Jamie Austin

M1 for T1: Running the length of the M1 from Leeds to London for type 1 diabetes (T1D) research

Fundraising for JDRF
raised of £10,000 target
by 531 supporters
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M1 for T1, 23 January 2023

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We fund research into type 1 diabetes to find a cure for type 1 diabetes


Our son Henry, 12, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (T1D) in June 2020. It turned our world upside down.

Henry has been incredible since – stoic, philosophical and strong - but he knows there is no ‘cure’ for his condition.

Research suggests the COVID pandemic affected T1D cases – and COVID may have ‘brought out’ diabetes in children (Henry was diagnosed shortly after having COVID). We don't know. But we want to help end T1D.

I'm attempting to run approximately 220 miles over 10 days to support JDRF - a fantastic charity committed to eradicating type 1 diabetes.

I am also doing this for all the adults and children who live with T1D every day; for all the parents, relations and carers who support those with the condition; and for all the healthcare professionals (we have met some of the best in the past couple of years) and researchers dedicated to tackling T1D.

About the run

- I will be running from Garforth near Leeds to London, very broadly following to route of the M1 motorway

- My route is approximately 350km / 220 miles (you notice that I put the bigger km number first?!)

- I am running across ten days starting 23rd January – so averaging around 35km / 22 miles per day - with two or three ‘break days’ (see below)

- I will not be running on the actual motorway. That would be illegal. And daft. DON’T TRY IT.

- If anyone wants to run any section of the route with me, please message me – I would be happy to have company at any stage!

About Henry

- Henry is 12 and he is already an all-round righteous dude

- He studies in East Finchley, London

- He is an avid fan of Arsenal FC, Notts CCC, England cricket teams, Notts County FC (honorary) and the Pittsburgh Steelers

- He plays for Hinton & Finchley Revolution FC (football) and Highgate CC (cricket) and practices karate at Kaishi Karate School

- He listens to Radio 1 and the Tailenders podcast

- He is a great big brother to Rosie (10), who is one of his greatest cheerleaders (helped by the fact that she is literally a cheerleader) and a marvel in her own right

- He doesn’t let type 1 diabetes define him or stop him doing things he loves

About me

- I am no ultra-runner: I haven’t even run a marathon. I have run one half marathon and jogged at weekends and sometimes back from work, to avoid the tube

- I am a 49-year-old dad who wants to do something meaningful and test what a middle-aged parent can turn their hand to, with a bit of time and effort

- I live in north London with my wife Rachel, Henry and Rosie.

- I was born and bred in Nottingham. I am an all-weather Notts County fan and supporter of all teams Nottinghamian. I am also an honorary Gooner, because of Henry’s affiliation

About the idea

- I wanted to do something to support T1D research and got this idea partly because of the symmetry of M1and T1. It's the sort of thing I like.

- Also, I think the M1 is an iconic British road – the first full-length motorway in the country and quite a ‘spine’ in English road travel

- The motorway loomed large in my Nottingham childhood and most big trips (north or south) I can remember seemed to involve the road

- We still travel up and down the motorway regularly – to see the grandparents in Nottingham and for Henry’s medical trial in Sheffield

Disclaimer / full disclosure / caveats

- I honestly have no idea if I will complete this route. I am training hard, but have never run like this and my lanky old body may not comply. I will update here if my plans change.

- I plan to run the distance over ten days of running, but I also plan to have two or three rest days. This will allow me to a) watch Notts if the timing works and b) reduce the risk of my legs giving way like soggy cardboard stilts)

- It will be January / February and the British weather is not at its most clement. I have no problem running in cold, rain and wind, but snow and ice may prove more difficult. Once again, I will update here if anything happens.

About T1D (from JDRF)

- Approximately 400,000 people are currently living with type 1 diabetes in the UK, including around 29,000 children.

- The number of new diagnoses of type 1 diabetes (also known as the incidence) is increasing by about four per cent each year.

- In children under five, the incidence of type 1 diabetes is rising by five per cent each year.

- Among children with diabetes in England and Wales, 96 per cent have type 1 diabetes.

- Around 85 per cent of people diagnosed with type 1 diabetes have no family history of the condition.

- Although it used to be referred to as ‘juvenile diabetes’, around half of newly diagnosed cases of type 1 diabetes are in people over the age of 18.

- The UK has one of the highest rates of type 1 diabetes in the world, for reasons that are currently unknown.

- A person with type 1 diabetes will have around 65,000 injections and measure their blood glucose more than 80,000 times in their lifetime.

The last bit

- Thanks to my family and friends for all their support so far

- I know it is a difficult time financially, so I am incredibly grateful for any sponsorship or support

- Please get in touch if you have any questions

- Thank you for visiting / reading


About the charity


Verified by JustGiving

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JDRF is the world's leading charitable funder of type 1 diabetes research and raise money to drive world class research. Exciting news: JDRF is undergoing a transformation. We are becoming Breakthrough T1D in October. View our FAQs to understand more. https://jdrf.org.uk/newbrandfaqs

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