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Diabetes UK Cymru looks for runners to break record at JCP Swansea Half Marathon

Diabetes UK Cymru is looking for runners with Type 1 diabetes to join a world record attempt at this year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

The charity is hoping to break the world record for the number of people with Type 1 diabetes to run a half marathon.

Diabetes UK Cymru set the record at last year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon, when 29 people with Type 1 took part in memory of Cardiff schoolboy Peter Baldwin, who passed away as a result of undiagnosed Type 1 diabetes in January 2015.  This year they are hoping to recruit 101 runners for the race on Sunday 24 June.

Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong condition that affects around 1,400 children and young people in Wales, and around 19,000 adults. People with the condition don’t produce the hormone insulin, which is responsible for controlling the amount of glucose in the blood. Nobody knows what causes Type 1 diabetes and it isn’t currently preventable.

Physical exercise can impact your blood glucose levels, meaning people who have Type 1 diabetes must manage their insulin before, during and after exercise.

Dai Williams, National Director, Diabetes UK Cymru, said, “We were over the moon last summer when our team of Type 1 runners set a new world record and helped us raise vital awareness of Type 1 diabetes. It’s not just about breaking a record: we hope to inspire others and create a community of individuals who understand the challenges of life with the condition and can support each other.

“It doesn’t matter if you have never run before: if you have Type 1 and you want to be part of our team, then get in touch.”

The charity is working closely on the challenge with supporter Paul Coker, who ran 40 half marathons in 2017 to raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes and mark 40 years of living with the condition. The 2017 JCP Swansea Half Marathon was the final event in his challenge.

Paul, 45, from Ferndale, discovered running in 2013 and has since then been on a mission to unite people with the condition to exercise safely through his website

Paul Coker said, “This event will bring people together to form a Type 1 diabetes community. By taking part, they will prove to themselves and to others that having the condition should not hold you back and that life with Type 1 diabetes is what you make it. By being part of the research they’ll also create a legacy, helping us learn more about the condition, and if we are able to break the world record then that will be the icing on the cake!”

This year’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon will be the largest mass-participation running event the city has ever seen, with over 8,000 runners expected to take part. The fast, flat course takes participants “From The City To The Sea”, and organisers are set to reveal a new route for this its fifth year. Starting in Swansea City Centre, runners make their way along six miles of stunning coastline, taking in the marina and iconic city architecture on their way.

David Martin-Jewell, managing director of Front Runner Events, said, “One of my children has Type 1 diabetes, so my wife and I know what it means to live with this condition. We are very proud to be a part of this challenge and wish all those running for the record attempt the very best of luck with their training and during the race.”

To book your place on Diabetes UK Cymru’s JCP Swansea Half Marathon team, contact 02920 668276 or [email protected] before Friday 4 May.

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