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Keat makes it another Shepparton victory

Rebekah Keat says she isn’t ‘‘100 per cent fit’’ and her best is still ahead of her, but she was still good enough to win her third Ironman 70.3 Shepparton title yesterday.

MARC MCGOWAN November 19, 2012 4:10am

Rebekah Keat won the women’s title for the third time after victories in 2009 and 2010.


Region real ironman winner November 19, 2012

Rebekah Keat says she isn’t ‘‘100 per cent fit’’ and her best is still ahead of her, but she was still good enough to win her third Ironman 70.3 Shepparton title yesterday.

Gallery: view more Ironman 70.3 Shepparton photos here

And, like the previous two times, the Albury-raised Queenslander broke the race record in posting a time of four hours, 16 minutes and 17 seconds — more than a minute slicker than her 2010 mark.

Muscle-bound Keat, 34, was second out of the water and third by the end of the bike leg before unleashing a trademark strong run to overtake Kat Baker (4.27:37) and runner-up Lisa Marangon (4.22:42).

Her run time of 1.22 was more than six minutes faster than the next-best woman, fifth-placed Nicole Ward.

‘‘I didn’t think I was going to get the record today, but I thought it was 4.15 (instead of 4.17:22) ... I might have just pipped it, apparently,’’ Keat said.

‘‘It was really windy on the bike and I had a good swim, but the girls in front of me were really pushing it on the bike.

‘‘I was actually giving it everything and I couldn’t bridge it. My bike (leg) hasn’t been amazing lately.

‘‘I knew, mentally, if I had a good run I should be able to make up the time, but I was pretty shocked I got the record — I’m stoked with that.’’

It took just 4km into the run for Keat to pass Marangon, but she turned down her hot early pace slightly to ensure she completed a strong 21.1km.

‘‘I’ve just been doing maintenance work since (the Ironman World Championships in) Hawaii, but Lisa’s closer and closer each year,’’ Keat said.

‘‘You can’t be slack when you have someone like her racing. She was really, really strong out there today and you’ve got to give her credit for that.’’

Keat said it was an honour to win her ‘‘favourite race’’ for a third time and to be able to do it so close to her hometown of Albury.

But Keat, who is ranked in the world’s top 10, said she and her coach, Siri Lindley, believed she had more to give.

‘‘I still don’t think I’ve achieved my best result yet,’’ she said.

‘‘I’ve got my new coach, Siri Lindley, who I just love. She’s as passionate as I am about it and she said to me my best race was to come.

‘‘She’s coached two past world champions and Leanda Cave was world champion this year, so I hope it’s my turn next year.’’

Keat said she enjoyed sharing the spotlight with men’s winner Terenzo Bozzone, who she said was ‘‘in a league of his own today’’.

She also thanked Ironman 70.3 Shepparton organisers for holding an ‘‘amazing event’’ and said she would return ‘‘again and again’’.

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