A WOMAN from Truro is aiming to break a world record for the third time when she enters the Swansea Half Marathon in June.

On Saturday, 23 June, Kathryn Thomas, 44, will be joining a team of Diabetes UK runners in a bid to break the world record for the largest number of people with Type 1 diabetes to run a half marathon.

Kath, a mental health nurse and keen runner, has been part of the charity’s team to break the same record for the past two years.

In 2018, 69 runners with Type 1 diabetes took part in the JCP Swansea Half Marathon.

This year, Diabetes UK Cymru hopes to recruit even more runners with Type 1 diabetes from all over the country in order to smash the charity’s own record.

Kathryn Thomas, who is a mental health nurse, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of nine. She started running six years ago after a heart attack, a complication of her condition, and also has problems with her sight. Thanks to improved diabetes technology – she uses an insulin pump and a continuous glucose monitoring device – she is now able to manage her condition better.

People with Type 1 diabetes cannot produce insulin and have to take regular insulin doses in order to stay alive. It cannot currently be prevented or cured. People with Type 2 diabetes don’t produce enough insulin or the insulin they produce doesn’t work properly. Family history, age, certain ethnic backgrounds and being overweight are risk factors for Type 2 diabetes.

Both types can lead to devastating complications, such as lower limb amputation, sight loss, kidney failure and stroke.

Kathryn said: “My sister ran a running group. After my cardiac rehab she encouraged me to go along and I haven't looked back since. I’ll never be fast but I’ll continue having a go.”

A member of Cornwall Athletic Club, Kathryn is looking forward to this year’s Swansea Half and the camaraderie she has found there. “It’s been amazing meeting other Type 1s in the last two years and sharing advice and tips. I’ve since met two more in Cornwall and convinced one to run Swansea last year too. I’m excited about this year, meeting up with new and old Type 1 friends and sharing that familiarity.”

Phaedra Perry, Diabetes UK South West Regional Head, said: “Kathryn Thomas is a true inspiration. She has not let her diabetes setbacks get in the way of living her life to the full, and her determination and positive attitude are a fantastic message to others with Type 1 diabetes.

“The Swansea Half Marathon world record attempt is not just about breaking a record: it is also about inspiring others and creating a community of individuals, like Kathryn, who understand the challenges of life with Type 1 diabetes and can support each other. We wish her and all the team the very best of luck on 23 June.”

Diabetes UK Cymru still has guaranteed charity places remaining for the JCP Swansea Half Marathon on Sunday, June 23. Places are open to everyone, whether they have Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes or just want to fundraise for Diabetes UK.

For more information, visit: www.diabetes.org.uk/get_involved/fundraising-events/swansea-half-marathon.

For more information about diabetes, visit www.diabetes.org.uk