Bek Keat: Giving it her all
Pro triathlete Bek Keat chats with us about motivation, eating well, and the thrill of the race.
How did you first get into sport, and when did you know you wanted to go pro?
I started triathlon just after I was introduced to cycling with clip in pedals in year 11! I remember how much I loved cycling – the thrill of freedom and being able to explore was like a new lease on life. I won junior world triathlon championships at 18 after only 12 months in the sport. It was then that my dad made me decide between playing basketball and soccer or focusing on triathlons. I guess triathlons won!
I seemed to be quite successful in my first longer distance event a half ironman in Cairns at the age of 22. I wasn't aware at the time, but later on found out I had beaten the current world professional champion! My then coach Col Stewart said I should "go long". I was encouraged to race my first Ironman after 10 or so half ironman wins and managed the World Rookie Record on debut in a time of 9:02 at Ironman Busselton 2004. I was as shocked as the rest of the world! I guess that was my first big professional break through at 26 years old.
What do you love about triathlons?
I absolutely love that anyone at any fitness level, shape or form can compete on the same day in the same event as the professionals. I don't know any other sport where this is possible!
How do you motivate yourself when things get tough?
I think about all the crazy, hard, long training sessions I have done – the times I have best my body up to get the most out of it. Patience is the key and most set backs are only temporary, so I focus on the things I can control and not outcome processed thoughts.
What are some of your proudest achievements so far?
• World Rookie Record on ironman debut – 9hrs:02
• Breaking the Iron distance world record in 2009 with Chrissie Wellington at Challenge Roth – 8hrs 39
• Recently marrying the love of my life, Siri Lindley!
What are your favourite healthy foods?
• Chicken Caesar salad.
• Stuffed salmon.
• Yoghurt with walnuts.
What do you like to do to have fun or to relax?
• Walk our three dogs with my partner!
• Watch TV series such as our favourite at the moment, The Affair – and terrible reality TV shows like The Bachelor (although I pretend to hate it!)
Your best piece of sporting advice?
Listen to your body and your coach – they both give you warning signs!