
More important than that is what I hope this shows the T1D community–that we can do anything. There are no limits on what we can accomplish.
What can the average T1D athlete take away from this experience?
The mind and body are capable of much more than you think. I more than doubled my lifetime marathon total in one week.
The World Marathon Challenge seemed crazy, but I worked with my endocrinologist and tapped into the resources at JDRF, and I was able to put together a plan that made this possible. That included lots of training miles but also discovering how my T1D would handle the challenge. Thankfully, I was prepared and it went great.
So give yourself challenges, whether it’s a 5k or a Ride. You can do it. There are no limits to type one. Through living with this disease, people with T1D have strength and tenacity that allows us to accomplish seemingly impossible things.
In the future, my priority is participating in races with other people with T1D. I have a few things on the books with the Diabetes Sports Project, but the future is pretty open. I’m also looking forward to meeting more people within the T1D community and help them achieve their fitness goals. But first, a little rest with my family!