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First Diabetes Beat Down Race set in Chinook


Last updated 10/15/2019 at 12:03pm

Sweet Medical Center will be hosting its premier Diabetes Beat Down Race Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Blaine County Fairgrounds to raise awareness and funds to fight diabetes in the area,  event organizer and Sweet Medical Center Nurse Practitioner Lindsay Rucinsky said.

“We are just really excited to do this,” she said.

Rucinsky, who is originally from Havre and is a Montana State University-Northern alum, said that the idea for the event originated from the fact that diabetes is a huge issue in the area and across the state. She added that promoting education and awareness of diabetes has been a passion of hers for a long time, with a number of people in her family diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes has a large effect on the area and the Hi-Line community, she said. Montana has about 96,000 people with diabetes, approximately 10.9 percent of the adult population in the state, predominantly Type 2. She added that with the increased rate of childhood obesity medical professionals are also seeing Type 2 diabetes diagnosed at younger and younger ages.

She said that the main focus of the event is Type 2 diabetes, but added that Type 1 is equally as dangerous and is not  preventable. Type 1 is typically diagnosed in younger children whose pancreas is not functioning properly to create insulin to bring the person’s blood sugar down.

With Type 2, the person’s pancreas is working, although it is not able to produce enough insulin to bring down the person’s blood sugar because of the elevated amount of glucose in the person’s body, she added.

She said that Type 2 and Type 1 diabetes can affect the whole body if not properly treated, such as damaging a person’s eyes, organs and limbs.

She added that a person with Type 1 or Type 2 is also more at risk to other diseases because the person’s immune system cannot keep up.

Type 2 diabetes can be directly affected by exercise and amount and choices of food, she said. She added that if a person is at risk of diabetes they should be eating a higher amount of protein, lower amount of fat and a balance of carbohydrates. People should also try to stay physically active, at least 30 minutes of moderate to intense exercise a day and stay away from sugary candies, sodas and fast-food.

The race, which starts at 9 a.m., will have three components, a 1-mile competitive run and fun run, and 3-mile and 5-mile competitively timed runs, she said. The organization Competitive Timing out of Whitefish will be giving every competitor a running badge so their times are marked at real time. The races will also be broken up into male and female categories, and the top runner in each category for each race will be given a prize at the end.

“We want it to be special,” she said.

People can pre-register for the races by going to the events website at https://runsignup.com/Race/MT/Chinook/DiabetesBeatdown?fbclid=IwAR1yEVm_8uGXpGxQINfw53gOCA-9CDn7gK6ZJ77VBxFni_D_FpLTxtATPmU or to http://bit.ly/2kGOhLk, or http://bit.ly/2VLyYPf ,or go the Diabetes Beat Down Race Facebook page, she said.

Registration for the 1-mile race or fun run is $10, $25 for the 3-mile race and $30 for the 5-mile race, she said. People can also register at the race. She added that everyone who competes will get a T-shirt, with the names of all the sponsors written on the back, and a “swag” bag.

The event will also have a variety of vendors including StrEATery, which will be providing healthy food for the event, she said. She added that the event will also have a number of craft vendors as well as small local businesses from the area, sponsors for the event are also invited to have booths, as well.

Sweet Medical Center Medical Assistant Robert Kelley said they have a total of 35 to 36 vendors lined up for the event with Indian Health Services also setting up a booth for diabetes awareness. He added that four members from the IHS diabetes team will be at the event to speak with people about diabetes and answer any questions people may have.

He added that the event has gathered a number of sponsors.

Everything for the event is moving according to schedule, he said, adding that the Sweet Medical Center team will be up early Saturday to get everything ready for the day. Kelley said that the event has generated a lot of interest, but a number of people said they are waiting until the day before or the day of to sign up for the event because of the weather.

“I love the community feel of it,” he said.

He added that he is looking forward to the event and sees it as a fun way to bring awareness and education about diabetes. 

Rucinsky said that people are also welcome to volunteer or donate to the event.

People who are interested in volunteering or donating to the event can find more information on the event’s Facebook page or go to the event’s website.


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