From Team Type1 SANOFI's Run Across America: Snowbound
Slippery Situations by Marcus Grimm
Of the many hazards faced by Team Type 1 SANOFI thus far on the Run Across America (and to be clear, there have been many), one of the obstacles they haven’t had to face was the weather. Until today, the runners had enjoyed remarkably clear weather, with sunshine during the days and bright stars at night.
This all came to a close shortly past three AM this morning as Van A traveled from Taos, New Mexico toward their final destination of Eagle Nest.
As the runners crawled higher toward nearly two miles of elevation, a flash blizzard came upon the crew. For the runners, the road became slippery, yet passable. But for the vans, equipped for conditions in California, where they were first rented, the situation turned much worse.
The van struggled to make it up the high ascents, as did many of the vehicles around it. The situation went from bad to worse as a semi-truck in front of them began to slide backwards and sideways, both toward a steep ravine and toward their own van.
The van found itself in a precarious situation, trying to avoid the semi sliding backward while keeping contact with their runner, still negotiating his way toward the summit. Eventually, the semi stopped, mere inches from the van carrying the four others members of Van A’s crew.
Tom Grossman called it, “A harrowing experience for everyone,” saying, “The weather has been a blessing for us until now, aside from the very cold nights. But we’ve come to realize that the weather conditions can deteriorate particularly quickly in these steep elevations. It’s something we’ll have to keep a special watch out for over the next several days.”
To counter the low visibility in bad weather, the team has taken to wearing the same gear during bad weather that they’ve used at night, courtesy of RoadID. Products from RoadID’s Firefly line provide the runners with illumination and reflection to guard against vehicles on the highway. Team Type 1 SANOFI runner Jon Obst says, “We’re concerned with so much right now that the RoadID products offer a great level of protection, so that we can be less concerned about the vehicles on the road.”
Team Type 1 is made up of 100 of some of the finest professional and diabetic athletes in the world. Their mission is to promote wellness and achievement among diabetics worldwide. The Run Across America, a journey of more 3,000 miles, culminates on November 14, World Diabetes Day, in New York City.