Bypass man wants no diversions
An avid Canterbury sportsman is not going to let a quintuple bypass stop him from competing in a long-distance swim in Akaroa this weekend.
Stephen Hough, 56, of Ohoka, hopes to finally swim in a major long-distance event after having twice been thwarted.
"I tried to do the Corsair Bay one but then the earthquake hit, and nothing happened. It was really annoying. I worked really hard," he said.
"I planned to do [the State La Grande Swim] last year but then I got ill a couple of weeks before."
This year, however, he felt "fantastic" and everything was perfect. He was looking forward to the 2.8-kilometre race from French Bay Beach to Children's Bay Beach at Akaroa.
"I have done the training and done the work. I've always been a competitive person and I intend to do well."
However, he did not expect to win. "There's some real guns in my age group."
Hough had a quintuple bypass in April 2010 after he discovered he had had angina for eight years.
Angina is chest pain caused if an area of the heart muscle is not getting enough oxygen-rich blood.
"It came to a head when I was walking home from the rugby at AMI Stadium," he said. "I just had to stop three times and thought ‘I had better go to the doctor'."
He had always been keen on sport and played touch rugby and rugby league. "Even with the pain from the angina you just run through it and carry on," he said.
This is the second State La Grande Swim held at Akaroa. It begins at 1.15pm on Saturday.
There are three adult categories. The longest course is 2.8km and the shortest 300m. There is also a children's event.