RON COZIJNSEN RUNS HIS FIRST TYPE 1 MARATHON

Report by Ron Cozijnsen

Ron's the one in the middle

Sydney Marathon 20 September 2015

Sunday morning and I have to get up at 4 am to catch the bus to Central. There is track work on the Illawarra line, so buses run between Heathcote and Central. I get in the bus and my club mate from South Side Masters is the only other passenger. The bus driver has no clue about the area and we give him directions to Central. From there we take the train to Milsons Point, the start of the marathon.

Bob is a bit of a celebrity because he has run a vast number of marathons. He is talking with a few people and I put my arm on Bob's shoulder and say, 'Between the two of us, we will have run 241 marathons after today.' The listeners are in awe. What I don’t mention is that Bob will have run 238 marathon of those 241 after today.

Yes, this is my third marathon but my first as a T1D. I have trained and am not sure what to expect. Only a few weeks ago in Singapore my BGL was over 20 mmol/L after 5 km (I left the hotel with about 8 mmol/L) and only a week ago I needed a gel after running 3 km as my BGL was low. What will happen today? Well, I woke up with a BGL 15.2 mmol/L. Hang on, that’s right, I reduced my basal by 33 1/3%. Okay. I will have 75% of my normal bolus for brekky as I won’t run for another 3 hours and 20 minutes so most of the bolus should have gone by then.

I start the marathon with a BGL of 14.1 mmol/L. I feel okay. I am wearing a spibelt with six gels (Hammer and Endurance) and a TruePlus Gel in the event of a hypo. I am carrying my Nipro TRUEresult BGL meter in my Spibelt wristband.


The first 5 -6 km go easy before I answer the call of nature. I am running quite easily averaging 4:45 min/km. Every 5-6 km I eat gel and every 2.5 km I help myself to water electrolyte drink at the drink station. I am wearing my club singlet and hear either my name called out or, 'C’mon Sutho!' After 1 hour of running I had no problems measuring my BGL : 12.6 mmol/L.

After 15 km I am running in Moore Park and a lot of the kids from my club cheer me on. It makes you feel like a celebrity and it spurs you on. A lot of my club members are marshals in Moore Park. One of them has a bag with glucose tablets, extra gels and muesli bars, waiting for me.

Now after 2 hours roughly , my dexterity is not so good anymore and I have to stop and walk to measure my BGL (9.6 mmol/L). I lose about a minute measuring (see also the 25 km split pace). I grab a muesli bar and my electrolyte drink from one of my club members. I am going okay. When I hit the 30 km mark, my left calf is letting me know he is tired of the experiment. When I want to measure myself after 3 hours, none of my TRUEresult strips work. They have been exposed too much and are all faulty (weird as the strips are in a sealed container - I have had this happen once before in a training run). Perhaps the fact that it rained combined with my sweat they all went off? I lose about five minutes mucking around with my BGL meter (see my 40 km split pace!). In the end I give up, but now I have difficulty running .

I am fighting off a cramp in my left calf, but finish officially in 3:32:43. It took me about 33 seconds to go over the start line so my net time will be 3:32:10 or something.

I am quite happy with my run. I got a lifetime PB, bettering the time I set in the 1992 Chicago marathon of 3:44:59. So it is possible to beat T1D and it is possible to run a PB and beat your younger self. One final remark: I want to get a pump and a CGM!


C'mon Sutho!