Samantha Thompson 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes

This year Physiohealh Sponsored Samatha Thompson in the 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. We have heard from Sam that the ride was a huge success and read below her ride report. She and Brice managed to raise over $5,800 for JDRF, which contributed to the $1.05 million raised this year. Well done Sam, we are proud to have helped you help JDRF for this great cause. 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes. On Friday January 17th as a heat wave swept through South Australia, 400 people descended on the Barossa Valley for the annual JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes.  The annual event raises over $1 million for research into preventing, treating and finding a cure for type 1 diabetes.  The ride weekend is an extravaganza that is the culmination of many months spent training and fundraising for the ride.  It’s an experience few forget and many return to complete year in, year out.  It attracts primarily corporate organisations, some of whom only begin to learn about the perils of type 1 diabetes during the weekend, others are friends, family members or people with type 1 themselves.  This year, I was a part of our first AMSL company team, comprised of customers, family  and AMSL staff. We  had 6 riders and a non-riding supporter. After bikes were built and riders settled in, the riders met for a safety briefing before socialising over a carb-loading dinner and discussing their ride strategy. Due to fires closing in on Eden Valley the ride course was changed to ensure our safety. To our fortune the amended course was slightly shorter and perhaps a little flatter. 2014 JDRF Ride to Cure Team AMSL_v1.0 The usual ride course demands your respect. It’s long (riders choose between 35, 80 or 160km), hilly, rough and usually hot and windy.  It’s a course that scared me in to training for months and this year was no different.  I left no stone unturned and fronted the start line in my best physical condition in years.  I’d practiced and refined my diabetes & Addison’s management plan, and in the days leading up to the event ran through it with my endocrinologist.  I also put my dietetics degree to use and set a specific food and fluid plan to keep us well fuelled and hydrated for the day. Our bikes were serviced and shining like new.  We were ready. As Saturday 18th January dawned we were thankful for the cool change that came through the previous evening.  Excitement was building for a big day on the bike. Team AMSL met for a photo before rolling down to the start line at Jacob’s Creek winery.   This was the first year I’ve been able to rely on an accurate pump-enabled Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system and it was certainly proving beneficial.   I was particularly pleased I was starting with a blood glucose well in target and I could have kissed my Dexcom CGM for the real-time information that enabled me to make minor adjustments overnight and throughout morning to obtain the result.   I’d even made changes to the insulin rates in my pump to allow for all the excitement and adrenalin pumping through my system.  So as my front wheel towed the start line I could barely contain my excitement. I knew it was going to be my best ride yet. 174.JPG Brice and I had trained hard together and as we approached the optional Mengler’s hill (avg gradient of 8.5%) within the first 10km we decided to tackle it head on.  We were feeling great, my blood glucose was in target, and we weren’t too far behind the lead bunch.  Make no mistake about it, it was a long and slow climb, but the screamer downhill on the other side made all the effort worthwhile.  Throughout the day the ‘c’ shaped course allowed for plenty of camaraderie between participants making the ride particularly enjoyable.  Aid stations stationed along the course made for welcome breaks and refills. At the 60km mark we met up with Gary, one of our team members, and battled it out together for the rest of the day. As the day went on the mercury rose and reached a warm 34 degrees.  We endured wondrous tail winds (think 45km/hr ride sections and big smiles), and at other times, head-winds and rough roads that made us feel like we were pedalling backwards.  But throughout it all, the company and lush countryside sure made the time and distance disappear quickly.   Cath, our chief supporter always seemed to be ahead of us and her loud cheers spurring us on were always a welcome sight and sound. At 110km, not far from Jacob’s creek, a spoke in Brice’s wheel broke from a piece of wood that had been accidentally spat up earlier on. It had the potential to end Brice’s day so we were thankful for mechanics who quickly repaired the wheel and had us back on the road.  For the final 20km we decided to head home via the optional bike trail.  It was a beautiful bike path that had been built on the old railway and led directly through the vineyards and off the busy roads.  It was almost serene and truly the nicest way to end our ride.  After a tidy 150km, Gary, Brice and I crossed the finish line together, punching the air with satisfaction. Albeit a little tired, each and every team member could only be extremely delighted with their huge effort.   I was satisfied to the core at how the day had panned out.  I had finished in my quickest time and was still feeling somewhat fresh at the end.  CGM had enabled me to fulfil my nutrition plan,  make informed and accurate decisions about my insulin delivery and keep my blood glucose levels steady, avoiding them from rising too high or falling too low. The day ended with a ‘Great Gatsby’ themed party at Penfolds Winery. The jazz bands played and we danced till late in the night.  The party is the culmination of the ride event and a brilliant way to celebrate everyone’s hard effort. Over a hard day cycling and stories of success and challenges overcome, friendships are formed and plenty of fun is had by all.  I rode,  not just for me, but for all those people with type 1 diabetes, who don’t just battle it out for a day but battle it out minute-by-minute every day of their lives, trying to keep their blood glucose level in check and avoid deadly complications. Whatever the reason for participating, everyone was united in the hope of finding a cure. IMG_0836.JPG An amazing weekend was had by all and we’re already looking forward to next year.  Thank you to all our AMSL team members who made this event extremely special and one to remember.  It was a pleasure riding and celebrating with every one of you. To all our sponsors, thank you again for your incredible generosity.  I am humbled each and every year by your support and encouragement.  It is because of you that we are one step closer to finding a cure. Cheers, Sam
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