Red runner

RUN: Izzi Griffin will run in a 250km event that raises money for Type 1 Diabetes. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

RUN: Izzi Griffin will run in a 250km event that raises money for Type 1 Diabetes. Picture: GLENN DANIELS

Bendigo runner Izzi Griffin will run across the Simpson Desert in July, Grace Serpell asked why.

Local Bendigo woman Izzi Griffin will run 250 kilometres to raise funds for juvenile diabetes in July.

The Big Red Run is a six day 250 kilometre stage race starting and ending at the iconic Birdsville Pub.

The runners will trek across the Simpson Desert in South Australia battling extreme weather conditions.

Ms Griffin said she has been mentally preparing for a long time.

"I have been running for 18 months and I did the Townsville marathon last year," she said.

"So I am not nervous of the running itself more about the length of it all together.

"The first three days are a 42 kilometre marathon on each day. 

"The fourth day is what they call a sprint day, that is 31 kilometres.

"The fifth day is a double marathon, 84 kilometres. 

"Day six is an eight kilometre run back to the pub to finish up."

Ms Griffin said she was looking for a new challenge.

The Big Red Run was the perfect opportunity.

"The biggest thing for me will be, normally I would do a marathon and rest for three or four weeks, but I have got to train my body to want to go running on sore legs.

"It's a bit like playing a grand final of AFL and turning around and playing another game again."

Ms Griffin said she is taking on a rigorous training schedule to prepare her body for the race.

"I'm currently running 120-150 kilometres per week, which includes back to back runs," she said.

"During the long runs I have been practicing my nutrition plan that I will use when I am away."

Ms Griffin said she didn't have any reason not to participate in the event. 

"My immediate family has no history of diabetes," she said.

"I did grow up with a few school friends with diabetes.

"I saw them dealing with it at school everyday.

"You could see the sheer pain as they went up and down.

"It was hard to watch sometimes."

Ms Griffin has received amazing support from her family leading up to the event.

"My friends and family have been running with me during training," she said.

"They also come on the bike when  I am doing my long runs on the weekends.

"It's a nice Sunday afternoon bike ride for them while I sweat it out.

"My partner purchased a treadmill for me - it has been a blessing on the cold morning we have had this winter.

"Mum and Dad are coming along to the event.

"I am quietly hoping between now and then they learn the art of fixing blisters and giving massages."

Ms Griffin said she was inspired after hearing stories of last year's Big Red Run.

"I had a look at the people who did it last year with diabetes," she said.

"They are carrying around insulin packs and checking their levels every few hours.

"They run the same amount of kilometres but they have to monitor themselves so carefully.

"Their nutrition regimes are much more careful as well.

"It's really interesting to watch what they do.

"They can't stock up on sugar to keep them going.

"They could have little bit more and it could be way too much."

Ms Griffin is looking for sponsors and any help she can get.

"So far in fundraising I am up to about $1000," she said.

"The minimum amount is $1000, but I thought if I'm going to run that far then I should be able to raise at least $10,000."

Help Ms Griffin reach her goal, visit

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