We briefly caught up with Bek Keat, fresh from her second place at Ironman New York where she earned enough points to get to Kona. After a gut wrenching calf injury during Ironman Cairns earlier this year, Keat had to restructure her racing calendar in order to still qualify for Hawaii. Just nine weeks out, a superb race at Ironman New York stamped her ticket to the Hawaiian Ironman World Championships.
First of all, congrats on the 2nd place, and cementing your ticket to Kona. How can you sum up how you’re feeling right now? Excited? Relieved?
Definitely relieved, for sure. It’s been a tough year, and nothing has gone to plan after my injury, so it was a huge ask after only four weeks of proper run training. I’m just so happy to be qualified!
It was the first year for Ironman New York, so an unknown event. How does it compare to some of the other tough courses out there?
I hadn’t actually planned it at all. The plan was to obviously win Ironman Cairns and qualify or secure points there. Well that didn’t happen! The race was extremely tough in 30 degrees heat, and very humid. It is one of the toughest Ironman runs I’ve ever done. It certainly took a lot out of me.
There was a bit of an uproar about the cost of Ironman New York for 2013. If you were an age grouper, would you pay $1200 to enter?
No I would probably choose another race like IM Melbourne. You definitely get your monies worth there. The presentation was amazing! The Awards night at New York was very low key and very rushed. It felt more like a local derby to he honest, and that was disappointing. Other than that though, considering the logistical nightmare for organisers, it went extremely well and I have to congratulate the race director for pulling that off in such a huge city!
You had the second fastest run out there. Mary Beth Ellis was only 1:11min faster in the marathon. You appear to be just getting to your peak now, so we assume that you have got more room to bring that time down? As well as improve on the bike/run combo for Kona, is that a fair thing to say?
For sure! I really am only half run fit and I know my bike is going to be stronger training here in the mountains of LA.
With just over eight weeks until Kona, your form is looking great. Will you bunker down and just focus on Hawaii? Will much change in the lead up to Kona?
I’m not in the shape of my life just yet, but I will be by Kona. Siri (Lindley) and I have a huge eight week block planned after I get home from Oz where I’m taking this week as recovery.
Looking back at Ironman Cairns you were in ideal condition leading in, and unfortunately ended up with the calf injury. Clearly with your success on the weekend, you’ve overcome your calf injury. How hard was it to get your head around the set back, and refocus your attention on different races? Who was instrumental in that, and how?
This is where I want to give a massive thank you and huge hug to my coach Siri and Darwin at Evolution fitness. The recovery was actually amazing! In just under four weeks, I was back running on the G-Treadmill, which is an anti gravity treadmill. It can take up to 90% off your body weight but you’re still running! Amazing for overcoming injuries.
With the confidence in Siri to work with Darwin a renowned PT, I instilled my trust in what he thought was the fastest and best way to get my run fitness back. This obviously worked as my run was certainly solid. We also do two specific secret strength sessions each week for injury prevention, plus muscle activation stabilization etc – I love these workouts!
When you’re injured, other than missing out on the win, as a professional athlete, are there other concerns that go through your head? eg. Sponsor deals, missing out on Kona etc
No, not really, I just say oh well, another hurdle. I have been dealt some bad hands over the last few years, so injury sucks, but it’s not the end of the world. That’s where I believe I have the best coach in the world. Siri is so good with injuries. She listens and understands, as she herself has been at this level.
Who will be your main competitors in Kona? Using your strengths, how will you tackle race day?
Myself firstly. To be honest, I am not worrying about anyone else. I want to go out there with laser focus and have the best race possible. I think my team mate Leanda Cave, along with the obvious ones, will certainly have the tools to win! I believe I will too!
All the best Keatsy, we will be following and cheering for you all the way from Australia.