Don Muchow
Type 1 Diabetic Extreme Ultrarunner & Ironman

Ironman Texas 2017
Ironman Texas 2017
150 Miles So Far - Capital to Coast 2017
150 Miles So Far - Capital to Coast 2017
Texas Quad Marathon
Texas Quad Marathon
Finish Line Interview Capital to Coast Race 2017
Finish Line Interview Capital to Coast Race 2017

VITAL STATS

Age 57, marketing director, Dallas, TX

Insulin-dependent Type 1 diabetic for 45 years, diagnosed in 1972

Founder, Diabetes & Exercise Alliance, Diabetic Ultra Endurance Athletes

HIGHLIGHTS

2017 Capital to Coast Race: 223 Miles

Austin, TX to the Gulf of Mexico. First ever T1D solo finisher.

2017 Ironman Texas: 140.6 Miles

2.4 mile swim, 112-mile bike, 26.2 mile run.

2016 Texas Quad Marathon: 104.8 Miles

4 marathons in 4 days. 3rd Place. First ever T1D finisher.

2017 Honey Badger Ultra Road Race: 100 Miles

100 miles in 100+ degrees! First ever T1D finisher.

Tour de Cure Double Century Bike Rally: 200 Miles

Texas Hill Country: Austin to Fredericksburg and back.

PLUS 30+ triathlons, century bike rallies, ultramarathons, ultra relay races, marathons and half-marathons.

1972. "Diabetes? Insulin? No gym class. Too dangerous."

I’m the last person you’d expect to be a role model.

I’m not the fastest. Or the youngest. In 2003 I was 42, and 50 pounds overweight, already with serious diabetic complications.

By then, I knew that my gym teacher was wrong. I knew that exercise was crucial in helping Type 1 diabetics (T1D’s) stay healthy, control blood sugar, and minimize complications.

But I had two big problems. I didn’t know any active Type 1’s. And my doctors couldn’t answer my questions about juggling exercise, insulin, and food to avoid dangerous blood sugar swings—the deepest, darkest fear of every Type 1 diabetic.

Still, I was determined to figure it out.

And believe me, when you have to give yourself daily shots just to survive, you’ve got plenty of determination.

I started out with just 5 minutes on an elliptical trainer. I met a few active T1D’s. Gradually, I worked up to a 5K Turkey Trot—and finished!

Much to my surprise, I did not die or end up in the ER. I started to believe that anything was possible, if I sweated the T1 details.

I ran farther and farther. Bought a wetsuit, rode a bike for the first time since I was a kid, completed Ironman Texas and became the first T1D runner to finish the solo 223-mile Capital to Coast race.

I came to realize that exercising with T1D is like another sport, on top of running, swimming or cycling.

Yes, balancing exercise, food and insulin is hard—but it gets easier with practice. Confidence and know-how replace fear.

Now, other T1D’s ask me:

“Before Type 1, I ran marathons—how will I ever do that again?”

“How can I exercise if my sugar always goes low?”

I share experiences and connect them to the active T1D community, because together is how we figure out what works.

And I know every step I run is worth it when they reply,

“If you can do it, I can too.”