Team Novo Nordisk and I Have Agreed to See Other People

Last week I resigned from my position on the running team at Team Novo Nordisk, ending a more than two-year relationship including being named the Amateur Athlete of the Year in 2011 for Team Type 1 – to this day perhaps the award I cherish most.

There has been a lot of Internet chatter about the changes that have occurred since TT1 became TNN. From what I saw, some of the comments were right, and some of them were wrong. And as far down the chain of command as I was, it’s probably fair to say I’m not the best judge of what all was true.

Here’s what I can say: Novo Nordisk shares Phil Southerland’s dream of putting a professional cycling team into the Tour de France. That’s what makes the partnership perfect for both of them - a common goal.

Novo Nordisk is a pharmaceutical company. As such, they are governed by a lot of rules and anyone who works for them (or represents them, in my case) has to agree to play by those rules. My decision to leave the team isn’t based on what I think of those rules; only that I’ve decided I’m not interested in following them.

In all of this, I feel a tremendous sense of loss. Selfishly, I think of never going to a race again with some of the greatest people I’ve ever known who happened to be diabetic, and it breaks my heart. Somewhat less selfishly, I think of how some of the recent changes affect outreach efforts and my only hope is that those changes are temporary because those efforts were how I saw the team making a difference on a daily basis.

But I don’t want this to sound like an indictment against Novo Nordisk or the team. They do want to change the world, but they just want to change it in a different way than I do, and there’s nothing wrong with that. And when that team goes to the biggest stage of pro cycling in the next couple of years, I will be cheering them every mile of the journey. And I plan on keep using Novolog insulin, because it's the one that works best for me. Your mileage may vary.

I’m not going to be anymore specific about what happened in this blog post. Those who wish to know more know where to find me.

Also, I’m going to keep comments on this particular blog post closed. I’ve read some other blogs and comments on blogs about TT1/TNN that I knew to be incorrect and unnecessarily mean, in my opinion. Again, I’ve got nothing against TNN. They’re just moving in a different direction than I and I wish all of them the very best. But because I’ve been one of the more vocal members of the team, I think it makes sense to post this so people aren’t left wondering.

In just a few short weeks, I’ll be on the line for my 100 mile race and for the first time in a few years, I won’t be wearing a Team Type 1 jersey. Fortunately, the Ultra Fest was never a team event, but rather an individual one I chose for myself.

Either way, I will run it hard. Because that’s what runners do. Even or maybe, especially, diabetic ones.

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