Alexandra Keith

1. What’s your sports background other than triathlon or how did you start?

I have always participated in some form of team or individual sport, for as long as I can remember. My parents considered this an important part of my development and always encouraged me to participate. My first sport was soccer which I started at age 9 and continued to play until I was 21. During this time I was also a horse fanatic, so horse riding was my second sport. Through my teens I participated in Little Athletics and this is where my running technique really improved. When I moved to Bairnsdale in 2011, friends I met through running convinced me to try a triathlon. I started at the local Mini Tri’s and other events then just kept going. I thought it was great, three sports in one! Just running does get a bit boring .... 

2. What do you do for work?

I work as an agronomist Bulmer Farms. We grow baby spinach, iceberg, fancy lettuce and baby broccoli. Most days of the week my job involves scouting all of the crops by walking through the paddocks checking for evidence of insects, diseases and weeds. This scouting then allows me to develop the protective spray program for each crop. I really enjoy having a practical job that is predominately outdoors. Obviously it isn’t much fun when the weather is super-hot, cold or raining! 

3. Your major achievements in other sports? 

I always did well at school swimming, athletics and cross country carnivals. During my final year of soccer in 2009, my team won The NSW Champions of Champions competition. To achieve this, we won the minor premiership in our local Premier League competition, then defeated all the other Premier League premiership teams from around NSW at a round robin competition. By far my best achievement to date though has been placing 3rd my 25-29 year age group at the 2017 Standard Distance World Triathlon Championships in Rotterdam. In 2018 I placed 6th in the same race on the Gold Coast.

4. Why and how did you get attracted to Adventure races/multisport?

My friend and local adventure athlete Tim Boote encouraged me to participate in some local races. Tim is regularly travelling the world to compete in all these crazy races, yet he is very willing to help anyone who wants to have a go at the sport. Adventure races are a great challenge and a little different to what I have done in the past. I also love nature and being able to go out in the bush, a bit removed from the hustle and bustle of life.

5. How do you fit all training in?

Unfortunately training just has to fit in around work. Most days I try to train morning and afternoon. In winter, the reduced hours of daylight and slower growth of our crops means that I have more time in the mornings and evenings to train. However, training in winter is always more difficult because it is so cold and dark. Having a great group of friends to train with makes it so much easier to get through those difficult winter months. When training becomes a social activity, it is much more enjoyable. In summer, my long work hours make training more difficult, as does the need to take sufficient breaks in preparation for races during the busy summer triathlon season.

A typical summer training regime involves:

  1. Monday: track running session
  2. Tuesday: morning swim, evening ride
  3. Wednesday: Riviera Triathlon Club weekly ‘mini-triathlon’
  4. Thursday: morning swim, evening ride or run
  5. Friday: morning ride or run, afternoon rest
  6. Saturday: longer ride then run
  7. Sunday: morning ride or long run

Total time commitment is approximately 9hrs per week in summer, and approximately 13hrs per week in winter.

7. What is your major challenge associated with racing multisport, how are you going to overcome it? 

The major challenge for me in Multisport would have to be any form of paddling. I did do some flat and white water paddling  during high school but this is not a typical part of my training regime. I’ll just have to find time to get out there and practice. Plus I will need to find a boat ....

8. #1 advice for triathletes keen to give AR/multisport a go but not sure where to start. 

Start with a cross-triathlon. This will help to bridge the gap between triathlon and adventure racing. Once you have mastered the mountain biking and trail running aspects, start to add the navigation and paddling aspects of the adventure race. Best thing you can do is sign up to an event and have a crack! The events are well supported and the community is very friendly, so there is always help available whenever you ask. It definitely helps to know someone who has competed in adventure races before so you can ask them lots of questions.

9. Any sponsors/supporters you would like to thank. 

First thanks would have to go my husband, Dave, for looking after me, keeping me organised and doing so much of the housework so that I can get out and train. Also thanks to my sponsors at Riviera Cycles and Liv for providing me with an awesome TT bike. Finally my coach John Morton (aka Morts) has really helped me to gain that extra 5-10% over the past 18 months. 

alexandra keith represent australia in triathlon alexandra keith at x marathon adventure race