From Type 1 Diabetic to Ironman

Craig runMy journey into Ironman really started on the 28th October 2011. I know this because it was the day after I had spent the night in emergency after being diagnosed as a type 1 diabetic at 32. Without knowing anything about diabetes and really what it was, once I got my head around it, I thought to myself, now is as good a time as any to challenge myself and not to let this dictate the way I was going to live my life. And without ever really being into triathlon I had always had a quiet dream of completing an ironman, after listening to my year 12 PE teacher talk about competing at Hawaii. I just thought it was impossible! And now, I thought, if I can complete an Ironman, I can achieve anything! So my journey began, with a 5km run with mates, where I used the excuse I had to check my blood glucose as an excuse to stop and walk because I was spent! But soon that 5km became 10km, which became 20km and my love for the sport grew.

Craig and familyWith busy commitments at the time, I had 2 children and one on the way, I was finishing my MBA and running a business, and I was largely training by myself and looking for some training plans and guidance. That is when I stumbled across an advert for MaccaX. I instantly signed up and thought the videos and workouts were exactly what I needed. Easy to understand and no BS. I also signed up to the VIP group, and had posted a question on the wall while I was watching the Macca Aussies Abroad show with my wife. She happened to be playing around on my facebook page, and I couldn’t believe it when she tells me, “Hey that guy we are watching on TV just sent you a message on facebook”. Macca had answered one of my questions which I thought was the coolest thing ever. That got me hooked and the additional expertise and access we get to the coaches like Justin & Belinda Grainger, Sergio and Brenton Ford has been fantastic. More than the experts, it is the friendships I have since made from the group that I value. I have now made friendships with people from all over the globe. Some that I have met personally at races or the training camps, and others I am yet to meet, but look forward to at a race in the future hopefully.

Craig CairnsSo now 3.5 years on, 2x Ironmans and 8 x 70.3 races (and thousands of finger pricks) it has become more than just an initial challenge, it has become a way of life. And I had all the usual excuses about not enough time, getting unfit and how do you fit it in? I have since realised, that if you know WHY you want to achieve something, you will get it done. And I loved WHY I was training so much, I actually enjoyed the process and the feeling I get from the training, and I definitely see and feel the benefits in my blood glucose control from a more active lifestyle. With 4 kids now, I have had to take a short break, although still keeping active and wanting to be a positive role model for my kids and will probably be sticking to 70.3’s for the short term. Although I definitely have another Ironman or more in me with the goal of sub 10 close in sight.