Sahara, 28th October 2012

5 runners, 5 deserts, 5 continents
Each desert : 7 days, 250km, self-supported

DID YOU KNOW? Over 130,000 Australians have Type 1 diabetes.
Type 1 diabetes is the most common chronic disease in children, and is more common than cancer and cystic fibrosis.
DID YOU KNOW? People with Type 1 diabetes face many serious long term health complications.
Type 1 diabetes is a lifelong incurable disease, and without daily insulin injections people with Type 1 diabetes would die.
DID YOU KNOW? The cost to Australia of Type 1 diabetes is estimated to be $600m per annum.
DID YOU KNOW? Over 275 people a day are newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.
DID YOU KNOW? Nearly 1 million Australians have Type 2 diabetes.
DID YOU KNOW? The cost to Australia of diabetes is nearly $7billion per annum.
DID YOU KNOW? Over 60% of people with Type 2 diabetes can overcome it with fitness and healthy lifestyle.

The 5 member “Team Born to Run” is taking on the 5 Deserts challenge over 2012 and 2013.

This ambitious challenge involves running 250km over 7 days , fully self supported across 5 of the harshest deserts in the world, including Atacama, the driest desert, Gobi the windiest desert, Sahara, the hottest desert and Antarctica, the coldest desert, before finally finishing in 2013 in Australia’s own Simpson Desert.

There are many purposes behind this unique and arduous challenge, including:-

  • Raising funds for Type 1 Diabetes Research
  • Raising awareness of the disease
  • Raising the awareness and profile of the newly founded Born to Run Foundation
  • Proving that Type 1 diabetics are capable of any challenge.
  • Inspiring others, and proving people young and old are capable of such challenges
  • Demonstrating in practice the effectiveness of ExT1d in assisting diabetics undertake extreme physical challenges.
  • Creating the “story” to help us build the Born to Run brand.

The Born to Run team will start by running the 4 deserts series in a single year, to complete the “4 Desert Grand Slam”, a feat achieved by only 10 people over the last 10 years. If the team  can achieve this they will be the first team to do so, In addition Matthew Donovan will be the youngest person at 22, Greg and Matt Donovan will be the first Father and Son to do this, Roger Hanney 37 will be the first Type 1 diabetic, Roger and his fiancé Jess Baker 30 will be the first couple, and Ron Schwebel, aged 61 will be the oldest person to achieve this formidable feat. All whilst adding 5 new Australians to the 4 Deserts Grand slam list.

Not satisfied with finishing the 4 deserts Grand Slam, Team  Born to Run will then go on to complete this amazing journey on Australian sand by  running in a new event created as a Born to Run Foundation fundraiser, The Big Red Run, a 6 day 250km run in the Simpson Desert in July 2013, resulting in many further records being set. (not many people have completed 5 deserts either!)

In addition to above, Steve Donovan, Greg's youngest son who has Type 1 diabetes, will be training up over the next year  complete The Big Red Run alongside  the Born to Run team. Steve will be using ExT1D to assist in managing his diabetes during his training, and run itself.

The entire 5 Desert adventure is being recorded for an exciting and inspiring documentary series.

Full details on the 4 Desert series can be found at

An interesting magazine article on the 4 Desert series can also be found here.