Lee-on-the-Solent cyclist with type 1 diabetes tackles Mount Everest challenge for JDRF charity to celebrate 100 years of insulin

CYCLING for 46 hours to tackle the height of Mount Everest was a diabetic cyclist’s challenge to push the boundaries of what is possible.

By Belinda Dickins
Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 1st April 2021, 12:53 pm

Ann Blake, from Lee-on-the-Solent, has spent 100 days completing a huge task to raise nearly £1,500 for diabetes charity JDRF.

Having lived with type 1 diabetes for 33 years, Ann wanted to join in with the charity’s celebration of 100 years since insulin was discovered as a treatment for the condition.

Ann said: ‘When I was diagnosed I was really encouraged to just get on with it and learn to live with it.

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Ann Blake from Lee-on-the-Solent, who has Type 1 diabetes, took on a huge challenge to raise money for JDRF to mark 100 years since insulin was discovered as a treatment

‘I was so glad when I was diagnosed that it was something treatable and with the right kind of treatment and learning was entirely the kind of thing I could get under control and learn to live with.’

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The 48-year-old has tackled 100 days of cycling, with 100 minutes of exercise and 100m of elevation each day - before cycling the height of Mount Everest on her stationary bike through Zwift.

After getting on her bike at 8am on a Wednesday morning, Ann climbed 29,029ft in a gruelling session which lasted until 6.30am on the Friday.

Keen athlete Ann, who kept an eye on her blood sugar levels throughout, said: ‘The only way to do it was to take it one step at a time and not worry about the whole thing but just the next time up the hill and the rest would take care of itself.

‘I was totally blown away. My husband actually filmed me finishing it, I was completely overwhelmed, I couldn’t get my head around it.’

Husband John stayed with Ann throughout the challenge, and some of her cycling friends joined in to watch virtually through the Zwift online cycling platform.

Ann said: ‘I’m so passionate about pushing the boundaries of what people with diabetes can do and help to put it out there that anything is possible.

‘I don’t think I have ever let it have an impact. I have never let it get in the way of what I want to achieve.

‘If you just start small and take one step at a time and keep taking those small steps you can achieve whatever you want to achieve.’

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