Ex-Navy man to run marathon for Diabetes UK after ‘devastating’ diagnosis

Simon training for the marathon (Simon Scott-Munden/PA)
Simon training for the marathon (Simon Scott-Munden/PA)

A former member of the Royal Navy will be running the London Marathon for Diabetes UK to inspire others to take up running.

Simon Scott-Munden, 46, from Eastleigh near Southampton noticed his weight was fluctuating six weeks before his 40th birthday.

Following a consultation with a Navy doctor and a medical examination, he was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and made the decision to leave the Navy.

Mr Scott-Munden described the diagnosis as “devastating”, adding: “Very quickly I realised, in the first day or two, that would be the end of my naval career.”

Mr Scott-Munden with his wife and sons (Simon Scott-Munden/PA).

He told the PA news agency: “It’s changed my life for lots of positive reasons. Because I’d been away, it was almost weirdly a relief because I was going home.”

Since leaving the Navy, Mr Scott-Munden has started a new job as a senior defence trainer for Capita, graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a degree in education and training, and spent more time with his family.

His sons, Theo, 11 and Blake, eight, have also caught the running bug and have been taking part in parkruns, raising money for Diabetes UK at the same time.

Mr Scott-Munden said: “When parkruns started to open back up after lockdown, at the end of July/August, they both wanted to do them.

“My wife and I’d go down there with them. At the end, they decided that what they would do is get the buckets out.

“In the first week, they didn’t get much, but then people realised these two boys would be there every week shaking their buckets, and people would bring money and put it in.

“I think they’re quite famous down there now!”

Mr Scott-Munden preparing for the marathon (Simon Scott-Munden/PA).

Mr Scott-Munden uses the FreeStyle Libre 2 system during races, which allows users to receive glucose readings on compatible smartphones.

The device is also connected to a separate app on his wife’s phone which allows both to monitor his glucose levels.

Mr Scott-Munden said the system proved crucial during the Royal Parks Half Marathon in London.

He said: “Just before the halfway mark, I checked my blood sugar levels using the Libre and it was showing that I was at about 5.5, which was not going to get me through the remainder of the half marathon.

“The results of that then went through to my wife’s phone, using LibreLinkUp. I had a mile to go to where she was stood. The boys saw it come up on my wife’s phone and asked mummy for some sweets and fuel.

“As I walked to the halfway point of the half marathon, there they were holding out sweets. They understand the diabetes and that’s what that did.

“It’s not just diabetics that I hope to inspire, it’s anybody. There’s a number of my friends who have been inspired by me and they’ve taken up running, because if I’m able to achieve it and I have diabetes, then so can they.”

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