Ironman 70.3 Geelong

An Ironman 70.3 is a 1.9 km swim, a 90 km bike ride and a 21 km run. It's a gruelling, tough challenge for any athlete. It involves training, discipline and true grit. There are a number of very fit type 1's involved in HypoActive and we are supremely fortunate to have Dave Barnes among them. Dave is an accomplished triathlete, a climber and a proud family man, but he's also a powerful motivator. And he's organised a fully type 1 team for this amazing event in Geelong next month.

Dave has inspired, cajoled, stimulated and browbeaten type 1's from all round Australia, and even one competitor from overseas, to form the largest ever type 1 triathlon team in Australia. We now have six swimmer/runner/riders doing the full event and six more valiant contenders forming two teams to take this on as a relay. And there are more who have signed up to be there to urge them on, a tight bunch of type 1 supporters to make sure everyone knows this is the team of a lifetime.

Dave Barnes bites the bullet to earn his 2017 medal.

I asked Dave for some idea of what he was thinking when he took on this extraordinary challenge, what drove him to gather together such a powerful type 1 team, and what were the logistics of the partnership with the Geelong-based Type 1 Foundation. Dave was inspiring once again with some powerful thoughts and words, true encouragement to us all in our daily challenge of life with type 1 diabetes. Take it away Dave...


Words from our supreme team organiser, Dave Barnes...

Long distance triathlon attracts a different type of person. Often they are driven, they have or love discipline, they are believers. Above all the pain that endurance sport brings, it is your head that gets you across that line. Diabetics have that mind set and what we see as just getting on with it, actually translates to character and discipline. We are made for endurance sports.

I have been doing triathlon for a number of years, as you may know. I am also an active member of the diabetic community. I knew that HypoActive had the people and belief to have members want to try or compete in a 70.3 Ironman Triathlon. I also knew of the T1 Foundation, based in Geelong and sharing HA’s goal of encouraging T1’s to participate in physical activity. A proposal was written and a joint organisation event was committed to. It was not difficult to start signing on T1 Champions. To make it affordable and encourage participants, a fundraising opportunity was developed with the T1 Foundation to have a fundraising goal to be aimed for. Once achieved, the entry fee will be returned. 

As of mid-January we have six HypoActive members doing the full distance (1.9 km swim, 90 km ride, 21 km run) and six making up teams. We still have a month to go and I encourage T1 Foundation and HA members to be a part of this extraordinary event.

Why extraordinary? We have to work harder, smarter and longer to swim ride and run these distances. Most Australians see diabetes as a lazy person's disease. There is stigma attached to type 2, and most people don't even know there's a different condition, type 1. At Geelong, the public who will see us race at the event and via the media will be given an abrupt lesson in what power and strength can be built and delivered in a diabetic athlete.

I aspire to push my diabetes far, but I am inspired by my diabetes community, particularly my HA family, to do this together and to know I am not alone. As a person training to complete an Ironman (Cairns, June 10th 2018), I spend countless hours training on my own. To share my passion, with my own people, my T1 family, at the Geelong 70.3 is going to be a moving and memorable experience. That is my motivation to coordinate this T1 challenge. I know you guys love a challenge! Join us or support us at Geelong, on Feb 18th. Friends, this is your community, You will be blown away by what you will see, as will I.  


Moving words from a fast-moving man. Huge thanks Dave for getting together this history-making team and well done everybody for taking part. The team are all also raising funds for HypoActive through the partnership withe Type 1 Foundation. These type 1's are all putting in a huge effort, please show your support by lending a hand, even with a modest donation.

Check out the Ironman 70.3 Geelong event page here.

Have a look at the Type 1 Foundation site here.

Look for a team member you'd like to support on the mycause donation page here.

For more info, or if you would like to get involved, get in touch with Dave on the HypoActive Facebook group page here.