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Relay Ride for Type 1 Diabetes

19 April 2011

On the weekend of April 2 and 3, a team of five support crew and 15 cyclists rode in the annual Murray to Moyne; a gruelling 520km relay to be completed in under 24 hours.

It’s fair to say that this team was like no other. While they suffered from sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion like all competitors, no other team had to squeeze as much into their relay changes as this one; taking blood sugar tests to ensure everyone was on top of their insulin doses to manage their type 1 diabetes.

Ben Howell, the HypoActive team leader, is a big advocate of the benefits that sport delivers for managing blood sugar levels.

“Everyone in the team rode really well. It’s challenging enough just trying to finish the ride in less than 24 hours, let alone having to manage insulin doses. I’ve had my continuous glucose monitor for two years and love it. It gives me peace of mind and full visibility of what my glucose levels are doing,” said Ben.

Five of the riders wore a real-time continuous glucose monitor, which provides users with a reading of their blood glucose levels at any given moment. The system will also alert the user if their glucose levels are too high or low, giving them warning to take action.

You can read the full ride report here. We’ve also included an excerpt from first time rider Sam Thompson’s account of her experience below:

Hi All,
What a weekend!  I’m still on a ‘high’ after one of the most inspiring and enjoyable rides I’ve ever completed.  I believe over 100 teams completed the event, but our team (aptly named HypoActive) consisted of 15 riders (divided into 3 groups)  including 2 tandems,  5 crew members, and a dog trained to detect hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose levels) for its owner.

Our team consisted of various skills and riding abilities, but we all had one thing in common, Type 1 Diabetes. Together, we had over 400years of diabetes experience!  Relay changes didn’t just include time to fix mechanicals or pump up the tyres,  but involved several blood sugar tests and tight management of insulin doses, continuously for 24hrs-  no easy feat.

I think our diabetes specialists would have been proud by the collective number of blood sugar tests taken (>300!).  I think there’s something to be said to be supported, encouraged and inspired by others with the condition, all doing something incredible, not just physically, but for a good cause.  This group really does more than  live up their mission: Enable the Type 1 community to live a more physically active lifestyle!

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