To a runner a pair of shoes is like a brand new luxury vehicle, runners test out shoe after shoe until they find that perfect fit. Without the perfect shoe a runner is focusing on what is wrong with his or her shoes and not focusing on the course that they are racing on. Some runners will put initials at the top of their shoes as motivation while running. In any race that a runner is tired and sore and wants to quit they can look down and see the initials which sparks a memory and motivates the runner to finish the race in which they are running.
Shawn Forrest toed the start line of the London Marathon with a blue pair of Nike running shoes that have a neon green pin stripe going from the side of the shoe to the laces. A very ordinary pair of running shoes until you get a closer look, Shawns shoes have peoples names written on them with black permanent marker. In fact the shoes have so many names on them that the shoe looks almost black.
On April 17th Shawn tweeted "If you know a child w/type 1 Diabetes send me their name and I'll write them on my shoe for @LondonMarathon #oneinamillion @JDRFUK" Each day since my twitter feed has been loaded with people tweeting at Shawn about their sons or daughters with diabetes. From children that were diagnosed when they were a year or two old to children that were diagnosed just a week ago Shawn was getting an amazing response from the diabetes community. This amazing idea is one that will inspire a generation of children living with diabetes. Just imagine the joy of a child living with diabetes as an elite marathoner living with diabetes has your name on his shoe. I'm 33 and if my name was on his shoes I would ask for a picture of Shawn in the marathon as well as a picture of my name on the shoes he wore to run the race. I can't imagine how motivating that is for a child, Shawn made diabetes cool because he took the time to connect with the children living with diabetes.
Thank you Shawn for being an inspiration to so many!! You had an amazing race today and you made a difference in the world of diabetes. It doesn't get much better than that!!