Gary's testing the limits

100 kilometres is a long way. It is two-and-half marathons, 1000 football fields or more than a million bananas laid end-to-end. Yup, that is a long way. But for Yeronga man Gary Gaffel 100 kilometres is just his latest challenge.


Gary is taking part in the River Run 100 ultr-marathon to support Diabetes Queensland. If that isn't impressive enough Gary is living with type 1 diabetes.


For finance manager Gary his diagnosis five years ago came as a big surprise.


"I didn't know anything about diabetes. I suppose you could say I was diagnosed very slowly and very quickly," he said.


"I was losing weight and my friends were commenting on it and as a long distance athlete I didn't really have much to lose so I was a little bit worried.


"I went off to have a blood test, came back for the results and they whisked me off to hospital."


Gary was a long-term competitor in long distance events and one of his first thoughts was: 'How can I continue to compete with diabetes?'


"I set out to learn as much about diabetes as quickly as possible. I wasn't going to let the disease take anything away from me," he said.


"These days it doesn't change too much, it is just about planning ahead and remembering to do things like not take too much insulin before I go out for a three hour run.


"You always have some concerns in the back of your mind. For instance is my blood glucose dropping quicker than I thought? Have I got enough carbs with me if I go too low? Does my insulin pump have enough battery? You can't carry spares for everything when you're out running! But, with a bit of planning, you can ensure you are prepared for most situations."


So the big question is, why run 100 kilometres?


"I've done an Ironman triathlon and that was pretty epic but I really wanted to find something else. So when I saw this River Run 100 it really stood out and I said to myself I'd love to have a crack at that" he said.


River Run 100 will be held at Southbank in Brisbane on 16 August 2015, with the ultra-marathon starting from 4am. Visit Gary's everyday hero page to support his mammoth effort and Diabetes Queensland today!

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