Long before becoming the latest U.S. Bank Pole Pedal Paddle winner in Bend on Saturday, Kris Freeman had to deal with another tough foe -- Type 1 diabetes.
But a new high-tech device allowed the New Hampshire native, world-class cross-country skier and Olympian to actually wear an insulin pump under his PPP race outfit. And it kept the disease out of his way during the grueling multi-sport event as much as the other competitors were.
Indeed, diabetes hasn't slowed Freeman down at all, but he does need to keep a close watch on his physical condition at all times. For the race, a small insulin pump from OmniPod made all the difference.
"It's the first patch insulin pump," he said afterward. "Every other one would have tubing that would get in my way when I'm racing. But I just program this before I start it ... I fill it up with my Lily insulin and off I go."
"It takes a lot of practice to figure out how much I need to dose for an event like this," Freeman said. "And I had to kind of wing it, because there's no other event like this."
And it clearly went well.
With Freeman's win, that means the Pole Pedal Paddle has seen three different winners in the last three years -- that after five straight wins for Marshall Greene from 2006 to 2010.