‘Diabetes won’t keep me from the finishing line’ says Dunstable teacher

Nikk Shilvock with his medal after the marathon
Nikk Shilvock with his medal after the marathon
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A Dunstable teacher scored a worthy win at the London Marathon despite having type 1 diabetes to contend with.

Nikk Shilvock, 47, is head of Maths at Manshead School, Dunstable and lives with his three daughters and wife of 16 years.

Nikk told the Gazette: “Running with diabetes, every challenge a normal runner has is multiplied by a level of difficulty for me.

“I have to watch how much sugar and carbs I take, so it’s been a long six months of training.”

But putting up with shaking and constant glucose readings wasn’t going to put Nikk off.

He said: “I did this to prove to people that living with some kind of condition doesn’t mean you have to stop. I’ve always been a bit of a sportsman.”

Diagnosed with diabetes in 2013, Nikk is a patient at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, where both his dietician and consultant recommended he try the FreeStyle Libre system – a product used to monitor his glucose levels while running.

“The hospital have been brilliant and my friends and my family have been second to none. It’s my little way of trying to repay them.

“Running this year, I felt more confident. I remember I just felt calm because I knew what my sugar levels were.”

Nikk ran in aid of Juvenile Diabetes Research, which helps young diabetes patients.

He also beat his previous record by 30 minutes, completing the marathon in three hours and 47 minutes.

Besides getting a pat on the back from teachers and parents, Nikk said he’d been getting cheers from his students.

He said: “It’s all been fantastic and the children that have got diabetes have said, ‘Thank you Mr Shilvock’.

“My family all came to watch the marathon, I had my parents there and my daughters – it was my daughter Heidi’s birthday that day and she didn’t even grumble!

“I feel very humbled by what I do and the support and everything that people have done for me.”