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Wednesday, May 07, 2014

What can cause diarrhoea following adventure/multisports racing?

My daughter, Myra, following a particularly muddy
mountain bike race several years ago.
I spent the last two days variously on the floor, in bed and on the toilet.  While in this prostate state, I meticulously dissected everything I had eaten.  

"Why was it that I was the only member of the family to be struck down with violent diarrhoea?"

Nothing that we had eaten could, reasonably, have given any of us food poisoning.

The only explanation was my having competed in a multi sports race in the 24 hours before I was struck down.  My partner, Alofa, competed in the same race and she is well.  So, maybe it was not the race?  Or was it?  I think it was the race.

The race was run in muddy conditions.  It began with a 30 or so kilometer mountain bike race with the first 10km being a flat drag race along the Western Bank of the Hutt River, a very popular dog exercising area, before entering the very hilly Belmont Regional Park.  

My race tactics were different to Alofa's in one very important way:  I went out with the lead bunch and wore a pair of wrap-around glasses so that I could sit on the wheels of the lead riders despite their rooster tail or muck.  Alofa went out much more conservatively and avoided the rooster tails.  Once we hit the hills I dispensed with the glasses with most of the muck from now on going up my back, rather than in my face.  It worked well except it came at the cost of infection!

I have ridden that Hutt trail a number of times and one thing that is notable is the dog poop.  And we all know that dog poop, more than sheep and cattle poop, harbours many nasty bacteria and other bugs!  I got a good dose of mud in my mouth - mud that, in places, was presumably contaminated with doggy-doos!

I am in recovery now but the episode has left me feeling very, very weak and tired and my weight has dropped by 3Kg which is a lot, proportionally, when my healthy weight is just 63Kg!

I would be interested to know if any other multi sporters who competed in the Crazyman or similar events, who have suffered similarly.

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