As an athlete living with diabetes I have been able to connect with so many professional athletes that have helped me in my journey. For almost a year I have been seeing posts about one gentleman named Roddy Riddle. Roddy was a suggested friend and I figured he looks like he runs I should add him and see what he does. I quickly learned that Roddy is an amazing endurance athlete that wanted to finish the 6633 Arctic Ultra Race. Like many of you I had no idea what this race was but I knew it sounded cold from the name. I would learn more as I explored the 6633 Arctic Ultra website.
Roddy would enter the 2016 Arctic Ultra and I would follow his training and would look at his posts and think how does someone train to cover 350 miles in sub zero temperatures? Day after day I would see Roddy post about his training and how much he wanted to finish the race. Roddy would run the 2016 race but would have to pull out of the race due to injury. As I sat at my computer and saw that Roddy had to pull out a part of me felt bad, I mean how does someone deal with that at a race like the Arctic Ultra. I mean this isn't your local marathon where you can heal and find another race in a couple months. Roddy would have to wait an entire year to get his revenge. For a year not finishing would sit in Roddys mind, would it motivate him or would it break him.
All year I learned that it would not break Roddy, the 2016 race made him stronger!! He trained with one goal in mind, finishing the 2017 6633 Arctic Ultra!! Just like 2016 Roddy trained day in and day out, did everything and anything to not only prepare himself mentally but also physically. As Roddy signed off Facebook to run the race I hoped that I wouldn't see a post from Roddy for about a week or so. Days would pass and no posts from Roddy, that made me feel good because I knew Roddy was still in the race and doing all that he could to finish. Then on March 17th, I saw a video of Roddy crossing the finish line and celebrating with the Scottish flag!! He had done Roddy Riddle had finished the 350 mile 2017 Arctic Ultra!!
Not only did Roddy finish he came in 2nd!! He was also the first Scottish person to ever finish the grueling race!! We all need to celebrate what an accomplishment this was and what Roddy has taught all of us. Time and time again people will hear that they can't do something, they will hear that it can't be done. People will throw things at us saying "Why would you do that, it's dumb!!" "No Scot has ever finished what makes you so special?" No matter what people say you need to keep working and keep chasing your dream. In chasing your dream you will prove to others that anything is possible. Roddy has done this and more, Roddy has inspired not only myself but anyone living with diabetes!! His story is one of inspiration and determination!! No matter what other people say you can do it!!