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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The World Marathon Challenge consists of seven marathons in seven days on seven continents.
Nobody with type 1 diabetes has ever completed this challenge – until now.
Early Thursday morning, Eric Tozer, 34, of California became the first person to do so in Miami.
“We started with a marathon in Antarctica, essentially ran a marathon, got on a jet, flew to Cape Town, got off the jet, ran a marathon, got back on,” explained Tozer.
The seven marathons were in Antarctica; Cape Town, South Africa; Perth, Australia; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; Madrid, Spain; Santiago, Chile, and finally, Miami.
The group of challengers consisted of about 40 people from different places all over the world.
“Really all walks of life with different reasons for being there,” said Tozer.
Tozer’s reason was to represent those with type 1 diabetes.
“I was looking for something to kind of WOW factor that would be an exciting example for the community, to give people hope and inspiration,” said Tozer.
Tozer laughed when CBS4 asked about being jetlagged.
“Knowing what time, time of day [is] all a bit of a blur actually,” said Tozer. “It adds some complexity with Type 1.”
Complexities include keeping track of what time to take his two separate types of insulin and how to monitor his blood glucose levels. Tozer said flights between continents were spent sleeping, eating, and stretching. He also credits his diabetes for his success.
“The mental toughness and strength really comes in,” said Tozer. “Just over 183 miles total, that’s sort of how I looked at it instead of being seven individual marathons.”
You would think Tozer would be worn out by his seventh marathon in Miami. Somehow, his final was his fastest. Tozer said he finished his Miami marathon in 3 hours and 32 minutes.
As for which continent’s marathon was his favorite or most memorable? That’s a tough question to answer for Tozer.
“Antarctica was fascinating, such a unique experience. You feel like you’re on another planet. Ice cracking underneath, not a sound out there or person or thing to see,” said Tozer. “Miami was special because my family was here.”
On Thursday night, Tozer was welcomed home in a dinner reception with family and friends, hosted by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation or JDRF South Florida chapter.
Getting to the finish line isn’t just about Tozer. For him, it’s also about the hundreds of millions of people in the world he’s doing this for.
“If we can have every person that’s affected, impacted by type 1 to see this that there’s nothing they can’t do when it comes to Type 1,” said Tozer.