One Last Run: 50 Marathons with Type 1 Diabetes

Posted by Ross Baker on Tue, 10/10/2017 - 15:47 in

If you’ve been reading my blogs, you know I’ve been on a quest to be the first diabetic to complete a marathon in all 50 states. This is a journey that began in November 2000 when I hobbled to a finish in the New York City Marathon, exhausted and exhilarated. In June 2017, I completed the Anchorage Marathon in Anchorage, Alaska, finishing my 49th state and setting the stage for the final marathon in Maui, Hawaii in October 2017. Needless to say, I’m thrilled and humbled to be on the verge of such a major accomplishment. The idea of realizing a dream that has spanned 17 years is almost too much to comprehend. So many days I spent shuffling along on training runs I tried to fit in with my busy life, cobbling together travel plans to grab one more state, never really thinking a finish line existed. Now it’s right in front of me, just a month away.

Ross Baker MarathonThis marathon journey represents an incredible chapter in my life. I’ve been so fortunate to grow so much as a person and as a diabetic during this time. To give you some perspective, when I started running the Internet was barely a part of our world, and social media didn’t exist. Since that time, I’ve learned so much about diabetes and connected with so many people who are Type 1, facing the same daily challenges I do trying to live a healthy, active lifestyle. I also made the decision to switch from conventional syringe and insulin vials to the Omnipod System, which has been instrumental in keeping me safe while running. I also completely revamped my diet during this time, shedding the traditional meat-and-potatoes meals for organic foods with a heavy concentration of vegetables and fruits. I’ve become a father to two children, survived cancer, dealt with a divorce, buried parents, survived a life-threatening car wreck, published a book and jumped out of an airplane, among other items, all braved while facing diabetes every day.

They say life is a marathon, not a sprint. I’ve run plenty, and the adage definitely holds true. I just look forward to one more day in the sun, and to what future adventures await. Because although one finish line gets closer, I hope the other is very far away.

-Ross Baker