[twitter]Team Diabetes Bermuda was my sixth event for Team Diabetes. I’ve raced in the ugliest singlet you’ve ever seen in Iceland (twice), Rio, Easter Island, Edinburgh, and now Bermuda. Jennifer joined me on the trip for her fourth event, second as a competitor.

I signed up for the Bermuda Triangle Half Challenge. It was 3 races in 3 days that would see competitors get 4 gorgeous medals (above). Day 1 was an evening mile race. An out and back along Front St in downtown Hamilton. It was a fun jog where I was focussed on going slowly, but still chased a pack of runners and finished 2 minutes quicker than I expected.

Saturday morning we were up early for the 10k race. It was a hilly trek through the center of Bermuda and along the north coast. I raced this one with Jennifer. A cold, snowy start to winter had meant both of us had done little training. Jen has also been fighting pneumonia while I had been battling serious back pain.

The goal was to just get through the 10k in one piece. We kept the pace slow, walked more than we would have liked (especially up the big hills) and finished the race in under 90 minutes – the slowest either of us had ever done for the distance.

Team D Bermuda

Saturday afternoon was low key, lounging on the Horseshoe Bay beach. I didn’t want to get too active, because I still had one more race to complete, the half marathon. I had no expectations for this event. The longest I had gone in training was barely 11km. The past month before the race had seen me do just half a dozen runs, no more than 4km in length. Because of my back, I was fully prepared to pull out of the half marathon, or not even complete it. I had no expectations, putting a 3 – 3 1/2 hour finish time in my mind – far slower than my personal best of 1h 48min.

Trying to put the brakes on at the beginning of an event is always hard, it’s even harder when the music you have on your playlist matches a “race for a PB” instead of a “finish it in one piece” pace. As much as I tried to stay to running 10 and 1s, or slow down, I still went out too quickly. By the 11k mark, I was walking far more than I was running. The entire last half of the race was walked (at a brisk pace) as my left achilles, right IT band, and entire legs felt the demands of what I had done for the weekend. But I finished with a nice little race for the final few hundred metres in just under 3 hours. Again, my slowest ever.

I tapped each mile marker in the half marathon, virtually high fiving people as I dedicated each part of the race to parents and their kids living with diabetes. I thought about Brad Kane and his daughter not getting proper care in school, I thought about Max Domi overcoming his diagnosis to get drafted in the NHL, I thought about all the kids who celebrate summers at diabetes camps, I thought about the finish line.

Team Diabetes Bermuda

We raised nearly $20 000 to participate in this event. Thanks for your support of the Calgary Mom Sale, the Team D BBQ with Tangerine, and the countless brands who donated to the Canadian Diabetes Association in exchange for promotional campaigns on DadCAMP. You’ve made a difference in the lives of so many Canadians living with diabetes.

“So, where are you going next?” It’s a question heralded Team D alum Harry Flint asks everyone at every race. He wants people to join team Diabetes, do it once, and then do it again, continuing to raise money and awareness for the cause. I am registered for the Cayman Islands Marathon this December, but that’s just a place holder for my fundraising. I’m waiting for the 2016 Team Diabetes calendar of events to come out in the next few weeks. I’m hoping for a summer event next year for my 7th race, Jen’s 5th, and hopefully a chance to inspire my boys to join in their first event. Stay tuned.

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