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Architect who took on 33-marathon challenge for Diabetes UK celebrates final run

Harry Leung

An architect who set himself the challenge of running 33 marathons to raise funds for Diabetes UK completed the challenge on New Year’s Eve.

Harry Leung, 34, who lives in Southwark, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes when he was four years old and decided to take on the challenge to mark the 30th anniversary of his diagnosis and third anniversary of his diagnosis with vitiligo.

After re-discovering his love of running during Lockdown, Harry started his “33 marathons in 2022” challenge on 1 January last year.

His runs took him all over the country, including Edinburgh, Manchester, York, everywhere across the London boroughs and neighbouring counties. Harry ran in seven marathon races and, in particular, he enjoyed the races in Edinburgh and London where he met other fundraisers and volunteers for Diabetes UK.

He ran the remaining 26 marathons on his own under all types of weather conditions from the 35C summer heat to the winter snow and ice.

Running on his own for a long period of time and running in different weather conditions provided many challenges to managing his blood sugar levels. The experience has given Harry invaluable lessons and confidence in managing his condition. 

As well as Diabetes UK, he is also raising funds for the Vitiligo Society.

Harry says:

“I wanted to mark the 30th anniversary of my diagnosis and also to raise funds for Diabetes UK which offers great help and advice. I don’t have many memories of being diagnosed with diabetes as I was so young, but I do have a lot of memories from my childhood, learning carb counting and learning how to inject myself at a young age.

“I felt very motivated. I received so much support and generosity from family, friends, colleagues, charities, running organisations and people I met throughout my year-long fundraise. I am particularly humbled by the messages I received from people with diabetes or vitiligo.

“I hope my challenge shows that with careful management and positive mindset anyone with diabetes can still lead a good quality of life.”

So far, Harry has raised more than £3,700.

Jill Steaton, South East Coast and London Head of Diabetes UK, said:

“Harry has gone to great lengths to help us! We are very grateful and impressed for all his efforts on our behalf.”

Harry has a JustGiving page which can be found here - 33 Marathons in 2022 fundraising on JustGiving


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