Born in the country town of Albury NSW, Australian Rebekah Keat has been racing triathlons at the elite level since her junior years. Keat’s resume highlights begin back in 1996, with a junior triathlon World Championship title, and a junior duathlon World Championship title the following year. These tremendous results continued throughout a career that has seen Keat shift her focus to long course racing, with multiple Ironman 70.3, long course and Ironman titles to her credit. One thing for certain, Keat knows how to perform on the big stage.
Perhaps best known for her show of good sportsmanship back in 2008 at the Hawaii Ironman World Championship, Keat shrugs it off as something she didn’t give a second thought to. With eventual winner, defending champion Chrissie Wellington, stranded roadside with a flat tyre and malfunctioning C02 cartridge, Keat came to the rescue throwing Wellington one of her own cartridges. This gesture between competitors, team mates perhaps, but still competitors, has stamped it’s place in the history of the sport. Quite simply it sums up exactly the person this Aussie really is. Focused, competitive and an exceptionally talented athlete, Bek Keat has a heart of gold. Although tomorrow there are high stakes on the line, with Keat determined not only to book her ticket to Kona, but to challenge the woman who beat her at the North American Championships in 2012, Mary-Beth Ellis.
We caught up with Bek to see how her preparation has gone and what’s on her mind leading into tomorrow’s race in Mont Tremblant, the Ironman North American Championship.
Trizone: Great to catch up, where are you based at present and how is the training going?
Rebekah Keat: Boulder, Colorado. It is an ironman Mecca. It’s a beautiful place! I will be there the whole season as I just had my visa approved!
TZ: We see you are lining up for the North American Ironman Championship this weekend in Mt Tremblant against a pretty competitive field. Do you take a look over the start lists before races, or do you prefer not pay attention to your competition leading into the race?
Keat: I just focus on my race and doing the best I can I try not to worry about my competition. You can’t control what others do so I focus on my own capabilities!
TZ: How much of a course reconnaissance do you do upon arrival?
Keat: Mont-Tremblant is so beautiful I can’t wait to drive the bike course and the swim is right across my doorstep! 🙂
TZ: A forced withdrawal from Ironman Frankfurt European Championship saw you miss out on a July qualifying spot for Kona. How much of a spanner did this throw into your season and preparation for the big dance this October?
Keat: The same thing happened last year and I seem to race well under pressure. I qualified in New York last year and was second to Mary Beth, so I hope it’s a similar outcome! I would like to finish first this time of course! (Editor’s note: last year the US Championship was held in New York on the same weekend. This race is no longer a part of the Ironman Series due to logistical challenges).
TZ: So has the tendonitis injury healed completely, or is this something you are still managing at present? How much do you rely on your coach, Siri Lindley, to guide you when it comes to making decisions on managing injuries and racing?
Keat: I have no injuries at present. I had a few niggles leading into Frankfurt and chose to be smart and not allow them to develop into real injuries! I trust Siri a million percent and actually every niggle I have had this year had occurred from my own doing, which was always something she wasn’t 100% happy with me doing in the first place! That says it all so my faith lies in her hands solely from now on!
TZ: Racing professionally obviously carries a high training workload, how important is body maintenance to your training schedule and what maintenance work do you incorporate on a regular basis?
Keat: Body maintenance is as important as training. We have an amazing support team including Todd Plymouth our integrative healer, Byron Thomas our masseur and Bob Cranny my PT. They are fantastic at keeping us on top of everything!
TZ: In the sport of triathlon age groupers also put in a lot of training hours on top of work, family and other commitments. In your opinion what are the most important aspects of recovery that you would recommend age groupers adopt themselves?
Keat: Recovery should include rest, nutrition, massage and belief in your own ability and trust in your coach
TZ: Training under Siri you have a great bunch of guys and girls to train with. Is it your preference to train in a group environment, and if so why do you think it works so well for you?
Keat: I love it! We have Doc Stevens (Dr. Amanda Stevens), Dede Griesbauer, Leanda Cave and Rinny (Mirinda Carfrae). We all get along great and push each other to new limits! It’s inspiring having such high quality athletes to train with! 😉
TZ: A few quick facts: What’s a typical pre race dinner look like for Rebekah Keat?
Keat: Mum’s Caesar salad and chicken pesto pasta!
TZ: What’s the first thing you like to do when you have just finished an Ironman (after medical and media!)?
Keat: Find Siri and give her a hug! Call my mum and sister!
TZ: Favorite food to refuel post race?
TZ: The day after Ironman, do you do anything active or just let the body rest?
Keat: I try to swim which helps to get the stiffness out of my body!
TZ: Thanks for your time Bek, we look forward to watching you race and hope to see you racing in Kona this October!!