Running with Purpose: A T1D Champion’s Journey to the 2024 Flying Pig Marathon

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Meet Ryan Smith, a remarkable type one diabetic (T1D) on a mission. At 40 years old, Ryan is currently preparing to run in the 2024 Flying Pig Marathon. Ryan is lacing up his running shoes as part of Team JDRF, with the goal of raising funds for T1D research.

My “Why”

Ryan’s journey began with a personal challenge—to prove a point to himself. However, his “why” evolved beyond self-improvement. It became about inspiring others and offering hope to those dealing with T1D or other life challenges. Ryan lives by the mantra of “One More,” urging everyone to go beyond their perceived limits. Whether in running, reading, parenting, or any pursuit, the mindset of doing “One More” can lead to extraordinary achievements.

Running provides Ryan with a space to challenge himself, find happiness, endure misery, and discover moments of clarity. His initial quest to prove a point, transformed into a mission to demonstrate that individuals dealing with T1D can achieve remarkable feats. Running and being part of Team JDRF has given him a platform to raise awareness, educate, volunteer, and, most importantly, help others.

T1D Advocacy and Outreach

Ryan’s involvement extends beyond marathon running. As a volunteer with JDRF’s Outreach Ambassador program, he connects with individuals recently diagnosed with T1D. Through this outreach he is able to answers questions, builds relationships, and instills confidence in others facing a similar journey. Having navigated the challenges of T1D since his diagnosis at 19, Ryan is passionate about guiding others to avoid the mistakes he made and to embrace both the hardships and joys of life with T1D.

Excitement for the Flying Pig Marathon

The Flying Pig Marathon has caught Ryan’s attention, and he’s excited for the challenge it presents. The festive and fun atmosphere, combined with the opportunity to run for Team JDRF, makes this race particularly special. Ryan is drawn to the event’s rich history and the involvement of over 300 charities, adding an extra layer of significance to his participation.

Connection with Cincinnati

While Ryan doesn’t have a strong connection with Cincinnati, he sees the Flying Pig Marathon as an opportunity to build one. Originally from the Chicagoland area, he has visited Ohio for fishing trips on Lake Erie and a pilgrimage to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton. Through this marathon, Ryan hopes to forge a deeper connection with Cincinnati and return for future races.

Ryan’s journey to the 2024 Flying Pig Marathon is not just about covering miles; it’s about making a lasting impact. By running with purpose, he aims to inspire others, raise awareness for T1D, and contribute to the ongoing fight for a cure. As he embraces the challenges of the race, Ryan encourages everyone to adopt the “One More” mindset in their own pursuits, proving that greatness lies just beyond what we thought possible.

Click here to join Ryan and register for the 2024 Flying Pig Marathon TODAY!