Cedar Rapids runner to compete in New York City Marathon for diabetes organization team

Published: Jul. 7, 2019 at 9:46 PM CDT
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It's the season when you're bound to see plenty of runners all along the sidewalks and trails of eastern Iowa.

But one Cedar Rapids woman is running for a reason much bigger than herself.

Morgan Russell has always led an active life, beginning with basketball and later transitioning into running.

"In middle school, I started cross country and track, and so I did that through middle school and high school,” she said.

But that life changed dramatically when doctors diagnosed her with Type 1 Diabetes at age 12.

"It just became finger pricks and insulin injections four to six times a day,” Russell said. “It's just been — I don't know. I can't look back. It's who I am now."

But now at age 26, running is still a huge part of Russell's life, and she's racked up the medals to show for it.

She has one more she's working toward right now.

"This November, I was chosen with 29 other Type 1s across the world to run in the New York City Marathon,” she said.

Russell will run as part of "Beyond Type Run," the official team of the non-profit Beyond Type 1, which helps people with diabetes.

It’ll be her first full marathon, and she has been building her mileage up to train for all 26.2 of them that she'll have to run in November.

"I know I have three 20-mile runs toward the end, so those will be interesting and fun,” she said.

With so many runs under her belt, she also knows how they’ll affect her body.

"I've kind of figured out each run and what my blood sugar's going to do, but it's taken some time for sure,” she said.

Russell said her main goal is to just complete the race, but when that happens, she'll be doing even more than crossing a finish line.

"I really just want to show other Type 1s in my community that we can do anything,” she said. “We don't have to be afraid of just getting our foot out the door and doing what we love. It shouldn't be a setback."

In addition to running the New York City Marathon, Russell is also raising money for Beyond Type One and is almost to her $3,000 goal now.

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