Marathon triumph for diabetes sufferer
MARATHON man Paul Hay has returned triumphant from London, despite a rainy race that threatened his health.
A fundraiser for youngsters with diabetes, the Llantwit Fardre runner – who suffers from the disease himself – broke his personal best of 3 hours and 19 minutes on the gruelling 26 mile course.
But 52-year-old Paul said he could have done without the chill and bluster of a typical British downpour, as it nearly threw his health regime off track.
He said: “The rain started shortly after I passed the half-way stage and continued for several miles. During this time my hands became cold and I found it difficult to open the energy gels, which I carry with me and have to take to prevent my blood sugar from falling low.”
With drink bottles slipping out of cold hands, Paul had to make educated guesses with energy tablets and drinks to finish the run.
“Although the rain stopped my circulation never really recovered and consequently I felt it made me slow down,” he said, “It’s all experience though.”
Paul’s efforts raised £1,896 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, which is dedicated to finding the cure for Type 1 diabetes.
And the runner from Woodlands Park said the sponsorship spurred him on to complete the test of endurance.
He said: “Overall I am delighted. The feeling is one of immense satisfaction. Crossing that line, just one minute quicker, made all the effort of the previous sixteen weeks of training worthwhile. It makes me very proud, as an insulin-dependent diabetic of almost 40 years.
“From the time you surface on the Sunday morning and the high-fives with the children all along the route to the fun-runners, the waving of the JDRF supporters and the loss of the will to live at 20 miles, to the people screaming your name and telling you that you can make it on that last mile, it is marvellous.”
LONG HAUL: Paul Hay with his marathon medal