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.


 Wednesday, December 05, 2012
MINDBLASTED AMAZEMENT!!! How do I describe our time in Antarctica so far? Uploading to internet from here is a bit of an issue but as soon as we're back in Argentina I have some great photos of the team, killer whales, other competitors, 2200 metre high snow and ice mountains, meshed layers of low-lying cloud almost touching our heads as we run, and closeups of Jess' first penguin encounter, plus - of course - penguins themselves.

All our gear is working well. First day we ran 13 hours, yesterday was about 9 hours with a rest and sightseeing day in between. Doing this final desert with such brilliantly unique surrounds, awesome crew and organisation, and friends we have made throughout the year is a truly original experience.

The expedition leader is a hardy Scotsman called Kelvin who wears shorts in the face of everything except blizzards. Picture Gerard Butler with giant, hardcore, expedition-leading, mountaineering, orca-punching 25-kg adventure balls, rather than teeny-tiny, designer-label-promoting, actor balls.

Coming back on the rubber duckies yesterday with frozen figures after a day of rolling around a 3-km loop course, one side in sun, the other in Mordor-esque metallic grey, there was near calamity. Our boat-driver unloaded one of the ten runners back on to the main ship, the Plancius, then in a thick Russian pirate commander accent barked 'Abort operation, abort operation!'. Naturally, we thought 'Wuh?!?'.

Just 8 metres away, a lone Zodiac pilot was butting the front of his boat against an iceberg, trying to push it away from the ship. They don't threaten the ship itself, but when its anchor is dropped, they can push the ship, drag the anchor, and damage the ocean floor. Our rubber duckie pulled up alongside and began pushing with its bow too. But suddenly, the Zodiac driver in the first boat revved his motor too hard, his prow accelerated up on to the berg itself and his boat sheared off to the left, tipping sideways at a 30-degree angle. Holding on to nothing other than the motor handle, he was banking sharply backward through space like a sailboarder, precariously hanging over the frozen waters for a breath-holding moment, before miraculously regaining the horizontal plane as he shot toward the open harbour we were skirting.

The line between comfort and cataclysm here is pencil-thin. On the first day, we added one final taste of the 7km out-and-back section of a 13km figure-8 course. heading out with our backs to the high-hanging sun, the day was not much cooler than it had been since 9am. But as we turned to head back, just before 9pm, it was clear that the game had changed. Menacing clouds had risen from nowhere to block the sinking sun. Wind intensity doubled and the temperature felt like it had dropped by 5-10 degrees in a matter of minutes. Fingers numbed and concern grew as some team members dropped behind, seemingly slowed by the cold, rather than accelerating as a means of diminishing its effects.

The support crew and expedition operators who waited for us, the last runners on the course, were awesome. They had us off the shore and on Zodiacs headed back to the Plancius within about 3 minutes of hitting the theoretical finish line. There was no doubt that even the experienced polar crew were wary of the sharp change in climate.

Running this afternoon, sleeping on the ice tonight, and hopefully a big final day of racing tomorrow.

Time and climate will tell.....

PS Our Mafate 2 are keeping our feet well-insulated from the frozen ground and long running. The hair-dryer wax treatment I applied before leaving Argentina seems to have worked really well for the waterproofing we needed too.
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