Sunday, September 1, 2013

Gaye McKean





Gaye McKean


I first got to know Gaye when we finally met up  at Ironman Lanzarote in 2011. I had found out from Rob Parry that she was competing at  Lanzarote ( Rob got to know Gaye through the Marathon Club  when he was doing Ironman Japan and Gaye had qualified for Kona winning her age group at Ironman Japan then held at Goto)

She is the thinking persons Endurance triathlete. She is methodical and like many of the women Triathletes I know thoroughly dedicated , passionate and single minded in achieving their goals.The week at Lanzarote in Gaye and Kate Bevalaqua's company was one of the Highlights of the trip.I was a sponge absorbing all the knowledge and experience that comes from someone who has been to Kona 3 times . In the interview I learnt she came from a small farming community Meckering in WA .It is interesting that Gaylene Clews , a  little know Australian World Champion triathlete (in the OD distance) who dominated women's triathlon racing in the 80s , also grew up in a farming community in WA .It must be said that there is something about Country WA and producing some talented athletes.


Full name

Gaye Mckean

Age Group: 

55-59yrs

Profession: 

Interior Architect & Certification Mgr

Years in profession:

 21yrs

Brief backgound :

Where you grew up and were you into sports when you were younger?
Grew up in Meckering on a 5th generation farm. Went to boarding school from 12yrs of age ; participating in all sports. 
Particular interest in hockey and scuba diving. Continued playing ‘A’ grade hockey when I left school.

When did you realize you’d been bitten by the triathlon bug? 

When I could no longer play hockey I looked for another sport. Sucked at swimming, running by itself was boring then a friend recommended triathlons. Just had to learn to ride a bike as never had one as a child. I found that I was pretty good which fueled the fire to continue.

Triathlon experience: A brief outline 

Researched & read everything about Tri’s then participated in a number of sprint & Olympic races. Won heaps of TOTY awards ; nominated for Masters Sports Women of the Year. Have completed 9 x Ironman’s including 3 at Kona. Have had 2 podium finishes at Hawaii. Broken 2 x IM course records

Walk us through your active lifestyle.  What is an average day when you are training for an ironman 

Rise at 4am to make lunch & do stretching/ strength exercises. Morning swim or cycle training, work  then evening run/ ride or gym session. Weekends combine all 3 sessions during the course of the day plus boring housework & shopping. To bed by 8.30pm each night

When taking on such an event, how do you maintain your balance of work, life and family? 

Poorly – no social life- thank goodness my friends are my training partners

How does an active physical lifestyle tie in to your work ?( if at all)

I am renown for falling asleep in presentations when they turn the lights down
& sitting  down all day hurts when you stand up (or is this age?)

How many years did you train before you qualified for Kona? 

Participated in tri’s for 3 years & then qualified for Kona from my first IM at Forster

Tell us about the one or a few inspirational moments of your Triathlon career. Are there any standout moments  or memories or accomplishments you are most proud of?

Running down the finish chute at Kona with crowds that are 5 deep on each side
Getting up on stage at Kona in front of 4000 people
Winning at Japan by 40mins on my 50th birthday & being 11th overall female
Completing some really hard training sessions such as 6hrs/ 200km on the WT; doing 5 x entire repeats of Welshpool Rd & riding up Crystal Brook Rd in my big ring
What do you enjoy the most about our sport

The motivated people that you train with & of course doing well in races

What is your favorite race and why?
Any really hard Ironman that I have given 100% effort regardless of the results

Who or what in Triathlon inspires you?

Anyone that can swim/ cycle or run fast with perfect form ;
Anyone who talks to me – love hearing their stories