Welcome to the Blog of Karl Alexander - Ironman Triathlete, Road Racing Cyclist and Runner.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

The Journey to Kona

On 23rd August at 19:55 my partner and I welcomed the birth of a healthy 8lb 4oz daughter and I knew that training for Kona was going to be a lot tougher managing not only the training but the demands of a newborn and the boundless energy of my 3 year old.
After the initial change to my training schedules, I began to train earlier in the day thus leaving time for my family later in the day. On September 6th, we were given news that would mean a change to our plans both in the short and long term.
The diagnosis of our newborn daughter having a rare metabolic condition called Medium Chain Acyl CoA Dehyrogenase Deficiency or MCADD was a huge shock and will mean that in the coming weeks we will become regulars at our local hospital and Great Ormand Street Hospital for Children.
People with MCADD lack an enzyme responsible for the break down of medium chain fats. During times of prolonged fasting such as during illness the body will utilise fat to provide fuel to the body. MCADD sufferers can break down fats partly but not completely and is held up at the medium chain fat step, where the enzyme is not present, this then causes a build up of toxic substances that may lead to futher serious symptoms.
With this diagnosis, and after conversation and discussion with my family and friends I have taken the decision to withdraw from the 2011 Ironman World Championships, to concentrate my time and energy on my family whilst we make the changes necessary to accomadate my daughters needs. This has not been an easy decision for me, the last 2 years of my life have been spent with this goal in mind but my family will always take priority.
To those people that have helped and supported me during my season I am thankful for your help and apologise to you that I will not be representing you all in Hawaii, but hope you understand why I have arrived at this descision.
The upshot of this is simple, I have unfinished business, I will return to Ironman racing and I will qualify for Kona again and I will go and I will... you fill in the blank!

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