The road to big championship races, like this weekends ITU World Championships in Lausanne, is often bumpy and Rebecca Kierath, from Exceed Tri Club has certainly hit some pretty big bumps in her preparation.
She set her sights on qualifying after competing in the 2018 World Championships on the Gold Coast. Last November she started her campaign to qualify, jetting off to Canberra to race at the Jackie Fairweather Memorial Triathlon. After a strong start she flatted on the bike and had to DNF.
Rebecca then headed down to Hobart for the Tasmanian Sprint Championships in January, where she had a strong race and gained some qualifying points. She then came back to Perth to race in the Australia Day Triathlon the next weekend. The travel and a tough week saw her come to the race feeling flat but, with the attitude of “just enjoy yourself,” she took second in her age group and secured her position on the Australian team.
Preparation was then full steam ahead until the 9 July, just seven and half weeks out, when an accident in a training ride left Rebecca with a broken collarbone. She was told surgery wasn’t necessary and the fracture would heal on its own but “you’ll be breastroking the swim.” Ever determined, Rebecca was on the wind trainer, elliptical and aqua jogging as soon as possible until just four weeks later she was back to training normally.
The physical injury was devastating but the mental effect was more than she ever expected. Going from being fiercely independent to not being able to work, drive or even tie up her own hair was a massive mental struggle. With the help and support of her family, her coach, Ross Pedlow, and the Exceed Triathlon Club, Rebecca has been able to keep her focus on the blue carpet and is looking forward to seeing the finishline.
And she will be able to freestyle the swim…
We wish Rebecca and all the athletes competing in Lausanne all the best of luck.