I met Bill Carlson many years ago at one of the early IDAA conferences (IDAA: International Diabetes Athletes Association, started by Paula Harper in Arizona in the 1990’s).  I was in awe and I was surrounded by other amazing super athletes.  I, of course, was not ever an elite athlete!  But we all had Type 1 diabetes in common.

Bill Carlson Returns to the Ironman World Championship in Kona, by Blair Ryan for A Sweet Life, 6 October 2016, details the career of this T1 legend.

bill_carlson_wave_bike-768x605In 1983, Bill Carlson made history when he became the world’s first person with Type 1 diabetes to complete the Hawaiian Ironman Triathlon World Championship.

In an age when people using insulin were discouraged from doing strenuous exercise, Bill was one of a thousand World Championship competitors to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a full marathon. He did it in thirteen hours, twenty minutes–45 minutes of that time was spent on medical checks.

To people with diabetes everywhere, Bill Carlson was immortalized as a pioneer. He used the world’s stage to show us that there’s no type of exercise a person with diabetes shouldn’t do, as long as they’re willing to control their condition.

And he’s making a come back in Kona, at the age of 55, being cheered on by his 19 year old son, Clayton (also a T1) and his wife Suzanne who is battling Hodgkins Lymphoma.

You go, Bill!!!

Read more: Bill Carlson Returns to the Ironman World Championship in Kona



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