As reported in the Sunday Times early in May, 48-year old Steve Redgrave , is to compete in a 3,000-mile cycle relay across America in June as part of an 8-man team.
In the Race Across American, which runs day and night from California to Maryland, at least one member of the team is required to be on the road at any given time. The event includes riders tackling two mountain ranges, the odd desert and temperatures from subzero to 40 o C.
The full length of what many would see as an endurance test is about 8,000 miles, with Redgrave putting in his share of approx 1,000 miles.
The multi-Olympic-medal winner and insulin-dependent diabetic is undaunted, in fact it was his idea to attempt the race. Before it began he said, “I feel I want to have one more major challenge before I’m completely decrepit! I don’t know how my body will react. The exercise will reduce my blood sugar levels , perhaps quite dramatically, and I’m not sure I’ll be able to refuel enough to stop my energy decreasing. It can be very dangerous, with the possible risk of falling into a hypoglycaemic coma.”
As well as it being what he thinks might be his last major challenge, Redgrave and the rest of the crew is using the event to raise £100,000 for the Steve Redgrave Fund and Sport Relief.
Continuous monitoring with a pump
In terms of handing his diabetes Redgrave’s not short of the right kit – using an insulin pump and continuous glucose monitoring, so he can keep an eye on his blood sugar readings as well as an eye on the road.
Cycling was part of Redgrave’s training regime during his 20-year Olympic rowing career, he admits he does not have the ideal body shape for the sport. “The only record I might break is being the heaviest person in the race,” he said.
- To donate, go to: justgiving.com/redgraveraceacrossamerica