Marathon Team Spotlight: Michelle Alemi


Beyond Type Run, a program of Beyond Type 1, brings together an inspiring team of people impacted by diabetes—those living with type 1 diabetes (T1D), type 2 diabetes (T2D) and their caregivers. Since 2017, this program has brought more than 200 runners with T1D to the TCS New York City Marathon. In 2023, Beyond Type Run opened up the team to all people with diabetes and their caregivers.

This year we’ll be cheering on this 2023 team in New York City on November 5, 2023. Get to know 2023 marathon team member, Michelle Alemi, and how she’s getting ready for the race! 

Michelle Alemi

  • Diagnosed 2006 with T1D
  • 2nd NYC marathon

What inspired you to run this year? 

I am inspired to run this year to try the closed loop system with a Dexcom continuous glucose monitor (CGM) and Omnipod insulin pump. I am hoping to achieve my goal of sub 4hr marathon with this new technology.

This year also marks 5 years after my hypoglycemic event that resulted in a brain injury. In 2018, I experienced a blood sugar level so low that it resulted in a seizure during my weekly grocery shopping. I ended up in the ICU for 5 days and diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury. 

During the recovery period, it was also discovered that I lost my sense of smell and taste. This felt like a double whammy with diabetes. I have to eat but cannot even enjoy the flavor of food.

Looking back 5 years later, I am so proud of the progress I made around this event. It was a tough transition period and I feel more energized this year knowing I have a closed loop system to help!

Prepping for race day

What is your go to running snack?

Clif blocks or Justins peanut butter squeeze packets

How do you prepare for long runs?

Lots of foam rolling, good nights sleep and plenty of coffee!

What has been the hardest part of your training so far?

Using a closed loop system. I am used to managing my blood sugars levels constantly throughout the race so I am learning to give up a bit of control.

Advice to start running

Michelle’s advice for other people impacted by diabetes who want to start running is:

Give yourself some grace! Tackling distance running while managing diabetes is no small feat and each run can be different. Learn from your patterns, take your time and try to stay consistent. 

I found that if I was routine with scheduling runs and preparation for runs, my blood sugar levels were more balanced. In 2019, I ran the NYC marathon with a blood sugar ~140 for 18 miles!

Get to know the rest of the 2023 Beyond Type Run marathon and learn more about the program here. Want to be on the team like Michelle? Stay tuned! The 2024 team application will open in April of 2024.

WRITTEN BY BT1 Editorial Team, POSTED 09/28/23, UPDATED 09/28/23

This piece was authored collaboratively by the Beyond Type 1 Editorial Team.