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
"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
"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