Triathlons to Ironman

Mon 13 May 2019

Patrick Kitschke is a 21-year-old with mild haemophilia from South Australia, and he is going to compete in the Cairns 70.3 Ironman in June this year.

This is a goal he has set to challenge himself, while working with his Haemophilia Treatment Centre to prepare and avoid injuries.

Patrick is keen to share what he has learned, hoping that it will encourage others with haemophilia to see the possibilities of different sports, and he is fundraising for HFA at the same time.

I was a terrible patient to the many health practitioners who tried their best to help me when I was little. I squealed when getting needles from the nurses, didn’t recognise the doctors who were trying to help me and not once completed a physiotherapy rehabilitation program correctly. By competing in this event and raising money for HFA, hopefully I can bring recognition and say thank you to those people who are there helping little kids like me who never wanted to listen. 

‘I am also competing to show other people with haemophilia who may not be so active potentially due to fear of injury, that it is indeed possible to get out and about and do things you love.’

 Patrick is in his final year at university studying Paramedic Science.  In his spare time, he is a Sports Coordinator at a college middle school.  He has always been into sports and has played cricket at a high level. 

’My target joint is my knee where my junior years of football and mistreatment of bleeding, left me with severe arthritis. Despite being told numerous times to probably stop playing football and take care with cricket, I carried on through my junior years to get back to the games I loved,’ said Patrick

He started triathlons in May 2017 and completed his first short course race in November 2017.  His uncle and cousins have competed nationally in triathlons so they were able to assist with questions and set him on the right path with racing, alongside his Haemophilia Treatment Centre. 

The week after my short course race I decided to complete the Murray Man 70.3 distance Triathlon in Barmera - 1.9km swim, 90km ride and 21km run. Despite the initial difficulty on completing the event I thoroughly enjoyed myself and after crossing the line, immediately looked forward to another race in order to better my time.’
’My decision to compete in Cairns 70.3 Ironman stemmed from earlier in 2017 deciding that I was going to give cricket a spell. A few repeat injuries and a decreasing level of enjoyment for the sport meant I had more time to ride my bike through the winter. During that time, I decided to teach myself to swim properly, by doing lessons and practicing regularly. This led to me matching all three activities together and completing a few triathlons in summer. 

‘My goal was to always complete a 70.3 Ironman as the professional athletes I am striving towards are just incredible specimens of human health and cardiovascular fitness. I thoroughly enjoy the strenuous training aspect, especially as it may be something I am unable to do in the future due to my haemophilia.’ 

Patrick’s training regime is currently structured and specific to race day.  He completes 2-3 activities a day to make up 20 hours a week. This usually includes about 60kms of running, 10kms of swimming and 300kms of cycling, although of course this can vary due to commitments.  

Patrick has had a few challenges that he has conquered so far – he had a minor accident riding his bike, after which he recovered well, but that set his training back a few weeks.  

I have had normal haemophilia-related injuries.  The hardest challenge has been to know when not to go flat out. In a sport which is all individual and about just bettering yourself again and again, knowing when it may actually be time for a rest day, as hard as it may be, actually becomes so beneficial,’ commented Patrick.

You can support Patrick at his fundraising page and we will continue to provide updates on his journey. 

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