teamTBB's Kona Girls
September 27th 2010
IN two weeks the new IM World Champion will have been crowned. Along with Hiro Nishiuchi and Stephen Bayliss, teamTBB have a half dozen Kona bound ladies. With a slight reduction in training (we don't like to use the word taper!) the girls have some extra time on their hands, so I took the opportunity to ask some questions about life and triathlon and of course the big day itself starting with none other than Rebekah Keat.
Rebekah ‘Bek’ Keat is in her third year with teamTBB. Last year she was a hot pick for Kona, labelled as one to watch. To those who do not
studiously follow the triathlon world Bek is probably most well known for ‘that CO2 canister’ she threw Chrissie Wellington (then team mate) in 2008, Chrissie then romped home for the win and Bek was once again in the background.
Bek is an outgoing Aussie athlete who loves the limelight. A bit of a livewire, coach Brett Sutton repeatedly says she has the perfect machine (body), “now if only she can sort her head out!” Or words to this effect!
Last year the Aussie was penalised for drafting on the bike in Kona. She finished in forth but was DQ’d. A tough pill to swallow, one may ask how you bounce back from such disappointment. Well if last year was deemed a good year of racing for Bek, this year she has knocked it out the park.
She has joined the sub 9hour group twice this year. Achieved back to back half iron wins; back-to-back iron distance wins. And when I say back-to-back I MEAN back-to-back. Two weeks apart. It is no mystery that teamTBB races a lot. But proof in the pudding is they also win a lot.
So once again Bek is a Hot Pick. She is one to watch and we will all be watching. With race day looming how is the Aussie livewire feeling as she prepares once again for K-day. Lets ask her shall we?
10minutes & 10 questions with Bek
ED: Life before triathlon for Rebekah Keat was…
RK: Boring and actually a little crazy. I loved sport of any kind and would play tennis, netball, basketball and soccer all in the same week! My favorite was basketball but the problem was my coach said I wasn’t a 'team player.' Yes I admit I definitely hogged the ball, as I wanted to score. I guess that's when I worked out team sports were not for me. I hated doing all the work getting the ball down the court only for a teammate to miss the hoop!
ED: If you weren’t doing triathlons, what would you be doing?
RK: That’s a tough one, as I really can't imagine my life without triathlon. It’s been my life since I was 18 years old but I’m pretty sure what ever I would be doing would allow me to do A LOT of exercise. I’m addicted to it and I also know if I had a full time job I would give the same 110% dedication.
ED: Tell me about your partner. How do you balance a relationship and the demands of triathlon?
RK: I am extremely lucky to have a partner that is so understanding and patient. She is my rock and of course my number one fan! I am also extremely lucky that she supports me 100% and puts up with my selfishness and lifestyle of being a full time athlete. I am away from home 5 months of the year, which is certainly a strain, and I think a lot harder on the person at home than the athlete who is off following their dream!
I hope when I finish my career I can some how repay her for being so selfless and supportive. I am very lucky!
ED: A reoccurring image/thought that gets you out of bed each morning is…
RK: Crossing the finish line in first place, having had the most perfect race and knowing one day when my career is over I can wake up next to an amazing person and still have our whole lives to live!
ED: Are you superstitious, any kind of rituals, prayers, and food, thoughts you follow prior to a race?
RK: I must do a special stretch with my twin sister; it’s a stretch cum massage for my arms and lats to get me ready for the swim. We call it the 'bitch pinch' because she literally grabs my lats and squeezes as I lift my arms up! It hurts like hell but I love it, as I feel fresh, free and ready to swim fast!
Also if my family is there I have to give them all a hug and kiss before my swim start!
ED: Last year was good but this year your successes (back to back 70.3’s and back to back ironman wins) are stand out. What happened, how did the transformation take place?
RK: Simple answer. I hardened the **** up and did exactly what Doc asked of me. At first looking at our race schedule I thought he was crazy! I thought oh my god how the hell am I going to get through this? The racing was hectic and I was tired but it has been my best season yet so things are looking good. Having the trust in your coach and believing in yourself is a huge.
ED: You are one of a handful of active ladies who have gone under the magic 9. And you have done it 3 times – this must give you HUGE confidence, how much do you believe in yourself now compared to earlier in career?
RK: My mind set has changed a lot. I have always trained a lot and quite hard. The physical pain of racing and hurting for nine hours is nothing compared to the tough times and personal challenges I have faced. Because of this I know I can push through the pain barrier and keep on pushing. It’s never easy but I have 100 % confidence in myself and my training and now I know it can be done!
ED: What’s Bek’s strength?
RK: My never say die attitude, 'show no mercy' is how I race and my calves are pretty scary too!
ED: Life after your triathlon career, do you think about it? If I ask you where and what will Bek be doing in ten years, what can you tell me?
RK: That’s easy I will be living on the beachfront in a house with my partner and our dogs, maybe even some kids who knows. I will definitely still be working out every day at least 2 or 3 hours and sipping coffee while looking out at the sun rising over the beach!
ED: Kona. It’s just around the corner...how are you feeling and what expectations do you have of yourself?
RK: I am going to aim to post the numbers I know I am capable of and nothing less. If I do this I know I can be on the podium.