Running the Tor for Type 1

October 26, 2017


Throughout August and September VFuel Australia were proud to help out our Charity Partner, Too Many Pricks (TMP), by running a fundraising drive. Our Director, Tegyn Angel, together with Mr Hoka Australia Roger Hanney (who himself is a Type 1 Diabetic), toe the line at the infamous Tor Des Geants. Tor, as it is more commonly known, is a colossal 338km, single stage mountain ultramarathon that climbs an insane 24,000m through the alps of Italy’s Aosta Valley. Athletes take between 70 and 150 hours to complete the undertaking, catching brief flashes of sleep in the mountain huts that double as aid stations. Both Hanney and Angel used their running of this event to raise awareness and funds for TMP and, through them, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF).


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“Type One Diabetes is a colossal disease”, says Will Allot of Too Many Pricks. “Most “normal” people will not understand the enormity of what it is like to live life with Type 1. It is a lifetime of physical and mental endurance while balancing blood sugar levels using injected insulin.”

Too Many Pricks, “means so many things to so many people”, reads the organisation’s website. But while it raises eyebrows and turns heads, a cheeky name worn to provoke and engage, “if you live with Type 1 diabetes, you will know exactly what it means. A prick in the finger is the painful reality of every blood sugar check. For millions of people around the world, this is a reality that plays out 6 or more times a day… every day… for the rest of their lives.” Started by a group of mates from Sydney, in a few short years, TMP has raised $150,000 for the JDRF. Perhaps more importantly though, they have created a platform for individuals and communities to inspire community spirit, the adoption of a healthy lifestyle and a genuine, good-hearted sense charity through physical activity.

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While TMP may have created the tools to achieve these goals, both Hanney and Angel soon realised that there’s a lot more to it than merely “sticking a hat out”. “As far as my fundraising efforts leading up to Tor Des Géants went,” wrote Hanney when we asked him for some reflections on the experience;

I was reminded of the time I interviewed friend and hero, Malcolm Law. I would estimate by this point that Mal’s creative running adventures and systematic and deeply thought-through fundraising initiatives, co-created and epically supported by his wife and a powerhouse in her own right Sal, must have raised north of $1m so far for mental health. Asking Mal one day about whether it was becoming harder to do his work in a space saturated by runners doing silly distances for good causes, he simply clarified that if you look at how much preparation someone does for their run, and then how much effort they put into their fundraising for their chosen cause, then it becomes clear where their priorities really sit.

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So how did they do? What did they learn? Here’re their top three lessons to consider.

  1. You can’t just stick the hat out and hope for the best. Raising awareness, and through that funds, is a very active process. Just as the best brand ambassadors aren’t necessarily the best athletes or the smartest people don’t necessarily make the best leaders, getting the word out for Too Many Pricks takes more than just athletic achievement. As Hanney put it, “If I’m going to fundraise for causes around type 1 I need to get out there on the front foot with it, rather than just run ultramarathons with it.”
  2. Engaging people takes work, and it needs to be genuine. Sure, just lining up for an event like Tor is inspiring in its own right, but that alone won’t get people interested if the athlete is an insincere douche bag. Angel found that being the first to put his cash into the project, plus a blend of jocular humour, determination (and sweet prize offerings) made the difference.
  3. It’s important to recognise the ultimate goal. As a non-diabetic, Angel could only go so far toward raising money for, and awareness of, the TMP cause within the greater community. Hanney, on the other hand, is able to call on his “own stories of life with type 1 to impart self-belief and a different point of view to people living with the condition.” If the ultimate goal is to inspire a healthy, active lifestyle and “get the community together and participating in activities for a cause”, the little bit of cash raised is a happy by-product of communities coming together to participate in an event.

A big congratulations to both Hanney and Angel for their efforts at Tor, and their work in the name of TMP. Together they raised a little over $2800 for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund. If you’d like to donate to the cause, the fundraising page is still open and we’d be seriously appreciative if you could spread the good word.  DONATE HERE

Massive thanks to all those who gave generously to the cause:

Julie Savage, David Reece, Rebekkah Middleton, Chris Ord / Trail Run Mag / Adventure Types, George Alexandropoulos, Karen Emmerson, Atid Page, Brad Ryan, Stella Ooi, Greg Stephens, Frank Di Pierro, Annabel Brown, Andy Bainbridge, Tegyn Angel, Team George (ob), Adam Courtenay, David Fazio, Skye Meredith, Andy Payne, Simon And Livvy Ferraro, Richard Pierse, Matthew Bell, Zoe England, Heidi Reiter, Roylene Stanley, Aida Escall, Stuart Cox, Joe Lewis, Deb Sharp, Hayley Emmerson, Sam Obrien, Sydney Helicharter, Stephen Angel, Rhonda Gale, Tom, Merridy & Henry, Ross Burborough, Kolya Miller, Kylee Woods, Matt Hosking, Lucinda Scott, Bain Steve, Zoe Presley, Bharathi Sridhar, Lauren Clarke, David Januszkiewicz, Lisa Fearnley, Jess O’brien, Caz, Anja, Jo, Joe And The Gangsters, Gavin Wright, Trudy Gordon, Sally Law, Tiffany Mcclymont, Rachel Jones, Hailey Lauren and several anonymous sponsors.

Congrats also to our VFuel/TMP Prize Winners:
1. Matt Bell, Helinox Poles
2. Bharathi Sridhar, a box of VFuel Gels

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