No products in the cart.

Our Charity Runners

What’s their why?

Every year, we recruit runners for the annual Auckland Marathon to raise awareness for Diabetes Auckland. Whether they’re doing the half, the full, doing it for a friend or loved one, they’re all helping to spread awareness of Diabetes and we think they’re amazing. Find out about their fuel behind the run.


Babu Mohamed Ali

Babu’s amazing inspiration for running this year is driven by the memory of his friend Ali who lost his battle with diabetes in 2016. Since then, Babu has run in several other charity runs and turned his lifestyle around.

Babu Mohamed Ali - Photo

What made you choose to run for Diabetes Auckland in the upcoming ASB Auckland Marathon?

The first time I ran for Diabetes Auckland was back in 2016, and I ran my first half marathon. The reason I chose to run, and support Diabetes Auckland was because of a very passionate Diabetes Auckland volunteer named Ali. Ali was living with diabetes himself, and he volunteered for Diabetes Auckland for 25 years. I met him through the Lion’s club Pt Chevalier and we became good friends. Through Ali’s influence, I learned a lot about diabetes and the fact that they don’t receive much funding in NZ- yet it affects so many Kiwis. I felt it was a very deserving cause and wanted to do my part to help.

It was then that I decided to run my first half marathon and help raise funds for Diabetes Auckland.  I trained for 3-4 months leading up to the event and kept Ali updated with my progress. I raised over $3500 and was the highest contributor that year for Diabetes Auckland. Unfortunately Ali lost his battle to diabetes before the event took place.

Ali’s legacy, the people who I had received donations from, and the other people volunteering for the cause alongside me was in the back of my mind the entire race and kept me going – I didn’t stop and or walk once during the entire 21k marathon. It was a heartwarming experience to be part of, and I will never forget it.

Do you have diabetes yourself?

Doctors have told me that I’m pre-diabetic and at risk of developing diabetes, so I need to be monitored closely, which I have been over the past 3-4 years. My doctor was pleased when he heard I was running for Diabetes Auckland and modifying my lifestyle to include regular exercise and healthy eating.

Ali’s legacy, the people who I had received donations from, and the other people volunteering for the cause alongside me was in the back of my mind the entire race and kept me going…

Describe your training process for the run.  How do you prepare – both mentally and physically?

Firstly, people thought I was crazy to run a half marathon. I’m not a runner. It’s normally not part of our culture – Indian people don’t just “go for runs”. I’m not a fitness person. The extent of my exercise regime used to be a walk with my wife 1 to 2 times a week an odd game of squash or a swim or two in summer.  With the half marathon I trained for, I traveled a lot for work and still made it a priority to get my regular runs in and report back to my running partner.

You mentioned it “wasn’t in your culture to go for regular runs”, can you tell me about your culture?

I am of Indian heritage. Kicking the football (soccer) in the backyard or having a game of cricket with mates or going for a walk was considered normal but doing consistent exercise like running – was not. Regular exercise was never part of my upbringing. A well-fed person was seen as a sign of health. Skinny is not! Even at school, with the little time we had outside for a lunch break, we would quickly get together for a quick game of football (soccer) rather than eat.

What’s your favourite post-run snack/meal?

A massive smoothie with everything in the fridge: bananas, oats, nuts, kale etc. My family would make fun of me and say things like “what is that?!” some of these habits have stayed with me since I ran my first marathon in 2016. Before the race, I tend to have a massive bowl of spaghetti to carb load.

What advice would you give others that are dealing with Diabetes?

Immediately check your lifestyle. Have a regular exercise regime included in your life starting now – this may include walking, a swim, gym or a light jog every day. Create some time ideally in the morning if working full time and juggling kids and a partner or wife. It is important to incorporate some form of exercise and food control consistently in your life, otherwise you are a ticking time bomb. It will affect all organs in your body. You’ve got to start today. There’s nothing better than a lifestyle change to beat diabetes.

Do you have any future fitness goals you want to achieve once you’ve completed this event?

Yes I want to continue running! and raise funds at the same time for diabetes & other worthy causes such as cancer & mental health. I have since run in Round the Bays twice, have signed up for this year’s Auckland marathon, maybe attempt NZ’s most scenic marathon, ‘The Queenstown International Marathon’ next year. Some day I hope I am lucky to walk and experience the amazing Abel Tasman coast track and Milford Track.


IMG_1863 (1)
Jo Kane

Tell us about your own personal diabetes story.

My daughter was diagnosed with type one diabetes in February this year.  She’s 5 years old, a twin (non-identical) and in the past she has been diagnosed with celiac disease too.

Over January she was drinking lots of water and was tired all the time. We just put it down to the heat. In her first week of school, she started wetting the bed, which was very unlike her.  Some of our friends suggested that she might be anxious about starting school soon, but she’s not an anxious kid.

So we took her to the doctor for a urine sample, and we were advised to take her straight to Starship for further testing, with which they said she had type one diabetes.


Has diabetes had an impact on your life? If so, how?
It has, she’s only five so we have to control everything – we have four children too!  It’s become our new norm since we didn’t really have a choice. She manages it well at school on her own, and knows when she’s getting low blood sugars.

Is this your first half marathon?
No, it’s my eighth half marathon actually!  I thought it would be a good way to show support Diabetes Auckland.

Describe your training process for the marathon.  How do you prepare – both mentally and physically?
I just did the North Shore half marathon!  I run three to four times a week. I’m used to running.  My lack of time to train is a big challenge for me. I feel like I’m never going to get there and want to keep pushing myself more.

IMG_1864 (1)

Do you have any future fitness goals you want to achieve  once you’ve completed the Auckland Marathon?

I’m doing the full marathon in Queenstown in November.  I also try to run three half marathons a year – that’s what I stick to.  I always need a fitness goal, otherwise I’ll just be lazy and sit on the couch.  It’s my hobby and with four kids it’s nice to have a chance to get out of the house.

What’s your favourite post-run snack/meal?
I usually go to Tank and get a fruit smoothie or a protein shake.  Yesterday I got a pastry from Baker’s Delight, but that’s not my usual!

What advice would you give others who have children that are dealing with Diabetes?
Take it one day at a time.  I didn’t read anything or do any research for ages, I had to get my head around it.  My advice for other parents is don’t read lots, and take it one day at a time, otherwise you will get too overwhelmed.  After a while, I reached out to people in the same situation that had kids with diabetes. Reach out when you’re ready.

Victoria Cubitt

Tell us about your own personal diabetes story.
I was diagnosed with type one diabetes when I was 13.  I developed the symptoms and was diagnosed over the weekend.  It’s been a bit of a journey, but now I’m trying to give back as much as I can.

Has diabetes had an impact on your life? If so, how?
Diabetes has had a huge impact, it’s shaped me completely.  It triggered my passion of becoming a nutritionist and a personal trainer.  I’ve learnt how to look after myself a lot more, and I am very careful with my nutrition.  You have two choices: Be negative, or change your outlook and get on with things.

What or who inspired you to run the Auckland Marathon?
I’m a personal trainer and a nutritionist, so I’m always looking for the next physical challenge.  I also want to raise more awareness of type one diabetes. People just don’t get it, they don’t know what it is, or what it means on a daily basis.  I also want to give back to Diabetes Auckland and support them.

Is this your first marathon?
Yeah, I guess it is my first marathon!  I’m walking it, and my partner and I are doing it together.  I’ve done about six or seven half marathons before, and I’ve done a lot of bush walks, so I’ve gotten up to 40km doing that.

Describe your training process for the marathon.  How do you prepare – both mentally and physically?
I aim to do two to three walks a week and a lot of weight training, and I build it up overtime.  I’m actually planning on doing 20 odd km walk in the morning.

Mental preparation isn’t so much of a problem. I’ve been building that mental and physical strength through doing crossfit and cycling competitively. I will definitely be nervous though! But it’ll be absolutely fine, I always hold onto optimistic and positive viewpoint.

What’s the hardest part about training with diabetes and how do you overcome it?Long steady cardio can be a challenge with diabetes.  I always have to readjust my diet and insulin. I need to make sure I have enough food and water – it requires a lot of preparation.  I need to know what to do with my insulin before, after, and during my training. I’ve been on pump for three years, and that makes the process so much easier – I wish everyone had a pump!

Do you have any future fitness goals you want to achieve  once you’ve completed the Auckland Marathon?
My partner and I are going overseas next year.  We’re going to Bali and we’re planning to do a mountain walk while we’re there up Mount Batur.  Everywhere we go we like to do a physical challenge. I always try to get fitness up as much as I can.

What’s your favourite post-walk snack/meal?
I have a low to moderate carb diet.  Beforehand, I’ll have a banana with peanut butter, or eggs on toast.  Afterward, I get protein in pretty quickly, so I’ll either have a protein shake, or a chicken salad with kumara and pumpkin. A paleo diet is common when training crossfit.  So I’ve adopted that kind of diet. I don’t eat out of packets, I eat as naturally as I can.

What advice would you give others that are dealing with Diabetes?
Routine is huge. Develop a routine that works for you, and your body will adjust to that.  Just like babies have to sleep to a routine, your body works the same way. Say if I want to eat a whole pizza, I know the impact it’ll have on my body already before I’ve eaten it.  So instead, I fill my body with the things I think it needs.

Looking after yourself is a big thing.  I try to be more open on Instagram about my diabetes and  do lots of sharing to help others. There’s a lot of negativity around diabetes, people think “why me?”  But looking at what you do have not what you don’t is essential.


Neil Cheetham

Tell us about your own personal diabetes story.
My son Henry was diagnosed when he was two and a half years with type 1 diabetes.  It came out of nowhere, it was a complete shock for us.

IMG_0426 (1)

What or who inspired you to run the Auckland Marathon?
When Henry was first diagnosed in 2012, at the same time my other son was born, I started training for my first full marathon.  At the time, I thought if I can train for a marathon now, I can do it any time. So I ran my first full marathon and raised money for Diabetes Youth Auckland, a charity that’s close to our hearts as a family.

Is this your first marathon?
Six years ago I did my first full marathon, and I’ve done a few halves since then.  This year, a couple of friends doing the Auckland Marathon as well. I ended up getting peer pressured into it, a few beers later I was like, “yeah why not I’ll sign up.”

Describe your training process for the marathon.  How do you prepare – both mentally and physically?

My brother in England is an insanely good runner, so all my training tips come from him.

I do three shorter runs during the week, and one long one in the weekend.  I try and increase my mileage overtime, and aim to be injury free in the lead up to the marathon.

Mental preparation is a bit part of long distance running .  I’m always thinking “can I actually do this?” You’ve got to pace yourself.  Having the willpower to get out in the winter months is a big one. You’ve just gotta get out there, and as soon as you’re running it’s fine! That positive self talk is important. IMG_1351 (1)

Do you have any future fitness goals you want to achieve  once you’ve completed the Auckland Marathon?
I want to get faster with my runs.  I don’t think I’ll do another marathon for a long time.  Though once I’ve got that fitness base with the next full marathon I do I’ll definitely get faster.  I’ll most likely stick to 5km and 10km races.

What’s your favourite post-run snack/meal?
Smoothies are usually my go to, with banana, yoghurt, peanut butter, and protein powder.  I like having bacon and eggs too, anything salty!

What advice would you give to other parents  with children are dealing with type 1 diabetes?
It doesn’t stop your children having a normal life. My son Henry won his school cross country this year and that tells us he can do anything he wants to – you just have to get used to the new normal.


Jana Seibt

Tell us about your own personal diabetes story.
My son was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 4 years. He is now 15. He has now also developed an allergy to wheat. Some of the impacts on our life have been that nothing can be 100% spontaneous. For example, if we travel we have to have three lots of insulin. Insurance is more expensive and we need to know where hospitals are located. On the positive side, we eat a very healthy diet.

What or who inspired you to run the Auckland Marathon?
I’m doing it for all the families who are affected by type 1 diabetes. Also, to give something back because of all the support I’ve had which has helped to keep my sanity.  For example, I spent many years getting up at 3am to check my son’s blood sugars. Recently my son had a hypo at Auckland Museum. He had packed his own diabetes kit but forgot to include glucose. Luckily a staff member was able to find some sugar.

Is this your first marathon?
My first half marathon.

Describe your training process for the marathon.  How do you prepare – both mentally and physically?
I go to the gym twice a week for strength training.  My trainer helped me get into running, which I do three times per week for 5 km at a time. At the end of the month I will run 15 km at once.

Do you have any future fitness goals you want to achieve  once you’ve completed the Auckland Marathon?
I’d like to keep fit and run another half marathon.

What’s your favourite post-run snack/meal?
A milkshake with almond milk, peanut butter, banana and yoghurt

What advice would you give to other parents  with children are dealing with type 1 diabetes?

Find your own way, what suits you regarding lifestyle, food, job. I do shift work. One of my colleagues has type 1 diabetes. She manages shift work by wearing an insulin pump.


Caitlyn Francey

Tell us about your own personal diabetes story. What type of diabetes do you have?

Type 1

What or who inspired you to run the Auckland Marathon?
I have volunteered for Diabetes Youth Auckland camps for children and teenagers as an adult leader and as a Registered Nurse.

I decided to run this half-marathon and raise funds for Diabetes NZ Auckland branch because I know they play a massive part in organising and supporting these events. I’ve loved helping on these camps, being able to teach and support children to manage diabetes, for example, to learn to give themselves insulin injections. It’s really cool to think I can make a difference in their lives.

Is this your first marathon?
My first half marathon.

Describe your training process for the marathon.  How do you prepare – both mentally and physically?
I am following a 12 week training programme through an app called “Aaptiv” I’m at week 5 at the moment. I run for 30-50 minutes 3 times during the week, with a longer run at the weekend which I will build up to about 2 hours prior to the half-marathon.

What’s the hardest part about running with diabetes and how do you overcome it?
Managing my blood sugars and timing my runs around my shift work. I aim for blood sugars around 6-10 mmols pre-run. If it’s lower I’ll either have some carbs or detach my insulin pump for a portion of my run. If my blood sugar is higher than 13 mmol I find running slightly more difficult because I feel thirstier and a bit more tired than usual.

Do you have any future fitness goals you want to achieve  once you’ve completed the Auckland Marathon?
Not really, I will see how it goes. I heard that marathon running is addictive so who knows, I might be back for the full marathon next year.

What’s your favourite post-run snack/meal?
I like to wind down with a coffee and a protein bar, my favourite brand is “Quest” bars because they’re lower carb.

What advice would you give to others who are dealing with type 1 diabetes?
Stay positive. I truly believe that Diabetes is manageable if you have the right attitude. If I’m feeling down about having Diabetes I just remind myself that there is so much worse out there, it’s not cancer or a terminal illness! And only you can be the expert of your Diabetes so keep a log book, test your blood sugar and inject your insulin and over time it will get easier!

Donations

Please fill out CAPTCHA code to proceed

* indicates required field
×
Youth Donations

Please fill out CAPTCHA code to proceed

* indicates required field
×