March 20, 2015
Aaron Perry understands the importance of a healthy lifestyle and pushes his fellow African-American brothers to do the same. In 1989, Perry was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at the age of 29. In 2004, he took control of his disease and 362 days later became the World’s first and only African-American insulin-dependent diabetic Ironman triathlete.
Perry has undergone many lifestyle changes since his diagnosis, resulting in his determination to encourage other African-American males to follow in his perseverant footsteps through a support group called “Black Men Run,” which is focused on running and living well to help defeat health disparities.
On March 21, 2015, Black Men Run will host in Madison their first run and walk of the season.
“We will start our run at the Henry Villas Zoo in the Arboretum and keep going indefinitely,” Perry said.
According to their website, Black Men Run is a national group of black males that promote a culture of running/jogging to stay fit and create “a healthy brotherhood” across the nation. The group has even traveled to The Great Wall of China to host Black Men Run events. According to the website, anyone is encouraged to join. There are currently 10 men on board in the Madison Chapter for the first run of the season.
“There will be two weekly runs, one on Saturday and one on Tuesday,” Perry said. He asserts that no one from the group will be left behind, whether they run half a mile or five miles. He believes that not only will the men who join become good runners, but also their lives will be positively affected through heightened self worth, a healthier lifestyle and the support from the group.
Perry is currently training for the Half Ironman Triathlon, which consists of a 1.2-mile swim, a 56-mile bike ride and a 13-mile run on June 19th in Racine, Wisconsin. Following that event, he will participate in Ironman Wisconsin for a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike ride and a 26-mile run.
The Rebalanced-Life Wellness Association explains that diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in African-American males. This disease is a condition that occurs when the body is unable to properly produce or use insulin, which is needed by the body to process sugar, starches and other foods into energy. Diabetes is a self-managed disease and can be reduced or delayed significantly by keeping blood glucose, blood pressure and cholesterol levels in the target range.
Perry currently chairs the Dane County African-American Men’s Health Advisory Committee and hosts the Tuesday Morning Buzz Radio Show 89.9 FM WORT to provide health awareness and information to the Madison community.
If you are interested in participating in Black Men Run, please contact Aaron Perry at 608-843-2291 or email Ironmanaaron49@gmail.com.