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Somerset man completes epic coast-to-coast walk

Gary Clements and Graham Bell

A man who has lived with Type 1 diabetes for 30 years recently completed an 118-mile coast-to-coast walk across Devon in seven days.

While some men would respond to a mid-life crisis by buying a motorbike, Gary Clements, 49, from Wiveliscombe, Somerset decided instead to take on a fundraising challenge when contemplating his looming fiftieth birthday.

Having trained for months by carrying a 30-pound rucksack on regular walks, at the end of August 2018 Gary Clements and friend Graham Bell trekked from Wembury Beach on the south coast of Devon to Lynmouth in the north of the county.

In spite of battling 40 mph winds and driving rain as they crossed Dartmoor, the pair succeeded in completing their challenge in a week, walking for at least six hours a day. In the process Gary raised £1,115 for Diabetes UK.

Gary, who is south west area manager for a car dealership, has been living with Type 1 diabetes since 1987. He also recently helped to diagnose the condition in his 15-year-old niece, who was showing the classic symptoms of diabetes, the 4 Ts.

Gary Clements said: “There have been massive improvements in treating people with diabetes since I was diagnosed more than 30 years ago, but anything I can do that helps fund research into the condition and helps people with diabetes has to be worthwhile.

“I have also found that exercise has a beneficial knock-on effect on my diabetes control, so I try to get out on my bike or go for a walk or a swim whenever I can.”

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