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Coast to Coast Sportive in a day

We have a inspirational report from Wendy Frost :-

‘Some of you may have noticed my lack of attendance at swimming and running training, whilst spending time on my bike in preparation for this event.

I am one of 4 leaders of a dedicated sports team for people living with type 1 diabetes.  Until fairly recently, people living with the condition were discouraged from anything other than ‘gentle exercise’ due to the risk of experiencing dangerous hypoglycaemia.  With the arrival of continuous glucose monitors and for many, insulin pumps, we have been able to control our blood glucose levels more effectively. Our team motto is ‘Shifting The Perception of Type One Diabetes’ and moment of madness we all decided this would be a challenge to prove this’.

‘Team Type One Style’ were fortunate to receive a very decent sponsorship deal from one of the diabetes tech companies, which to paid for our dedicated kit and other some other costs.

‘The group started out as 24 crazy diabetics planning to cross the UK together in a day.  On the 6th June, the event organiser, Sportive HQ, emailed the hundreds of entrants and announced that they had gone into administration and the event was cancelled.  Not to be stopped by this, we decided to turn up and do the ride under our own support’.

‘Family and friends rallied to offer help along the way and with fuelling.  This was the greatest problem ahead of the day, working out where we were going to find toilets and enough water for us all without the pre-arranged village hall stops. We had one van and a car! The promised event ‘meals at every stop’, soon turned into crisps, baguettes and cheese alongside the usual gels and energy bars’.

‘By the time the day came, our number had dwindled to 11.  Jon (hubby) and 10 Type One’s. For many the logistic became too much and for others they hadn’t managed to put in the hours of training required’.

The day started with breakfast a 4am and the merry band of diabetics making necessary adjustments to their insulin to start the day.  A few additional miles from our hotels to the Seascale seafront and we were off by 5:30 am.  Some of the ‘faster boys’ started an hour later with the plan of catching us up on route.

‘The ride itself took in stunning scenery and hills like I had never seen or attempted, and certainly couldn’t have trained for locally.  The route took in over a dozen hills major climbs each averaging over 20%, one even at 31% in places. There was very little flat and at times the climbing was relentless.

We did our best to stay together and motivate each other through the highs and lows of the landscape and the highs and lows of our glucose levels.  Mine mostly behaved until 30 miles to go when I was concentrating so much on the technicalities of the ride and getting to the end that I eased off on the glucose and ‘hypoed’.  Those last 30 miles were where we all had to dig deep to keep going.  One of our group was struggling and jumped in the van to complete the distance.

‘The ride into Whitby was unreal.  I had ridden across the country – in one day!  The hours passed fast and my companions couldn’t have been better.  I ended the ride battling with high ketones – a side effect of not having a working pancreas.  Whilst feeling sick, I had to force-feed myself with porridge and get some insulin in to myself to clear them from my system– the take-away pizza waiting at the finish was more than I could stomach!’

Would I recommend this challenge – yes!  Would I do it again – no way!

Currently looking for the next epic ride to take on…..