More South African Worlds...

Apparently South Africa is about to be awarded the Rugby World Cup 2023. Hopefully the host cities have learned something about the bidding processes and associated costs from what is going on down in Nelson Mandela Bay.

I've posted three times [here, here and here] already on the problems of funding the road resurfacing that Ironman require before hosting the Ironman 2018 70.3 Worlds.

The latest status is that they are looking for ways to patch the roads now, rather than relay them in order to come in at an acceptable budget. This right after the opposition in the city council tried to reverse the appointment of Ironman Championship boss Rebecca Nyangaresi-Gatan. Which makes seem increasingly unlikely that a good compromise will be found.

The other Interesting news is the logo competition is hotting up. Yup, the design for the event logo was supposed to be in by the end of October. Nothing much of a surprise, but from this we learn the City council are also leading the project to get bids on an event design. It's not clear if this is on a passthrough basis, or the city taxpayers are paying for the logo as well?

Finally, it what looks like a rambling op-ed, a citizen says it's more than just a race.

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More on the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships

The HeraldLive continues to follow what is obviously an important topic for residents of Mandela Bay township and local areas. I've posted updates before here and here.

Rather than repost pictures, here are three tweets I sent last night, Ironman really should and can do better than deprive neighborhoods of important funding just to run a weekend race... The tax, sales revenue will never cover the costs no matter what they say. Please read the latest HeraldLive article.

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A Hole in my leg - 38-years?

The other medical/health issue I've been having this year is with a wound on the front of my right shin. It just won't heal. The would was from when I slipped on the last rung of a ladder, and tore a small amount of skin from the scar tissue on the front of my leg.

I mentioned it in my "2017 Starts Next Week" post that I wrote before I did the Tri Boulder race. After getting out of hospital from my heart attack, $6,000 in medical bills seemed small fry, when I'd already received $78,400 worth of bills, so I decided to pay the Boulder Wound Healing Center a visit.

After removing the dressing, cleaning it up, and removing another of what I thought was more skin necrosis, the attending nurse declared there were a couple more pieces, including one that was partially covered. The consensus was these were not skin necrosis, but bone fragments from my 1978 double compound fracture, that had spent the last 38-years coming to the surface.

Turns out there was a Doctor available, and before I knew it, my jean leg was rolled-up, scalpel unwrapped and an incision was being made. Eventually they cut 3-more small pieces of bone fragments out. In the end the hole was actually both much longer, and much wider than it had been.

It's now 10-weeks on, and it's healing, but very slowly. Not helped by the anticoagulant and blood thinner medication I'm taking for my heart. It's not clear how much longer it will take to heal, on my September 6th review, they said maybe another 6-10 weeks. And yes, I wrapped the dressing, which itself a 5x5" padded square, in a 12x8" tegaderm and raced including the swim at Oktoberfest. More on that in a future post.

So far the bills have come to $251.60+$151.20 = $402.80 for two appointments. I've also spent some $100 on dressings.

For the inquisitive, there are some pictures behind the cut.
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Ironman 70.3 2018 Worlds funding issues rumble on

Back on August 28th I wrote about the problems faced by trying to find the required R200-million (circa $15-million) to repair roads ahead of the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

South Africas Herald Live reports that a 2nd chance to approve the funding has been missed and there is still no resolution.

There is history of last minute compromises in races, and even back in 2015 there was a last minute payment of R3.6-million to pay for Police Traffic Officers.

Herald Live has a simple search, and if you want to keep up with the development and history around Ironman South Africa, it's here.
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Wildflower 2018, on and in.

I raced Wildflower longcourse back in 2003. I had originally started training for my first sprint triathlon after meeting Peggy who was in training for Wildflower back in 1999. Wildflower was everything Peggy promised. Except in 2003 we had torrential rain, hail and I broke a spoke less than 15-miles into the bike, and rode the rest of the course with a buckled wheel and no front brake.

When it came to the run, we had to go up "Beach Hill", a steep 1-mile (1.6 km) climb twice, as the Mountain Bike Triathlon had torn up the run course, overall I had a torrid race for my first "long distance" triathlon, finishing in 7-hours, 22-minutes.

And yeah, I had no idea what I was thinking wearing this race gear, I was just pleased to finish.

2017 has been a totally wash as far as racing goes. I've been unable to swim since late May due to an ongoing wound that won't heal; bike has been OK, with a good Sierra to the Sea bike tour, but little since; running has been hampered with my overall health conditions.

I have a lot to do to equal my 2003 race finish time, post heart attack, but I'm going to give what I have and see how I get on. I'm in.

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Are the 2018 70.3 World Championships at risk?

There is heavy irony in this. The World Triathlon Corporation, owns and stages Ironman and Ironman 70.3 races around the world, including the 70.3 World Championships, is owned by WANDA Sports Holding, by their own proclamation, one of the largest sports companies in the world.

Wanda Sports is part of the Wanda Group, it is the world's biggest private property developer. It's Chairman Wang Jianlin, has a Net worth US$30.1 billion (August 2017).

Meanwhile, in Nelson Mandela Bay, Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where they are still recovering from property tax hikes to pay for a stadium for Soccer World Cup, they are now trying to find an additional R200-million, or approx. $15-million USD to resurface the road ready for the 2018 Ironman 70.3 World Championships.

In addition to supplying thousands of hours of free labor, in the form of volunteers, now residents are having to choose to divert much needed road funding to support resurfacing a 40Km section of the bike course. The upgrade of the road was one of the conditions the city had to agree to in order to secure the bid to host the world event.

All this, for one of the Worlds largest sports companies, and China's richest person. As much as the race will bring many thousands of visitors to what is a beutiful destination, it surely won't compensate for the diverterted R200-million, and personally, I can't see the predicted 16,000 visitors, at least not foreign vistors which are the one they need to recoup the the cost of staging the event.

Pehaps the Worlds largest private property developer and China's richest man can help out the beleagured residents and tax payers of Nelson Mandela Bay?

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A Big Surprise: You can't out run genetics

It's been somewhat depressing the degree to which I've felt "old" over the past year. Recovery seems to take forever, I just don't seem to have the power I've had before, even allowing for the drop-off in training.

On July 30th, Kate was racing in the womens only, Outdoor Diva's Triathlon, up at Union Reservoir in Longmont. When I woke-up, I didn't feel great and figured a good run while Kate was racing would shake off the cobwebs. I can't really remember when I started feeling really odd, but it was definitely before Kates race started. Of course I said nothing.

After Kate was out of the swim I took off on the race run course, I figured if I ran fast enough for about 2-miles, I'd be able to catch her about 2/3 of the way around the rectangular 13.4-mile bike course and hopefully getting the blood circulating would stop my palms and the inside of my elbows to tingling, also ease the tightness in my chest.

As I didn't feel great, I knew it wouldn't be a fast run, so I didn't bother with my heart rate strap, which was a shame. You can see a partial run here. I was somewhat light headed, and didn't remember to restart it after I stood around applauding and encouraging other competitors. I took at jog back to the aid station where I stopped and helped fill and hand out water cups. All the while I was feeling increasingly light headed and the tingling in palms, elbows and chest still there...

When Kate came by with 1-1/4 miles to the finish, I ran alongside congratulated her and said "I'm not going to be one of those guys who runs alongside yelling at his partner", and left to beat her to the finish and take her picture, which I did. At the finish we stood around talking for 15-minutes, at which point I said to Kate that I had to sit down as I felt I was going to faint.

Kate insisted I got see the race EMT’s at Rapid Response Paramedic Services. They hooked me up, and took an ECG. After not more than 30-seconds we were discussing calling an ambulance. The Mountain View Fire Services arrived what seemed pretty quickly and before I knew it I was heading in an Ambulance to Longmont Hospital. Turns out the one of the EMT's in the ambulance, Carlos, had been a volunteer with me at Ironman Boulder 2016.

I was lucky, just a few minutes after being admitted to ER, I was whisked into cardiac surgery. Turned out there was a cardiac surgeon/consultant, Dr Paik, who had already been in on Sunday attending to another patient. It was all very surreal as the went through my groin to put a stent in my left anterior descending artery, while I was laying, wide-awake next to a 70-inch monitor watching the surgery. It was amazing to see the blood start gushing into that part of my heart once the stent was opened up.

The artery was blocked 100%. The picture on the left is a scanned version of the illustration the Director of Cardiology, Dr Abboud marked up on a follow-up visit. I'd speculate based on how I feel now, that it had been for sometime, or at least pretty close. Possibly even blocked the week before at the Tri Boulder race.

While my run heart rate is probably where it should be, generally my bike heart rate is way high, in some cases higher than my run heart rate. If I'd actually taken time to look at the data after the race, I might have learned something important. It would also explain while my run heart rate is where it shoul have been, it wasn't for the speed. My bike HR by time/distance is here and my run HR here. This is especially interesting when compared to my HR data from my longest, hardest ride this year, back on June 18th, when I time trialed the last 24-miles of the South Lake Tahoe to Jackson first day of Sierra to the Sea 2017.

The good news is I'm fine now. Better in many respects. 1-month in, I had an excersice induced stresst test with 3x MRI before; After(front,back) of my heart and everything looks good. I'll be doing the WithoutLimits Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon in 10-days. As Dr Paik said, no matter how healthy you are you cannot outrun genetics.

NEXT UP: Denver 5k.

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