Type 1 Diabetes doesn’t hold Jono le Roux back!

As the starting gun fires at 9 am on Friday, April 26th, at the Sani Pass Pub in Lesotho, Jono le Roux, a formidable trail runner and a person living with diabetes, will embark on the challenge of the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg 100 Miler. This isn’t Jono’s first time at the event; last year he finished in 5th place overall in just over 33hrs. However, this year’s race poses new obstacles with significant changes to the route, promising a fresh test of endurance and determination.

Jono’s journey into trail running began in 2015, but it was his diagnosis with type 1 diabetes in 2017 that ignited a deeper commitment to health and fitness. Despite the challenges posed by his condition, Jono has not only embraced ultra-running but has excelled in it. Reflecting on his journey, Jono shares, “Running has provided me with not just a healthier and stronger body but mentally it has also given me so many life lessons. It’s more than just a sport for me, it’s my way of life.”

Managing type 1 diabetes while undertaking endurance sports like ultra-running requires meticulous attention to glucose levels, pacing, and nutrition. Previously, Jono would have had to frequently stop during the race, and check his glucose levels by using the fingerstick method, costing him both time and additional energies, now with advancements in technology this process has been made much easier with the FreeStyle Libre Continuous Glucose Monitoring (CGM) system, a device which enables him to monitor his glucose levels in real-time, empowering him to make informed decisions throughout his races.

“My goal for this year’s race is to embrace it fully and soak up all the good vibes,” says Jono. “I’ve grown as a runner since last year, both in experience and maturity. While I aim to complete the race in 27 hours, my ultimate aspiration is to maintain a sustainable running journey, inspiring others along the way.”

Jono’s story is not just about personal triumph; it’s a testament to the advancements in diabetes care and technology. “With great improvements in diabetes care, from insulin upgrades to management systems and incredible tech like continuous glucose monitors, people living with type 1 diabetes can live more freely and, dare I say, ‘normally,'” he expresses gratefully.

As Jono laces up his shoes and prepares to tackle the challenging terrain of the Ultra-Trail Drakensberg, he embodies resilience, determination, and the spirit of overcoming adversity. His journey is an inspiration to all, showcasing that with passion, perseverance, and the right support, anything is possible.