New Prague woman runs NYC Marathon with a purpose

By: 
Chuck Kajer, The New Prague Times
The Hanson Family - Megan and Jon with children Liam, Luca, Lincoln and Leland. Megan Hanson ran in the New York City Marathon Sunday, Nov. 4, to raise money and awareness for Type 1 Diabetes. (Submitted photo)

Megan Hanson of New Prague had the opportunity of a lifetime last weekend.

The 37-year-old wife and mother of four ran in the New York City Marathon - her first ever marathon, on Sunday, Nov. 4.

Hanson, moved to New Prague about a year ago with her husband Jon and four children, Liam, 8, twins Lincoln and Leland, 6, and Luca 3. She’s been running about six years and had never run more than a 10-kilometer race or a couple of halfmarathons before. She took up running shortly after having her twin sons.

"I started running in part to get out of the house and have some time to myself," she said. She also wanted to stay fit… something that is especially important because since age 12, she’s been living with Type 1 diabetes.

In fact, it is because of the diabetes and the insulin pump and glucose monitor system she uses that she was able to run in the race. Beyond Type 1, an organization that supports people with Type 1 diabetes, recruited 20 runners from around the country to run in last week’s marathon.

"Anyone could apply, and I always wanted to run a marathon. I just never thought I’d have the chance to do it," she said. The group - known as Beyond Type Run - was sponsored by Dexcom and the Omnipod Insulin Management System, the tools she uses to manage her diabetes.

The monitor helps her to understand what is happening with the body.

"It helps let you know when your blood sugar gets below a certain range, so you know when your body needs to refuel."

She said the monitor works with a smartphone and lets you monitor the blood sugar in real time.

Hanson was active in sports when she was younger - including spending time on the swim team. but monitoring the blood sugar was more difficult.

"I had to take shots and test my blood sugar regularly," she said, noting it took a lot of discipline and wasn’t always easy to do.

"I got my insulin pump when I was in college, and the monitor when I was pregnant the first time."

The twins, Lincoln and Leland, were both diagnosed at a young age - 12 and 14 months. Both of them have insulin pumps and glucose monitors as well.

"One of the reasons I wanted to do this is to show the boys that just because they have Type 1, they can accomplish anything they put their mind to," she said.

As for the race… "I really don’t know what to expect," she said two weeks before leaving for New York. "I’m just hoping to finish."

Finish she did. Her official time was 6 hours, 37 minutes, 21 seconds. While that was near the end of the field of more than 52,000 runners, it is still an accomplishment she can take pride in. She spent hours each week preparing for the race, running about 30 miles a week, and peaking at 35.

Megan also ran to help raise money for Beyond Type 1. To date, she raised more than $2,000 of her $3,000 goal. Anyone interested in donating can go to her donation page at donate.beyondtype1.org/fundrais-er/1456777

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