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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.

Pre-race (Jess Baker)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hey guys,

Wow, thank you some of you for your emails already. Well we are well over halfway in your boat journey towards ANTARCTICA! The long journey (48 hours flying, 2.5days on the boat) adds to the authenticity of effectively going to the end of the world, and kind of makes it even more exciting. We just had to vaccuum all our gear to remove any bits of dirt, grass etc. that may contaminate the protected expanse, and we must disinfect our footwear before and after time we go to shore. This again, gets me even more excited about stepping afoot onto this pristine, relatively untouched white continent. I can' WAIT for it to come into view.
Binoculars, camera and wildlife book accompany me everywhere on the ship, just in case, but as yet, I have only had sightings of a sooty albatross, lots of cape petrels and Antarctic Terns. I missed the Wandering Albatross :( ... they have wingspans of about 1.5 metres)!!
I thought that I would go insane 2.5 days on the ship, but it is actually passing really quickly - mainly because I just keep sleeping, sleeping and sleeping a bit more - never slept this much in my life I reckon (a side effect of the seasick tabs apparently). I have no regrets about taking them though, my gosh! 45 knot winds (whatever that means?) has ensured that everyone walks around like a drunkard, food gets sent flying into people's laps at the dinner table, and rolling from left to right on the bed as you "sleep" - it does almost remind me of a fairgrouund ride...except it never ends....! Feeling a bit naseaus even with the meds!
I have never slept on board a ship before. Day journeys are the most I have experienced. It has completely EXCEEDED expectations. The tiny cubby bedroom I was expecting is a substantial double bed, with wardrobes, desk, kettle, and private shower; as nice, if not better than any hotel. I had an entertaining shower this morning - swinging around on a rail with one hand, whilst washing myself with the other. Large buffet breakfast, three course meal at lunch and three-course meal at dinner!! WOW! Meeeting some lovely people - new, and old friends from past deserts!
Roger tried to zen it out without seasick meds, but quickly succumbed! We entertained ourselves one evening (again in the comforting horizontal position), creating celebrity names with vomit-related phrases, e.g. Russell Throw, Wallace and Vomit, Spu Jackman....feel free to add more. Indeed, a few people mentioned that they did read my last blog,but made no comment - go on, say something if you wish!
So, this desert is different, it is all based on time, i.e. how far you can go within a set time. Tomorrow it will be 13.5 hours on King Georges Island. I cannot wait to get outside and MOVE!!
Love to you all.

DRAKE PASSAGE (Ron Schwebel)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
It's been an enlightening trip across the famed Drake Passage, the body of water between Argentina and Antarctica, on the MV Plancius.
About 1200km of ocean that can often be treacherous to cross.
There are about 65 runners and supporters and maybe 50 other passengers.
They will be doing other activities such as Kayaking, Snowshoeing, Camping out, Photo Workshops and Mountain Climbing.

We left port around 6 pm Thursday 22. Shortly after we had a safety briefing including an abandon ship drill.
We were shown two lifeboats which hold 60 people each. They look small submarines and have been referred to as "Vomit Comets".

It took about 4 or 5 hours to clear the Beagle Channel, which was very smooth. The first rocking came after that and gradually increased during the night. By morning, the ship was being tossed about by moderate swells, making walking more of a stagger. The first signs of seasickness were reported.
Most passengers are wearing a patch or taking medication. I am going to tough it out.

In the morning I looked out of the portholes to see quite a few seabirds following the ship. Mainly Petrels and Albatross.
The birds don't appear to fly but seem to continuously glide and swoop. Any flapping is almost imperceptible.

The swell increased during the day, and the winds as well, getting to 45 knots during the 2nd night. Passengers are now walking as in a more drunken state. At meal times, an occasional shriek is heard as a water jug or bottle of wine is toppled by a sudden tilt of the ship.
Seasickness is now more prevalent, as indicated by the number of empty seats at the meal tables.

I haven't escaped unscathed, my journey spoilt by a quick dash to the toilets yesterday afternoon. Today, I have acclimatised and feel good.
The other members of Born to Run have fared well.
It is now 6pm and soon we will move into more settled waters as we near the mainland of Antarctica.

Excitement is building as we all look forward to getting onto the shore. We have been briefed on boarding and disembarking Zodiacs, a small rubber ducky type craft we will use to get from Ship to Shore. We have also vacuumed all our outer garments and shoes to prevent contamination of the fragile Antarctic environment. We will also wear boots to go ashore, which will need to be disinfected.
We have been cautioned against leaving the slightest piece of rubbish behind. We have been given special permission to take food ashore, which cannot include fruit, nuts or dried chicken meals.

We had a briefing for the first days running, which is tomorrow. It is to be about 13 hours of running a figure 8 course of a 9km lap and a 4km lap, repeated.
The aid station is in the middle, and results are recorded as distance.

Tomorrow is significant for me, as I will have then been on every continent.

That's until I report on our first days running.

Crossing the Passage (Matt Donovan)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hello everyone from home. I hope this reaches you all.

The last two days have been spent on the ship making the 1000km voyage crossing the passage towards our first landing spot: King George Island. Tomorrow morning when we arrive there we will be let out for the first stage which is estimated to be about 100km. I have to admit I feel very underprepared with zero experience in running in the cold. I have been powering through Cas and Jonsey's latestbook: Crossing the Ice. From this book I have picked up some wisdom regarding physical exhurstion in the cold.
No.1 - Get Fat! Unfortunatly left this a little too late but it could have been a fun thing to do anyway. Both these guys put on and lost about 25kg each. I have to say our adventure is not quite that extreme, and their's very inspiring.
No.2 - You sweat, You die. I understand completely what they mean by this but putting it into practice will be another thing all together. If you happen to get your clothes wet from sweating and then have to stop for whatever reason, within a very short time the moisture in the clothing turns to ice and you are essentially wearing your body bag. I should be ok with this but dad may have issues because he sweats like crazy. Fun times ahead!
No.3 - Conditions change. From reading the book and getting reports from other past runners and race organisers the weather down here can change very very quickly. There can be situations when you are running with only light base layer clothing and the temps can be up to 5 degrees C, and freak changes in whether can come up very quickly where the temp drops suddenly and wind storms come through. This could mean facing temps as low as -20 degrees. We have been told that when the temp drops to -20 degrees we are pulled from the course. We have been told we are largely goverened by the wheather and we have to be very flexible and patient.

Apart from that the last two days on the ship have been pretty cool. Every now and then I venture onto the deck to check it out and nearly get blown overboard (pictures to come). It's a mission getting ready just to go outside and hard to stay out there longer than 10 mins because you are being pelted with water from the sea, ice from the sky and gail force winds. The passage has been pretty rough (by my standards) although we have been told we are lucky to have got a "nice" crossing. Heaps for people have got sea sick and been in their rooms most of the trip. I'm pretty stoked that I'm not one of them!

Next time I read your comments I would have run the first stage of the race! I very much look forward to that! Keep the comments coming.

@ Mum - Dad's fine
@ Steve - Don't forget to post URL to my FB wall with some type of message.
@ Emma - Thinking of you xo

Nearly There! (Greg Donovan)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Hi all

Just a quick blog from the ship. Its 3 pm Saturday arvo, and not much more than 12 hours until we reach our first destination, King George island.

We will start running soon after. Rumour has it, that it will be a 15 hour running day.

Anyway all going well. Ship is very nice and comfortable, meals are good, showers hot.

Although there is a lot of rocking and rolling going across Drakes Passage, I have had no seasick issues. Roger is the only one to suffer a bit.

We have had quite a few lectures on Antarctica, the wildlife and various activities available. We had to vacuum all of our equipment, to prevent taking any nasties onto Antarctica. Now getting excited about getting there.

James is doing a good job, and he has downloaded and edited everything so far.

Otherwise passing the time reading eating, talking to fellow competitors and generally resting up.

Will blog again sometime after the first running day.

Love to all

Not quite the desert experience we're used to. (Roger Hanney)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

It’s been a star-studded trip so far on board the Plancius, headed for Antarctica. Yesterday, Day 2, we met Liz Hurley, Russell Throw, Barf Simpson, Heave McQueen, and even still-motion all-stars Wallace & Vomit. My all-natural approach to zenning seasickness away without help from stuck-behind-the-ear scopolamine patches lasted until about 10am, by which point the alternating view of big sky and big swells had done its work as I hopped off the icebreaking boat and boarded the porcelain bus.

Everything’s hunky-dorie now though. We’ve had the talk about how to board the rubber-duckies for our first trip ashore. We’ve vacuumed our bags, clothes and shoes for stray invasive seeds and dirt contaminants, the first day’s racing over 14 hours ona 13km figure-8 looped circuit on King George’s Island has been fully explained, gear lists for carrying and stashing have been circulated and WE JUST CAN’T WAIT!!!!

This trip is just dreamtastic. It seems like every couple on the boat has been housed in a spacious and fully-appointed suite. WIN! While our teammates have been sent back to school camp. HA! : ) Sorry guys!

It’s such a reunion with some our favourite new friends from throughout the year. Whatever their first language is, we all understand the excitement of the unknown evident in everyone’s face. Alina and Alistair (Mary’s man) are missing but otherwise the core team of Riitta, Sam, and Mary from RTP are here which is also very cool. Hiro’ from Japan is missing, so too Japanese Spiderman but he’s here on my t-shirt. Also great to meet new faces like Wendy & Gary with their own amazing stories of endurance to share.

Whales were sighted yesterday, so too dolphins. Various Antarctic birds have been circling and racing the ship since yesterday. They feel a bit like a welcoming committee. Oh yeah, and Joel – where are you dude?

The next 14 hours might pass slowly as we wait to head ashore for a 14-hour run, weather-permitting. Or it might all go superfast, as we hope that our level of preparedness will match the brand new challenge before us. I also hope our ski-waxed Mafate 2s will keep the water and frost out. Nothing fun about wet, cold toes in alpine conditions.

There wasn’t much shooting done in the few days we had at Ushuaia. James (cameraman) had big plans for each day but ultimately only got a bit of filming done. I’m about to go out on deck n swirling blusters of shortlived snow to chat with him about what an incredible year this has been for Team Born to Run (www.borntorun.com.au) and especially what it says about living with type 1 diabetes that I’m here with my running mates ready to bag the Grand Slam in one corner of the harshest and most unforgiving and rarely-encountered wild environments on Earth.

Now it’s all dreams and expectation. In 28 hours it will be substantial and real. Nothing’s done until it’s done and so it’s too soon to say how we’re going to cope this time, but let’s just say that tomorrow we run with penguins. BRING IT ON!!! WOOT!!!!!!!

Iceberg Style.

Pre Race at Ushuaia (Ron Schwebel)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
We have had 3 days to look around here in the Southernmost city in the world. Lat 54:47 South. Weather is cool to cold. Max about 10 and yesterday it snowed at sea level in the afternoon. On Monday we ran and climbed to the top of Galcier Martial just out of town. The last 500 m elevation was through snow and quite steep. We got to a pass at 1000 m, which dropped off a sheer cliff the other side. Tuesday was spent filming around town and yesterday, a trip to the national park. It was freezing out there, with a stiff breeze as well. Jess, Roger and I ran back, about 22 km with first 8km was along a single track, next to the lake. Some photo opportunities came up. When the sun came out the views were amazing. We are just packed ready to check out. We head down to town for a briefing and then aboard the MV Plancius for the trip to Actartica. Excitement is building, but somewhat tempered by thoughts of seasickness on the Drake passage. We will be posting daily updates on the ship once the race starts in 3 days.

ANTARTIDA (Jess Baker)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
In a word. EXCITED.

Fun on Glacier Martial, fun running in Tierra del Fuego National Park, now off for some EXTREME fun in ANTAAARRRRCTICA! WOO! Living a dream for an amazing cause!

For my non-facebook friends, this was a recent post:

For those of you whom have seen me excited; please let it rise for several hours, add 500mls of red bull, two desert spoons of jumbo jellybeans, a splash of unknown beauty, and a penguin on the top ....that is how excited I anticipate being about boarding that boat tomorrow - to ANTAAAARCTIIIICAAAA with Team Born to Run!!!! WAHOOO! It feels almost surreal!!

Look forward to hearing from you all X

Antarctica Here We Come (Greg Donovan)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
After a few days in Ushuaia the team are keen to get going, and get on the boat to Antarctica. Matt was sick when we arrived, but has now recovered, and our lost bags have turned up, so we are all looking good. A bit of touring around Ushuaia including a walk and run on the nearby Glacier, and a drive around the National Park have helped us pass our time here. A 1000km 60 hour journey across the Drake Passage now awaits this afternoon, and we are armed with every seasick remedy know to mankind including such weird ones as Vicks Vapour rub on belly buttons. It's been a long and challenging year for our team, and it will be great to hit the ice and get running, to hopefully finish this years Grand Slam, and be the first team to ever do so. Keep up to date with our teams blogs over the coming week. We start the final leg with a 100km stage on King George Island on Sunday 25th ..... Sounds like a great way to get warmed up for the week. Look out penguins .... here we come!!

Today Ushuaia, Tomorrow Antarctica! (Matt Donovan)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Hey everyone at home! I hope you receive this well. Just though I would give a little update so far before getting on the boat his afternoon and making the two and a half day voyage to the Antarctic peninsula! We arrived on Sunday morning. The group was short two bags which were left in some other South American airport and I started to get a little sick. I'm pretty sure it was the airport food that had me vomiting and running to the loo all Sunday. After getting next to no sleep for 2 days this was not a great way to recharge the batteries. I bombed a couple of heaven antibiotics which seemed to fix the situation and I'm happy to report I feel 100 percent. We have spent a few days getting to know Ushuaia a little better. We have been for a run out to a glacier about 10km from where we are staying and have also taken a hire car to the national park which was stunning. The ant isolation is building as we are preparing to board the ship this arvo. I've got enough things to keep my mind occupied and hopefully enough means to keep the sea sickness away. Past competitors have told some horror stories about crossing the passage. I'm just hoping our experience is a little better and much more enjoyable. Whatever the case, stay tuned for more info in the next couple of days! Until then!!

Gobi Done and Dusted - 2 Deserts Done -Greg

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Firstly thanks for all your blog comments which I have read, it really helps to see the support we are getting, and has been a great help to Matt in getting through this week.

The long day is always the make or break of these types of events, so our team decided to approach the day with caution, and just keep moving forward towards the finish line. Our time was not important, as circumstances have prevented us from showing our true  potential results, but what has been achieved is so much more significant than a quick time. We have shown that as a team we can do it under difficult circumstances, and Matt and Roger have demonstrated courage and determination to push through for the team, whilst being sick ALL WEEK. On days 3 Matt was as sick as I have ever seen him, and at checkpoint 2 on that day it was as close to over as we could have come. What stirred in him, to get off the ground and carry on I do not know, but he  did. Especially knowing that even if that day could somehow be completed all he had to look forward to was the brutal day 4, and then the long day of 75km after that. At the end of day 3 wrapped shivering in a blanket in the medical tent, Matt deteriorated further and was at his lowest ebb. So to come back and complete 115k of very difficult terrain over the next 2 days was as close to a miracle as you could get. It reminds me of a saying “If you are going through hell, then just keep going”.

Day 5 was a long day for us, and we crossed the line in 12.16, and amazingly the very minute the sun set behind the mountains. Very symbolic of our whole race.

The day started with Rogers stomach in a bad way having been up to the loo 3 times during the night, and Matt still feeling quite ordinary. They both had to also go to the loo (no2) a couple of times on the course and Matt had some drugs at checkpoint 3 to help. To top things off his nose also started to bleed. Contrary to the course description, the first 36km was vey hard with 700m cumulative altitude gain, rocky territory, and big ravines to climb in and out of like billy goats.

At 40km we were rewarded with a long downhill, and we got into a good run, and we managed to run/walk the next 20km passing many. But at 60km Matt (and myself) were totally spent, sore and tired as we had run out of food at around 50km, and lack of energy and a bit of dehydration set in. So the last 15km were just a fast walk, eventually slowing as we neared the finish. We were too exhausted to celebrate too much, but just relieved to be finished, and after collecting our water headed straight to bed, with just a recoverite shake for dinner.

Its been an incredible week, all of the team have been amazing and strong, and the spirits and determination have been high. All in all, a difficult but inspiring experience for  our team. We are all missing home and I’m sure Matt (and myself) will have a break from training as we recover. We are currently placed 65th, which considering the week we have had  is still good, and we may even pick up a few places on the 15km sprint home tomorrow.

The 5 desert dream lives on for now, with our minds soon turning to Sahara at the end of October.

Not sure if I can blog again, but if not, keep your eyes out for the final leg results, and I’m sure there will be some good pics on the website.

Our cameraman James, has some fantastic footage and awesome photos, and once the film is compiled is will surely show a real life drama.

Now getting ready for Desert Ashes , Aussies vs Poms cricket this afternoon. I’m sure we will beat the poms!.

See you all back at home.